6 Essential Criteria for Good Brand Names – Or What Do Brands and Beer Have in Common

Secret tip: It’s not the letter “B”.

Oh no, this goes far beyond that and is infinitely more profound. Guessed it yet? (Drumsticks rumble.) What good brands and beer have in common is, well, MALT!

Clearly, this connection only occurs to the perceptive mind (PM) – or in the afternoon (PM)?  I forget.

One thing is certain. The smartest marketing theorists all got together and decided that great brands (and slogans) should follow 6 essential criteria: MALT – PM*.

M emorable – your brand should be easy to recognize, recall, relate to – as well as vivid, inherently descriptive and persuasive.

A daptable – your brand should stand the test of time, be adaptable and updatable to new market conditions, new trends and consumer expectations.

L ikeable – your brand should be aesthetically pleasing, alluring, in a word, likeable.

T ransferable – can you transfer/extend the brand and brand equity to new products/services and (a key concern for the strategic marketer and transcreator alike) to different geographical regions, cultures and market segments?

P rotectable – can the brand name, the design and the slogan be legally protected as intellectual property? Some brand names become prototypes for a product/service category and subsequently enter the lexis as common nouns or verbs.

M eaningful – your brand should create meaning for the customer, be credible and suggestive of the actual product/service and be in synch with your USP.

(*Ok, so I tweaked the order a little to suit my clever acronym… The beer may have had something to do with it.)

To write a good story, you need a beginning, a middle, and an end. To build a brand, you need something from the beginning, the middle, and the end of this list. Building a brand is all about MLM: make it Memorable – Likeable – Meaningful.

Do you have a fascinating brand to build or to translate? Find your authentic, well-positioned voice. Contact me here for a free quote and more interesting feedback.

(Source: Kotler, P. et al., Marketing Management, Harlow: Pearson Education, 2009, p. 434)