Years ago, insurance giant AFLAC had a problem.
Their company name was nonsensical. No one knew what it meant.
And why would customers entrust their money to a company when they didn’t understand their name?
So, their ad agency (brilliantly) asked themselves how they could take this unfamiliar name and relate it to something familiar so it all-of-a-sudden made sense?
They asked themselves, “What does an ‘AFLAC’ look like or sound like in the real world? How can we associate it with something people already know and like?
Hmmm … well, an AFLAC kind of looks and sounds like a duck saying QUACK.
Maybe we can turn that into a lovable duck that says ‘AFLAC.’”
They created a visual icon that turned their idea into an image people could SEE.
Another insurance company had a similar challenge.
Government Employees Insurance Company was going “public.”
Instead of just offering policies to federal employees, it was now going to offer policies to anyone and everyone who could afford to pay for one.
So, how did they masterfully manage their transition and make their clunky acronym G.E.I.C.O meaningful and memorable?
Well, what do we think of when we hear the word GEICO? What comes to mind that is close to it?
How about a cute little gecko?
GEICO’s cute green gecko has starred in countless commercials and become an instantly recognizable corporate symbol to millions.
Both of these financial services firms succeeded in making their cold, confusing names … warm and relatable.
Both AFLAC and GEICO dramatically increased their market-share and profits; thanks to their ubiquitous “spokes-animal” ad campaigns that helped them POP! out of their crowded industry.
So, what’s this mean for you and your business, idea or product?
Your financial success depends – to a large degree – on the “get-ability” of your name.
When prospective customers hear or see your name for the first time; what’s their reaction?
Do their eyebrows crunch up?
That means they don’t get it. And if they don’t get it – you won’t get their attention, respect or money because confused people don’t say yes and they don’t remember you or want to do business with you.
Why should they? They have no idea what you do. They can’t relate to you.
Your goal is to have a name for your business or product that makes people’s eyebrows go UP.
That means they’re intrigued. That means they want to know more, which means they’re more likely to remember you and want to try and buy what you’re offering.
This Wall Street Journal article – What’s In a Name? – offers fascinating examples and insights into the financial consequences of the RIGHT or WRONG name.
Would you have gone to see a movie entitled $3000? That was the original name of Pretty Woman.
Would you have paid $8 to go see Anhedonia (the original name for Annie Hall)?
Check out this article to find out why some of your favorite movies might have failed if they had stuck with boring names that bombed with focus groups.
Are you thinking, “I agree that the right name is important; I just don’t know how to come up with one that gets people’s eyebrows up.”
Well, check out POP! Its 25 different techniques can help you create clear, compelling names, titles and slogans that will resonate with your customers and decision-makers.
Have your pen handy so you can do the exercises to coin just the RIGHT name that will help your product, idea or business get noticed, remembered and bought.