Dear Friends,In July we conducted Interbrand’s first annual “Name Game ” survey to find out what trends marketers see forbrand names in this post 9/11, ethically-challenged business environment. In short, they said, names will get real,but naming will get tougher.• 19% say that “coined,” or fabricated names will remain popular;• 9% see a trend toward adopting names that had been part of a company’s heritage;• 57% see a trend toward more “real ” names —either singular or compound words (e.g. Apple, jetBlue, Tide)However, trademark and cultural challenges, which are already problematic, will only increase should this trendcontinue. Of our 218 respondents, 75 percent are directly involved in naming projects, and most use consultantsfor their projects, citing that they improve the quality possible names and facilitate overcoming and/or eliminatingtrademark barriers. (In the English language alone, there are more than six million words and virtually all of themare registered.)The survey also showed us that marketers understand their customers, and what their customers want noware honesty and integrity in branding. And, one of the best ways to communicate sincere values is through theuse of brand names that are more accessible and meaningful to their customers.In Interbrand’s view, branding doesn’t start with a product, service, or business. The evolution of a brand starts asa concept formed in the minds of customers. But it’s a concept that’s based on a series of very tangibleinteractions and impressions that are experienced by your customers. A brand’s name is that first impression.And, we all know how crucial first impressions are. Names are the first public act of branding,and can be assetsof enormous value. Through their meaning and sound, names project the personality of a product, service orcompany and should communicate to customers the quality and integrity of what they represent.The “Name Game ” also asked participants whether they knew the derivations of some popular brand names--Stolichnaya, Rolex and Starbucks. This part of the survey underscored that the relevance and value of a namecomes more from its perceived authenticity, rather than from a literal understanding of the word. As is the casewith these well-managed brands, the authenticity of the name and the brand are intertwined, creating anexperience for customers that communicates the brand’s values.We hope you find the results as revealing as we did. Incidentally, all those who participated received a copy of Interbrand’s “10 Most Common Naming Mistakes.” If you would like a copy, please call us at 212-798-7513.Julie CottineauManaging Director, NamingInterbrand Corp.