The other day I read this fascinating post courtesy of my old Ogilvy colleague Matthew Leem. It got me thinking:
Novelist Vladimir Nabokov was fully fluent in English and Russian. He wrote his memoir first in English, and while translating it into into Russian, he recalled a lot of things that he did not remember when he was writing it in English, and so in essence it became a somewhat different book
Interesting no? And how does this apply to brands? If brands are a type of ‘memory shortcut’ for a more complex organisation, group or company, what different senses and connections can we employ to ensure a quicker, more effective recall?
On a language level, we are seeing more creativity in the language of brands. From a naming point-of-view, pretty much every ‘standard’ name has been trademarked in some category, somewhere. Branding agencies and clients are being forced to generate new words to carve out their own distinct space – like KuDeTat, the club in Singapore (a phonetic version of the French ‘coup d’etat’ or ‘government takeover’).
Or they are taking the vocabulary from one ‘meaning set’ and are applying to another, unrelated category to create a verbal dissonance – like London Edition (a hotel which is using magazine lexicon to offer it’s own unique brand of fashion-meets-hotel). It’s a kind of linguistic synesthesia (crossing of the senses) – and it’s a great technique we use here at GA Brand Design on naming projects to ensure we find new, fresh naming conventions.
With an increasingly crowded marketplace – in all sectors – and an abundance of media channels & social media that are now proliferating supposedly targeted advertisements – all combined with a trademark database that covers pretty much all existing ‘standard’ words, the onus is on brands as never before to carve a unique space through their linguistic and multi-sensory brand creation. A process that here at GA Brand Design we believe should start at the EXPERIENCE and work out to the communications, not vice versa.