know yourself for brand success

Know Yourself for Brand Success

Knowing your Target Market for Brand SuccessKnowing your Business for a Successful Brand

Killer Panda is not only dedicated to helping you find the best name for your brand, product or business but we’re here to help you develop that name as part of a larger brand.  Anyone starting a business in today’s market knows that not only do you have to have a great name; you have to an entire brand and everything that goes with it.

That said today we’re starting the first of a 5 part blog series designed to break down how you should be looking at your business and how to develop the best brand built for success.

Our brand series will ask you poignant questions you need to be able to answer in the following areas: Know Yourself for Brand Success, Know your Target Market for a Successful Brand, Successful Brands Study their Competition, Brand Success is Based on an overall Experience, and How to Implement a Successful Brand.

We hope you enjoy the series over the next few weeks and if you have any questions please post them at the bottom of the page and we’ll be happy to address them as soon as possible.

Brand Names for a IT Tech Company:

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Know Yourself for Brand Success

The first concept you need to know about their brand, in order to secure success, is what need specifically, is your brand going to fill?  Not only do you know what it is that you’re going to do, you need to know how you’re going to do it?

What is your brand about?  Are you going to be a clothing store, if so who is your target market?  If you’re a media company, what type of media are you going to focus on; music, tv, radio?

Do you have any technology advantage to your brand that others do not?

A lot of these and other questions that should be answered in your Brands Mission Statement.  It is a great idea for you to take the time to now before you get your brand off the ground to develop your Brand Mission Statement, this Statement can act like a compass and really great resource for you to make sure that you’re on the right path and not veering off your brands goal.

It’s also a great idea that you think of your brand as an actual person, then sit down and write out your brands personality.  What kind of person is your brand?  Is he or she forward thinking, reliable, dependable, fashionable, strong or even really smart?

These are all things that you would want to communicate to your target market.

What are some of the goals for your brand?  Of course you want to be the biggest, largest and global leader in your market but what are some of your short term goals?  Do you maybe want to have your business loan played off within two or three years?  Maybe you want to start paying dividends to your investors within the next year?

Whatever your long term and short term goals are, make sure your write them down and keep checking back with them.  Without writing down your goals, it is incredibly easy to lose focus on them.  It can become difficult latter to identify your goal successes and maybe even more importantly, identify your weaknesses.

You need to know where you’ve fallen short of your goals so that the situation can be fixed and you can get back on track to reaching those goals in the future.

The last idea we want to leave you with in this blog is, figure out what your brand is truly selling or providing.  Earlier we used the example of a clothing store, now you might be saying that what you’re selling is clothes but that’s not necessarily true.

You could be bringing people style or an identity or even a way of differentiating themselves from people around you.  Your clothing store may be doing more than selling cloths and you should figure that out and incorporate that into your brand.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this first installment of our Brand Blog Series and we hope you keep checking back for the next few sections.

branding your business for success

brand name and logo

Brand Equity, What Is It and How Do You Build It?

a great brand name and logoLearning about Build Brand Equity

Recently Bob Newhart was on a late night talk show and the host asked him a question that had always bothered me and might have bothered you.

He asked why on earth was the show he created and stared in called “The Bob Newhart Show” when his character’s name was “Bob Hartley?”

Bob Newhart explained that he was becoming more and more famous from his standup comedy and appearances on TV and he was developing quite a following. He went on to say that when he created The Bob Newhart Show he wanted his fans to know that it was going to be him as the star of the show, so he named it after himself, so that they would tune in.

He had realized, in building a fan base he was building an audience for his new show.  What he may not have realized, was that was actually building was, what is referred to within the marketing industry as brand equity.

Brand equity is the weight that your brand carries. For instance why would someone choose your brand over another within the same industry? In the supermarket why would a shopper choose Pepsi over a no-named soda brand, because the brand equity of Pepsi is higher than that over the no-named soda brand?

Even though that customer may not have ever even tried that other brand, their perception is, that Pepsi is better, that’s the brand equity. Brands spend billions of dollars each year on convincing you that their product is better through advertisements, logo design, product design, and even down to the brand.

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There is so much that goes into brand equity that we can’t get into it all in this blog but we welcome you to check out this article on Wikipedia which goes into quite a bit of detail and has a lot of interesting facts and statistics; it’s well worth a read.

