Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hey baby

When choosing a name for your brand, the rules – both common sense and according to those who know – are pretty basic.
  • Keep it simple and honest
  • Appeal to your customers’ needs and interests
  • Make it memorable
  • Protect it by trademark
There’s one brand I’ve been using since, well, since I was a baby. It complies with the first three branding bullets, and I don’t think it’s suffered from ignoring the fourth: Johnson's.

Johnson’s baby powder. Johnson’s baby shampoo. Johnson’s baby oil.

Only the word “Johnson’s” is a registered trademark – and capitalized. The products themselves have common names and are in unassuming lower case.

Still the power of the brand persists.I know what I’m getting every single time. It looks and feels and smells exactly the same as my earliest memories.

Maybe Johnson & Johnson wouldn’t be so successful in its baby-care product line if it launched them today. Maybe it’s plain luck that J&J got there first and has lasted the longest.

Maybe I’d still buy these products if they had fancier names – something like Johnson’s SkinMagic Oil for Babies and Adults, or Johnson’s SilkySmooth Talc for Sticky Moments.

But I’m glad they don’t.

Baby powder works for me, as a name and as a product. And I'm the only baby in my house.

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