When can a powerful name work against you? When you don’t deliver on its promise. Take this example:
Back in April, Britain’s official weather forecasting service predicted beautiful weather for the upcoming summer season. But instead of using typical language and calling for a “dry and sunny summer,” they used the phrase, “barbecue summer.”
The name resonated with sun-hungry Brits. It conjured images of family cookouts under clear, blue skies. Tank tops and shorts. Days at the beach.
In short, “barbecue summer” did everything an evocative name should do. Too bad the weather didn’t get the memo.
Contrary to forecasts, Britain’s weather has been a soggy mess, and people are mad. They were promised a “barbecue summer,” after all.
The lesson for branders: Use distinctive, evocative language in your brand name for impact and memorability.
Just be sure your brand promise is one that you can always keep.
Devon, I like your example of a name or even a phrase describing the anticipated weather conjures up visions of family time enjoyed in the sun. Your last sentence is the key to the whole thing – delivering on the brand promise is critical.
So, what happens when you can’t “live the brand?” Do you change the name? Develop communications to better align the desired perception with the actual experience? I know that, ideally, we’d recommend making operational changes as necessary to ensure the promise can be delivered – events (or seasons) can’t be changed, until the next event or season comes around.
As the 91st PGA Championship is underway in Minnesota this week, I can’t help but relate this story to an event like that one … and how they would handle “next year” or “next time” if something made it impossible to live up to their brand promise as one of the premier sporting events in the world?
I guess that’s one thing we like about working with B2B companies … it’s easier to get our arms around their business goals and desired brand perceptions, research the actual perceptions, then develop strategies to bridge those gaps.