On one last note about brand equity, it does not always work in your favor. Brand equity is not always positive, your brand could develop a bad reputation and that equity could really work against you.

What does your brand equity say about you?


Avoid Puns

avoid puns when branding your businessAre Puns Good for Your Brand?

Should your avoid puns in your company or brand name.  While many people don’t find puns funny and they could have a negative impact on you business there are some really great examples of where puns have help a few businesses.  Where does that leave you during the brand naming process?

To pun or not to pun, that is the question?

Below are some examples of businesses using puns, do you think they hurt or help these businesses?

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Ok, so some of these pun brands are rather funny and I could see where they would really work for a small business, a Mom-and-Pop shop but our brand development team can’t really see these businesses expanding too far.

Tequila Mockingbird in particular will have trouble expanding because unless they have clear consent of the books publisher, and are paying them royalties, they will get slapped with a Cease and Desist letter.  This is not only a pun it’s a clear violation of a Copyright.

Back to the subject, let’s look at Thai Tanic, you’re going to get a lot of interest with the name, that’s the good part, but that interest needs to be converted into people coming in and business.  You may also have Copyright or Trademark issues with whomever has the rights to the Titanic name.  You may also have issues with victims families or others who think it’s tasteless to name a restaurant after a disaster (pun intended!).

Lord of the Fries is another clear violation of Trademark issues.  The publisher of the book may go after the owners of this place.  Quite a few puns are based on familiar movies, songs or books as two of the three examples above are.  We can really only think of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” which is based on a Jimmy Buffet song where this is done and they pay royalties to Mr. Buffet.

Puns inherently are jokes and they’re meant to make you laugh.  That means your brand, be it a restaurant or business is not going to be taken seriously.  If you’re an up and coming Chef and want to make a name for yourself this is not the way to go.

All that said, we’re here discussing them!

Puns in the right way may work but don’t think about global domination or expansion because puns don’t translate either.  Puns are language and often slang specific, don’t thing of translating them into a different language.  Thai Tanic may work but try Juan in a Million in German, French or Japanese for that matter.

Juan in a Million seams to work.  It doesn’t infringe on any Trademarks that we can think of and can even be translated into Spanish, which is a good part of the world (If it translates, we’re unsure).

With all the great brand names that you can chose from, maybe you should just stick with a powerful brand name for your business.  You can’t go wrong

Have you heard of any pun brand names that have worked?  What about puns that have flopped, either way we’d love to hear them, post them below or join the converstaion on our FaceBook page, and like us while you’re there!

kp brand name musts

Brand Must Haves – Don’t Let Your Brand Be Without Them

Brands come in all shapes and sizes and are a different as the entrepreneurs who start them but there are a few things which all brands share.

That said, this is the perfect time for to introduce our Killer Panda YouTube Page.  Here we’ll have some of our staff member answer questions about branding a business, present tips for branding your business and general observations about the branding process and much more.

Our first Vlog is about “brand must haves.”  We’ve been branding businesses for several years now and what we’ve learned is that the best brands all share some common features.  So, without further delay, check out our first Vlog!

Brand Must Haves:

We hope you enjoyed and learned from the first Vlog.  We’re open for comments, and will be glad to hear your suggestions for upcoming Vlogs.  You can post your questions blow in the comment section or you can post it blow any of our Vlogs.

Breathe New Life into Your Brand

Breathe New Life into Your Brand

Breathe New Life into Your Brand Breathe New Life into Your Brand – What the live production of “The Sound of Music” can teach every business leader.

Ok so last night was the premier of the live production of “The Sound of Music” staring Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer and Audra McDonald.  You may be asking yourself, “what the heck does this have to do with reinventing a brand?”

A movie is nothing more than a brand and just like ever other brand they can grow old and even though you loved it once, does not mean you’re going to love it in the future.  As much as we love ice cream, you just can’t eat it every day.

What last night proves is that you can take a (cover your ears Julie) stale brand (Sound of Music) and breathe new life into it.

Let’s face it, The Sound of Music (TSOF) was written by two old dead men over fifty years ago, about a girl leaving a convent, meeting a great single Dad with kids and escapes the Nazis. The story’s great, the music’s great but what teenage kid is going to watch this?  Not to mention the Breathe New Life into Your Brand play has be produced over and over again and the move is play every year over the holidays.

