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Some branding pundits argue that “masterbranding” is where it is at today.  That is, instead of developing new names for your major new offerings, just extend your existing brand name and leverage all of those brand building dollars that you have invested over the years.

While the masterbrand strategy has increased in popularity, it is certainly not a cure-all and often creates more problems than it solves.  Why you ask?  Because it ignores one of the fundamental laws of brand naming: “the strength of your brand name is inversely proportional to its scope.” Or said another way, the wider variety of  stuff you plaster your brand name on, the more you dilute it, the less control you have over it and the less clarity and focus it has in the marketplace.

But instead of taking you through examples of masterbrand strategies that are ridiculous (and there are countless examples), let’s talk about a company that got it right with a rifle-shot, focused brand name. Cerqa, a division of Nationwide Graphics, needed a name for a new web-based printing business they were launching.  Instead of trying to extend Cerqa or Nationwide Graphics, they decided they needed something that directly supported their core brand proposition. And they were able to coalesce that brand proposition down to one word: “simplicity.”  That is, they wanted to offer the simplest, most convenient way to get all kinds of things printed … quickly and easily, without the many hassles traditionally associated with print jobs.

We met with some of their key team members in their offices and, after a couple rounds of creative, helped them select a name and tagline … “Snapio: Printing Made Easy.”  The Snapio name was short and punchy, directly related to simplicity and convenience, and when coupled with our tagline suggestion, directly conveyed the essence of their brand.  We also owned the dot-com and transferred it to them at no additional fee.  So, for a total cost of less than $12,000, they ended up with a name, tag line and ready made dot-com.  Ask yourself, would they have been better off implementing a masterbrand strategy by extending Cerqa or Nationwide Graphics, or do you think: “Snapio … Printing Made Easy” might serve them better?

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