As much as our society is wishing to get back to normal during the COVID-19 pandemic, crises like these tend to redefine what “normal” is. Consumer attitudes and habits are changing — in some ways permanently — and businesses need to adapt.
Many companies have been shifting branding strategies on the fly, some more nimbly than others. The distinction between brands that are merely hoping to make it to the other side of this in one piece and brands that see an opportunity for innovation is becoming clearer as the crisis unfolds. The change has happened at a breakneck pace, and many things are still up in the air. But as the dust starts to settle, we’re beginning to get a feel for how consumer habits are evolving and which brand attributes they may favor for the foreseeable future.
Why Rename Your Company, Brand, Product, or Service?
Acclimating to change can be hard. At NameStormers, we understand that. New clients have come to us to change their company or product names for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with simply not liking it anymore. It’s frustrating to discard a name, scrap a killer marketing campaign, hit pause on an exciting new product, or adapt your services to make them what consumers need now instead of what they wanted before.
Rather than dwell on what could have been, look to the horizon: old habits have been disrupted and destroyed, and brands now have a chance to play a role in building new ones. It’s time to focus on keeping your company, product, or service relevant to brand naming and messaging that reflects the new normal — without risking becoming passé in the future.
With all this in mind, let’s talk about what your target now wants a name to convey. Pandemic-era consumers want names that:
- Are focused on purpose. Right now, people are favoring brands that display compassion and a willingness to serve. Good deeds are more important than ever, and many consumers are focused on what’s good for society at large rather than what’s good for the individual. Above all, they’re looking for brands that show awareness of the crisis without coming across as self-serving or tone-deaf.
- Convey trustworthiness. People are anxious, not just because of the physical and financial danger the virus represents, but also because change is frightening. American consumers aren’t currently interested in taking risks or investing in unproven fads. Instead, they’re saving money and racking up less credit card debt. They want trusted products and services. Names that are grounded are generally more likely to succeed in this environment than names that are leading-edge.
- Are simple. At the moment, people don’t have a lot of mental bandwidth to give to brands, so they favor names that are short and easy to type rather than ones that result in long, exhausting hashtags or are hard to remember. Simple branding is conducive to a successful online presence.
- Are empowering. Brands that are optimistic without being flippant are resonating with consumers right now. Collectively, we have all lost our sense of control, and thus we really want to feel that we can take charge of fate, even in small ways. Names should speak to the desire to become self-reliant and make the best of a new situation.
- Reinvent connection. No matter the challenge, humans find a way to stay in touch. We are social creatures by nature, and though we may be forced to abandon some old interpersonal habits, many are simply changing form. Is your brand leaning into the old social etiquette or the new?
More Brand Naming Ideas
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to updating your branding efforts to suit evolving consumer preferences, here are a few suggestions to get the ideas flowing.
- Create new services or emphasize different ones. Leaning into consumer attitudes may not even mean changing your company name or revolutionizing your brand. It could mean creating a new service or placing emphasis on an attribute your brand already possesses. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, for example, started a new on-demand streaming service that allows customers to buy or rent only the movies they want to watch as opposed to paying a monthly subscription.
- Start a loyalty program. Saving and spending habits are changing, and people are becoming frugal. You may be tempted to launch new products, new menu items, or new promotions in order to lure people in, but those are not necessarily the incentives that work right now. People want to feel that they’re being rewarded for their loyalty in a time when they could have turned their backs on even their favorite brands to save money.
- Don’t center too much on the crisis. Yes, consumers want brands to demonstrate awareness of the crisis as opposed to blissful ignorance. Yes, people want sensitivity and empowerment. But the pandemic is going to end at some point, and if you hang your hat on it without planning for what comes next, you run the risk of becoming outdated. Don’t paint yourself into a corner.
Why Work with NameStormers?
There are many reasons why brands big and small have trusted NameStormers with their company naming and product naming projects. We are thorough, fast, and focused. Our seven-step process leaves no stone unturned. We’re so confident in our ability to create a name that fits your brand that we’ll repeat our process as many times as it takes for you to settle on one that you love — without charging you a penny more.
Contact us today to talk about your changing needs as a brand and how NameStormers can help you embrace change in a way that works for you.