How Joe Pesci Helps Brands
I’ve led a handful of naming projects over the last year. This includes renaming three corporations, two new names for multi-billion dollar projects, and a few new product names. They have a good deal in common.
So, what’s in a name?
The power of a great name has much to do with what expert strategists do in the world of branding: capturing and communicating the essence of the brand. Part of my work is to synthesize the spirit of complex ideas, and distill them down into their single malt essence. Then, communicate with their audiences.
Great brand naming is like bridge building. It connects meaning and clarity where unfamiliarity exists. A great brand name expresses the essence of the company, product, service or project. It reaches people on emotional and intellectual levels. A great brand name helps audiences get it and feel it.
The movie industry does this well.
In Hollywood, the movie story-pitch is well known. When a producer, director, or writer is pitching a new movie concept to a studio they tend to pitch it contextual fusions. This is the combination of two or more familiar things fused together in a new idea.
Here’s an example. “This movie is a fusion of Blazing Saddles and The Godfather. It’s a comedy with all the suspense of the mafia, and it’s filled with hilarious, sometimes dangerous, and crazy characters. Heck, we even have Joe Pesci!”
(Note: For those that don’t know, Joe Pesci is beloved for doing both great comedy like My Cousin Vinny, and mafia movies like Goodfellas. He packs a lot of meaning in using his name.)
I suspect you can imagine a movie like that. Actually, I’m a little surprised no one has made it. It’s likely been done, but let me get back to the point.
Crafting a great brand name is not easy especially these days. There’s lots to consider including:
- Relevance to audience, industry, and company
- Securing a solid domain URL
- Category position and fit
- Historical context
- Name definitions and unintended definitions
- Foreign language meaning and translation (Remember the Chevy Nova? In Spanish “nova” means “not going.”)
- Audience connection
- Emotional context
- Say-ability to all audiences
To name a few.
A great brand name can capture the essence of an idea. It can distill the brand name into something that is memorable, has meaning, and bridges the essence of the brand for new audiences to grasp.
This creates a magnetic and emotional bond between an abstract idea and the concrete receivership. A great brand name transcends a word or term, and speaks to all senses of the audience. A great brand name builds meaning and trust.
If you do naming well, your audience feels connected to the brand before they know your company, product, service, or project. Do this and your brand stands a much better chance to thrive in the market.
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.