Naming Your Brand - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Naming Your Brand
In a crowded field, how to choose a name real enough to please the feds and original enough to differentiate your product


Guide to Branding


Identify your primary and secondary target audiences early in the process. A name can only communicate one idea (or maybe two), so it is paramount to focus on the most compelling message to your particular target.

Develop a creative strategy that takes into account the most important attributes you want to convey.

  • Understand the different types of names and evaluate how each could benefit your product.
  • Explore different types of names at the beginning of the process.
  • Refine your creative direction until one name becomes the team favorite.
  • Be cognizant of the legal screening processes. Most legal teams will review a short list of names, but they won't do full legal searches until you've selected your top name candidates.
  • Make sure your team (including someone from legal) agrees on a tailored review schedule that meets the desired deadline, while maximizing the allocated budget.
  • Conduct a global linguistics evaluation. Professional translators and native speakers can offer feedback on pronunciation, associations, cultural, or slang references, and similarity to local products.
  • Market research and a medical-advisory-panel review can further narrow a list of name candidates as well as provide valuable support material.
  • Experiment with unique sounds and letter combinations.
  • Keep an open mind.

When a final and preferred name with several backup candidates is agreed on, you'll be ready with the data to support your brand in the regulatory review.

Clayton Tolley is president of Addison Whitney, an inVentiv Health company. He can be reached at


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Source: Guide to Branding,
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