Strategic branding

The Personal Side of Naming, Part 2

Sam Frentzel-Beyme Follow Managing Partner & Strategy Director

The Short of It

  • A name should be unique in terms of intellectual property.
  • It can also be a daily call to arms in terms of what's important
  • Diligent Rocket as a name tries to blend a focus on cohesion and discipline with aspirations that are pushed beyond traditional limits.

In the last part of this series, I looked at the question of whether names for products and services should refrain from being too personal. That naming should ideally focus less on personal aspects and more on making it easier for potential consumers to find and easily understand your products.

When coming up with the name for our firm, for example, I wanted a unique name and something that I could own in terms of intellectual property, but I also wanted the name to be a daily personal call to arms. Something that mattered to me. Something that I could personally come back to and also use as a fundamental cornerstone of how we approach and talk about our business. So while it wasn’t about the name of a loved one, it certainly had to be personal.

For me the two main aspirations of our business revolve around the two words in our name: diligent and rocket. But why those words?

From my experience one of the biggest issues with branding is cohesiveness. From the values that the CEO espouses on the six o’clock news to packaging and customer service, just to name a few, these “touchpoints” taken together in the minds of consumers are what make up the brand. When things are off, we get what we call cognitive dissonance, which is a feeling of contradiction caused by holding opposing points of view (like how can I spend my hard earned dollars on a company that treats me that way) . Customer service is an area where this happens a lot. The ads talk about how great the product experience is, but the moment something goes awry it takes hours just to get to unhelpful.

Consumers solve these problems pretty easily. They just stop buying and usually start telling people why. So for us, our approach is always about being diligent about all of the moving parts that help shape brand perception and then dealing with them in an integrated and coordinated way. Every point of contact is an opportunity that the consumer has given.

The second word in our name is “rocket”. While there has been some unfortunate twisting of nuance because of recent events, I have always been fascinated by rockets. As a kid I remember reading books on how we’d live on the moon and thought that rockets represented so much potential to move beyond our existing reality. They stood for possibility even when we weren’t sure how we would do it.

Well, we’re still pretty far from having access to a lunar lifestyle, but it was at least encouraging to see that the new Ares I rocket was Time Magazine’s number one innovation of the year. No doubt imagination’s will be awakened by new opportunities. And that’s what we try to do for ourselves and with our clients.

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