chauke-1jpg

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: What's in a name?

So there I was on SA374 back to Johustleburg after a really inspiring weekend at the majestic and truly breathtaking Zeitzmocaa in Cape Town. The charming air hostess walked towards my seat and said… “Excuse me, sir! What exactly do you do?” I was lost for a bit but then I was quite keen to understand where exactly she was going?

Then she proceeded to say… “As I was going through the passenger list, I saw your name and it was so familiar. I couldn’t quite point where I know the name from, so I thought to ask because the name sounds like someone I should know” I was sweet-talked! Sylvester Chauke conjured certain images I guess and this was a good example that there is strength in a name.

This got me thinking… Most often the first piece of information we have about a person is their name. It’s the first thing we learn about someone and then create a vibe or judgements about those people expediently. So the first piece of information is especially important. It can lean you in a positive or a negative direction. And those first impressions can set the stage for future interactions.

Example… Bell Pottinger, Nelson Mandela, Pieter Dirk Uys, Lucas Radebe, Adolf Hitler, Basetsana Kumalo, Donald Trump, Madonna.

It is vital in brand building to think of names that conjure certain images to the consumer. Often in my line of work, I meet new brands with names that miss the mark, that could be better. This is because many times, we do not place enough time and effort in the naming of the product like we do to the product itself.

Yes, there are brands that got it right – Apple for an example says… we think different! There are names that immediately evoke meaning and trust: Google, VISA, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Amazon.com, Disney, Starbucks, FedEx, Red Bull, LinkedIn, Shell, Nando’s, DNA Brand Architects (winks). A brilliant name sets the stage for any brand. That’s why naming your brand is so important.

The brand naming process isn’t something one leaves to a council or a few sessions over drinks with your agency. Naming your brand — whether it’s your company, products, or services is a decision that can shape the future and trajectory of your brand. Granted, a lot of the mentioned names (excl. DNA Brand Architects) have been in operation for many decades and have spent billions on advertising to build their brand equity.

So if you are reading this and are thinking of a brand name… pause… think long and hard and remember, this is an important step! The importance of naming our brands, our projects, our businesses cannot be underestimated. Let it not be a quick tittle but rather may it be filled with depth and may the name manifest into the kind of brand that consumers want to connect with. On the African continent particularly, we have such colour and energy that we can afford to be a lot more fun.

Oh, I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining a positive sentiment around the brand because as we have seen lately and as has history taught us, there are some misfortunes that happens with our names too. Try this test Bell Pottinger, Adolf Hitler, Robert Mugabe, Donald Trump – don’t get me started. What’s in a name huh? A lot!

Sylvester Chauke is an award-winning entrepreneur and cascader of the Stand Against Bland movement in marketing amongst other fun things. He is founder and Chief Architect of DNA Brand Architects, sits on the Advisory council for WEF Global Shapers and is a Board Member of the South African State Theatre.


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Sylvester Chauke Opinion: A new world order in advertising

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: A new world order in advertising

Brand strategist Sylvester Chauke says there is a real need for brands to review how they do things as society twists and turns.

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: The miseducation of Twitter-ville

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: The miseducation of Twitter-ville

Award-winning entrepreneur and brand architect Sylvester Chauke says not every tweet is actually worthy of our energy.

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: When race stands in the way of great ideas

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: When race stands in the way of great ideas

There's an underlying tone in brand communication that speaks to a lack of integration and a “racial tension”, says Chauke.

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: The Likes Economy

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: The Likes Economy

Marketing guru Sylvester Chauke weighs in on the global obsession with accumulating masses of 'likes' on your social media posts.

Top 10 #FridayStandIn hosts and fun moments

Top 10 #FridayStandIn hosts and fun moments

We've been featuring interesting personalities as guest presenters on the Redi Tlhabi show. It's time to recount some key moments

Popular articles
'Treasury is going to have meeting with Stats SA Council on freezing of posts'

'Treasury is going to have meeting with Stats SA Council on freezing of posts'

Presidency minister Jackson Mthembu unpacks governments plans on the funding issues at the council.

Investigating SA's captive lion breeding industry and the lion bone trade

Investigating SA's captive lion breeding industry and the lion bone trade

Richard Peirce discusses his documentary 'Lions, Bones & Bullets', which follows the trade to the Far East.

'I think govt exists for the most vulnerable' - Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi

'I think govt exists for the most vulnerable' - Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi

Baloyi became SA's youngest mayor in 2013. He talks about 'being born into politics' and the principles that guide him.

No load shedding expected on Sunday says Eskom

No load shedding expected on Sunday says Eskom

Load shedding has been suspended for Sunday, but the system remains 'unpredictable'.

Open day season: How to choose the best school for your child

Open day season: How to choose the best school for your child

Parenting expert Nikki Bush has valuable pointers on what to keep in mind when matching your child to a school.

Zuma returns from Cuba, addresses 'hundreds' of supporters

Zuma returns from Cuba, addresses 'hundreds' of supporters

Former president Jacob Zuma arrived at OR Tambo International where supporters waited to give him a hero's welcome.

[WATCH LIVE] Joseph Shabalala's funeral service underway in Ladysmith

[WATCH LIVE] Joseph Shabalala's funeral service underway in Ladysmith

The music icon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder is being laid to rest in his home town in KwaZulu-Natal.

Load shedding to be suspended at 5pm, resumes on Sunday

Load shedding to be suspended at 5pm, resumes on Sunday

Eskom says 'improved generation system performance' will allow it to suspend load shedding at 5pm on Saturday.

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir's moving 'Homeless' tribute to Joseph Shabalala

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir's moving 'Homeless' tribute to Joseph Shabalala

The Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder will be laid to rest in Ladysmith on Saturday.

'High possibility' of load shedding continuing throughout Sunday

'High possibility' of load shedding continuing throughout Sunday

Stage 2 power cuts are scheduled until 6 am on Sunday, but Eskom says this could be extended.