Successful marketing – particularly when high visibility branding and campaign naming is involved — requires doing your homework. One of the most important homework assignments” is research into all aspects of a name and its ramifications — without which you will likely run into PR problems. . For example, last year Netflix learned the hard way after choosing “Qwikster” as the name of its spin-off company. Qwikster turned out to be the twitter handle of a teenage boy who had been posted embarrassing tweets — a far cry from the image Netflix was trying to portray.
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Now we have a Nike example to learn from.
This month Nike apologized for naming a shoe after a well-known American drink – Black and Tan. Their aim: make the connection between the drink and St. Patrick’s Day. It just so happened that the name also refers to a violent paramilitary group that massacred civilians during the Irish Revolution in 1920.
Names carry a lot of weight these days – in part because of the internet where what you say can live forever. At CommCore we encourage clients to do their due diligence carefully by researching all aspects of the marketing and branding strategy beforehand. Choices on names and campaigns should be in line with the company’s brand message, mission and values.
It’s also important do have a system of checks and balances. Marketing ideas should be vetted across the multiple disciplines including PR and Crisis Management; more eyes to see any red flags. Otherwise, you may be unnecessarily putting your company’s brand reputation at stake.
What precautions does your company use to protect its reputation during the “creative” process?