Verbify Your Innovative Brands

October 3, 2016   |   by Chris Kalaboukis

VerbifyA clever and effective way to name an innovative brand is to use an existing verb. Verbs by their very nature are action oriented, so it’s a great way to create a sense of activity and movement for your brand. But even more powerful is when your brand creates a new meaning and becomes the verb itself. In marketing, we call it verbifying a brand.

Let’s look at some examples. Consider the two most popular search engines, Google and Bing. Google has become a great brand name because people use it as a verb. How many times have you said, “Hold on, let me Google that.” You probably don’t hear anyone saying, “Let me Bing that.” Associating the name with the activity may be why people prefer to search the Internet with Google. Skype is another great example of a brand that has been turned into a verb.

It’s not just technology brands that can be verbified. The Segway is the name of a transportation device, and it is also the activity when using the device - we go Segwaying. Same with Rollerblading or Swiffering.

To get consumers using your brand as a verb, you’ve got to create the new vocabulary and explain what it means. For example, take the brand name and add the letters, i-n-g to it. Then, use this new term in your marketing communications, perhaps showing people actively doing the thing associated with this new verb. The key is to socialize this new term, so begin to use the term in your social media marketing. Once consumers start using it with other consumers, the verbifying will take off.

The other way to use verb names is to take an existing verb related to what your brand does. The iPod Shuffle is a clever name because the verb, shuffle, directly implies what the MP3 player does - it plays songs randomly. Another example: Bounce Dryer Sheets is clever because it creates an image in your mind of the product bouncing around in your dryer along with your clothes.

To create a brand name out of an existing verb, first look closely at your core brand promise. What are the benefits associated with the brand? Then, look at the action steps that consumers take to use the brand and realize those benefits. Also look at any actions that the product does itself. Find a verb that describes what the consumer or the product itself are doing. These become great candidates for your new brand name.

Great brand names help consumers understand your brand. Putting the innovative brand name into people’s lives as a verb is a powerful way to make people more loyal.