Even if you love the movie, as I did or do, you’re not really interested in seeing it yet another time so, how do you solve a problem like Maria, ahem, like a stale brand?

So when I heard that this year they are going to play the SoM again but this time live, they caught my attention.  They are taking this much loved but stale brand and breathing new life into it.  There’s really nothing new here, you’re taking the same brand, reproducing it the same way but now everyone is crazy talking about it again, brilliant!

What’s different here and why is this giving the brand new life.  As we said, people love the brand but they’re a bit tired of it.  Many people, who love the brand or movie, have never seen it performed live before, so that’s exciting.  The fact that it’s going to be performed live on TV in front of the nation for an audience that has never been done before, then you’re going to throw in two stars who are extremely popular with youngsters (Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer), you’re really grabbing attention.

To keep the lifelong fans of the brand, theater snobs and the older generation interested they brought in Audra McDonald.  They covered all the bases.

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The new stories followed and were running up to the big event and they knocked it out of the park.  Early numbers were in and over 18 million people tuned.  People tuned in, thinking it was going to be a disaster, people tuned in because they were curious, people tuned in because they love the actors people tuned in because there was so much coverage, whatever the reason people tuned in.

Think about your brand, are people getting tired of it and tuning off?  Take a lesson from the live showing of The Sound of Music and consider what you can do to breathe new life into your brand!


Building a Better Brand Experience for Brand Success

growthbrand-coverBuilding a Better Experience for a Successful Brand

The better you build your brand the better brand success you’ll have but, what exactly is your brand and how do you build it?

Many people believe that their brand is their product or service, maybe even the pretty packaging or logo and while it is true that, those things are a big part of it, it is surely not all of it.

Your product is your product, your logo is your logo and your website is your website; take all of these parts or pieces put them together and that is your brand.  Your brand is bigger than any one singular part of its components and these components can’t stand alone.

Let’s talk about your brand in terms of a restaurant.  Your restaurant is new, beautiful, great signage, and killer food.  People flood in but after a week your business starts dropping and just never stops.

After a month you’re sitting in the dining room alone and you’re wondering how you’re going to go on to the next month; what went wrong?

You can have the best of everything but what about the waiters and the management?  You can have the best food in the world but if the waiter doesn’t get the order right, you’re wrong.  If people have to wait too long for a table, you’re wrong.  If your manager doesn’t make your customers happy after a complaint, you’re wrong!

So your product may be the best in the industry but, if your instructions for installation are poor, you’re going to make people mad.  If people can’t contact you, you’ll make people mad.  Your brand may also be an experience from the beginning to the end and it had better be a good one.

You want as many people as possible to tell others and “spread the word” of your brand.

Available Brand Names built for Success:

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Go through your brand, every single aspect of it, from ordering to complaints, check out to returns and figure out what is lacking and fix it.  Don’t wait for complaints fix it before they’re complaints and that’s how you build a brand for success.

One great way to find out if any part of your brand is lacking is to ask.  Ask your customers, what they liked but even better what didn’t fit their expectations.  Find out what you can do better and how.  It can be a humbling process to find out what you’re doing wrong but it is the most important aspect.

Build your brand for success and don’t let one part that you haven’t thought of bring the entire brand down!

As always, we’d appreciate your thoughts on this and any other blog by posting your thoughts below.  The Killer Panda team would, as mentioned above, love to hear your thoughts on our brand, what we can do better or even if you have any suggestions for future blogs.

Thanks for reading!

Knowing your Target Market for Brand Success

Knowing your Target Market for Brand Success

Knowing your Target Market for Brand SuccessWhen you’re branding your business, or any business for that matter, knowing yourself is just the first step in a successful brand but knowing your audience, or better yet getting knowing your target market is even more important.

Who is you’re your target market?

When we’re helping our clients brand their business, the first thing we ask is “Who is your target market?” and “Who is your product directed to?”

We thought they were easy questions when we first started our business but over the years we found that many entrepreneurs can get quite confused.  Too often we hear, that everyone can be their customer or for b-to-b’s sometimes people get confused who the real target is.

Without knowing who your end target user is and the demographic of your customer you won’t know how to shape your brand for maximum impact.  There’s an old saying that states, if you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to anyone.

