Strategy & Marketing

The Power – and Value – of a Good Name

At the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, Racebrook Marketing Concepts held a “Brand Name Auction.”  Essentially, they sold names.  That’s right – no companies, no stock, no brick and mortar – only names.  They’re names that millions recognize, but the companies they used to represent are now out of business.

Names like General Cinema, Handi-Wrap, Lucky Whip, General Instrument, Braniff International, Infoseek, Victrola, and many more.  They auctioned them off, because even after all these years, these names still have brand equity.  They conjure up feelings, emotions, and memories for millions of people, and as a result, they have value – in fact, some have a great deal of value.

It reminds me of the immortal quote from  John Stuart, Former Chairman of the Quaker Oats Corporation: “If the business were split up, I would take the brands, trademarks, and goodwill, and you could have all the bricks and mortar – and I would do better than you.”

The question is – what’s the value of your company, organization, church, non-profit, or project’s name?  Forget how cool your building is, or how great your product, or how creative your team.  Think about the value of the name.  Is it so powerful, and does it represent so much goodwill that long after your organization is gone, people would still be willing to pay for the name?

That’s an important question to ask from time to time.  Any good answers out there?

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