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BARtalk | August 2017


Building Great Brands


One of my great loves is developing and building new brands and at RTB we build a good few each year, from craft bar brands to local pizza joints right across the board to theme brands and even service brands like security companies and audio video brands.

Some of the keys that I believe will give you strength and success go a little like this…

1. Secure The Domain Name (URL)
As you’re considering alternative names, make sure you can grab the URL. As you’re brainstorming names bring up a registration engine such as or and check to see if the URL is available.

2. Keep It Simple
Ideally, the name should be short and memorable. So if I’m launching a hot new pizza brand, WOW Pizza would probably be preferable to Tony’s International Pizza group. Make the name impossible to misspell and hard to mispronounce. The point here is that you want people to be able to find you in a search engine, and to easily refer you to their friends.

3. Choose one: Descriptive, evocative, or whimsical path
You have a fundamental choice with three basic paths. The first path is to select a name that’s descriptive of what you do! i.e. Pizza in the name.

The second path is to choose a name that says nothing about what you do, but is evocative. Oracle is a great abstract-but-evocative brand name, evoking wisdom and an ability to predict the future.

The third path is to select a memorable, unique nonsense word. A nice example of a whimsical brand name for us was ORANGE DOOR. We wanted a name that didn’t spell out the brand by using letters like millions of companies do and a name that was simple once you heard it.

4. Avoid Branding by Committee or Focus Groups
It’s good to be inclusive and seek opinions and other ideas but if you form a committee and put everything to a vote, you’re likely to end up with a least-common-denominator brand that’s bland, uninspired, and may look more like a name to keep the peace amongst your group.

5. Apply Your Brand Consistently
You can do everything else right, and screw it up here. A company should have a consistent look-and-feel, color and consistent language, then stick to it. For example, do you want to be referred to as Urban Gumboots or as UG? Do you wish to be known as “a pioneer in music,” or “an innovator in technology”?

6. Protect Your Brand With All The Energy In Which You Created It!
Trademark the company name, logo, and tagline. File for registered trademark status and in your online (and any printed) materials, be sure to display clear copyright notices ® ™

Fail on this step and it could cost you everything… You can’t complain when someone comes along with a trade mark later and makes you spend money trying to fight the fact you cannot protect your name.


Until then, keep the questions coming and have a great profitable month.

Tony Wheeler

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