That said a successful brand needs to be targeted to someone, somewhere.  By that we mean, you need to have a target audience or target market and you need to know who they are, what they like and more.

Knowing who your target market is, who they are and how they think may just be the difference between brand success and brand failure.

This blog has been designed to make you think more about whom your brand is targeted to and to get you to consider what it is about them that you’re going to focus on to make them want your product or service… your brand.

You need to know everything you can about your target audience for many reasons.  Below are just a few questions you want to answer:

  • Is your product designed for a man or woman?  – This may not be that important if you’re a financial brand but if you’re a product, you’ll need to know the difference between their two different types of shopping styles.
  • How old are they? – are your customers preparing for retirement are they heading back to school?  College, High School are younger?
  • Are they married, if so do they have kids?  Is your product designed for the parents to buy for the kids?
  • What do they do for fun?  Do they go to the movies, stay home and watch TV or get on the computer or do they travel?
  • How much money do they make, what is their income bracket?
  • What is the highest level of education?  Depending on how much formal education they have, you may want to tailor the advertising and verbiage of your ads.
  • Where do they get their information from?  Do they watch a lot of TV or do they read magazines, where would they come in contact with your ads?
  • What other products or services do they use?  If you know what other brands they like, this will give you a heads up to what they like in advertising and style.
  • What do they do for a living?  Knowing where they work and what they do, will give you a great idea of what their life is like.

These are just some of the questions you should know about your target audience, outside of the fact that you need to know that you need one, but they are surely not all of the questions.

You need to know everything you can about who your brand is targeted to because the more you know the better you can tailor your product or services to them.  This goes for the packaging, advertisements, look and feel of your product everything comes down to how well you know your target market!

What other questions could you ask to help people figure out who their target market is?  We’d love to hear what other questions you thought of, please post them below!

how to Reinvigorate a brand

Brand Reinvigoration | How Do You Update a 40 Year Old Brand?

how to Reinvigorate a brandBrand Reinvigoration and Updating

What do you do with a 43 year old breakfast restaurant chain which has lost its luster?  You get a new CEO in there with fresh ideas on how to reinvigorate the brand and that is exactly what Julia Stewart is doing at IHOP!

Stewart took the reigns as CEO in 2002 and quickly got to work on breathing new life into a stayed brand.

But how is it that you bring new life into a brand?  The first thing Steward did was to get into the business and learn what exactly the biggest threat was.  What is the biggest competition to the brand?  But what is this brand really known for and how can we improve it?

Stewart quickly learned that breakfast sandwiches at places like Dunkin’ Donuts and Panera Bread were literally eating into IHOP’s profits.  These sandwiches are quick and really inexpensive and clearly that is what people are looking for.

“We only had a single breakfast sandwich on our menu. They are the No. 1 selling breakfast item in America. How does that happen? You have to know how to compete with players in this space who have a lower average check and are quicker,” Stewart recently said in an interview at NYSE Big Stage.

In a direct response IHOP rolled out three new breakfast sandwiches which are meant to be quick and inexpensive.  Every brand needs to compete and react to direct threats.

One brand advantage is that IHOP is known for a hot breakfast by friendly staff and Stewart plans on keeping that way.  She’s rolled out a franchise inspection system, giving each restaurant a great between A to C.

Any unit that falls into a “C” will have “stricter oversight” until it brings its score up.  “Franchisees have to be committed to raising the bar as well,” Stewart says. “I can’t control gas prices or unemployment. Let’s focus on what we can control — that the food is hot, the table isn’t sticky and the service is friendly.”

A brand is really just a promise, a promise that each and every time you reach for that toothpaste or walk into a restaurant you are going to get the same thing.  That means if you have a bad experience at one IHOP your feeling for the others will change as would your bad experience with the toothpaste.

Reinvigorating a brand does not mean that you have throw out everything and this is a perfect example of what you can and should do.  Building on these and other changes, CEO Stewart has been able to raise the net income for the company up 70%.

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Learn what it is that your brand doses well and make sure that continues and even try to improve it.  A forty year old restaurant has built brand equity and if it’s good you don’t want to mess with that but what you do want to do is to bring it up to date.

Let’s face it, we’re different people then were forty years ago and that may mean you need to update your brand to better fit people of today.

We’ve quoted a great recent article from the Big Stage: From NYSE.  We highly suggest that if you check it out, click here.

As always, thank you for reading and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions for future posts or blogs, let us know by leaving a comment below.

keeping your brand massage

Keeping your Brand Intact – Don’t Dilute Your Brand Message

Keep Your Brand Message Intact

keeping your brand massageThis past weekend the Killer Panda team got to talking about how important it is to keep a consistent brand message and the trouble you can get into when you start to dilute your brand.

What got this conversation rolling was some of the Brand Development Team went down to San Diego for the Dodgers vs. Padres game this past weekend.  While walking around and walking through the official Padres shop we couldn’t help but notice the amazing amount of different logos and even team colors the Padres have gone through in the last few years and this got us talking about diluting a brand message.Diluting your brand message

We also noticed that so many people were wearing the team’s original colors of brown and gold.  To compound the problem, in the official store they were selling just about every variation of the 10 different logo’s and colors since the founding of the team in 1969.

The brand was all over the place!

Looking into the crowds during the game, we had no idea what team was playing.  People were wearing brown and gold, blue and gold, or blue and white.  At another glance, we noticed that people were wearing a disproportionate amount of the original colors the gold and brown.

Keeping your brand message intactThis is what got us talking about diluting down a brand message.  Abe Lincoln once said, if you try to be everything to everybody, you’ll end up being nothing to no one.

What I believe happened with the Padres and what every business should consider, is every few years they were changing their logo and color and launching their uniforms and the sports gear.  After several changes people stopped buying into the new brand and just starting buying what colors they liked the best.

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What you end up with is this hodgepodge of colors and logos and people are all over the place.  It’s like the Italian restaurant that wasn’t doing so good and thought they would jump on the sushi craze and add that to the menu.  Then Mexican gets big and they add Mexican to the menu and instead of targeting what they’re good at and what people want, they’re all over the place and don’t do anything right and people stop coming.

People vote on your brand logoFocus your brand on your core goals and mission, don’t get sidetracked or start diluting your brand thinking that this will attract more people.  This is one more amazing reason why EVERY business needs a business plan.  Without this plan or Brand Road Map, you’re just going to take your eyes of your goals and not make anyone happy.

Can you think of any examples of diluting a brand or do you have any questions about brand dilution?  If so, we’d love to hear about it, post your thoughts or questions below.

We’d also love to hear any questions about brands that you may want answered in an upcoming blog or even any brand blog topics.  Thanks for reading!

how to develop a cool brand name for my business

Naming Your IT Company

cool name for an IT brandHow to Name Your IT Company

If you’re starting an IT Company you know the unique challenges when it comes down to naming your brand.  An IT Company needs a brand name that will not only convey what it is their company does but it also needs to tell people that your particular company is ahead of the curve and is always up on the latest technology.  Your brand needs to sound forward thinking and planning for the future.

We know, it’s quite a tall order but don’t worry, that’s where Killer Panda comes in!

The Killer Panda team has two great resources for anyone looking to name their IT Company.  The first of these resources is a great article put together by our Research and Development Team.  They have pull some great information from multiple sources about, what are exactly, the key characteristics of a great IT Company name.

These are characteristics, for example, are taking potential future expansion into account, length of the company name, cadence and sound of the company name, what makes a company name sound fresh and forward thinking and much more.

We highly suggest that you check this article out.  To read the How to Create a Great IT Company Name buy just following this link.  We know it will be a great resource.

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Our second resource designed to help an IT Company develop a great brand is our Technology and eCommerce Category.  Here you’ll find over a hundred company names that we have specifically designed to have maximum impact for an IT Company.

These are names our Research and Development Team, has created based on the guidelines which you can see in the above mentioned article.  All of these brand names are shore, clear, forward thinking and sounding and are loaded with potential for an amazingly successful IT Brand.

Even if you decide that you want to develop your own brand name yourself, we highly suggest that you take a look at the names in this category so that you can get a feel or an idea of what a great IT Company Brand Name looks and feels like.

Use Killer Panda and the Killer Panda Research and Development Team as a guide to developing a great IT Brand and Company Name.  Please let us know if you have any questions about this subject or any other subject by posting it below or dropping us a line from our Contact Us Page.