Staying true to your brand: From choosing a color to a thought-provoking design

How Starbucks & Google made themselves memorable through their unique names and trademarks.
by
Legal
October 02 | 4 min

If coming up with a business name and a trademark was as easy as naming your pet, then we’d have an interesting spectrum of industry tycoons, like Garfield — a food delivery app for authentic Italian lasagna — or Scooby-Doo — an e-commerce platform that provides you a wide selection of doggy treats for your crime-busting canine. But who would take you seriously? The name of your company is the first thing that your consumers will see; to make a good first impression with a fitting business name and trademark, here are some brands who act as the perfect example for relevance and success in labeling their companies:

Spilling the Coffee Beans on Branding
Starbucks, the caffeine emporium that fuels full-time insomniacs and corporate hustlers, has leveraged the stereotyping game. Coffee shops have almost always been a default refuge for the stressed-out people who long for the serene atmosphere that it provides — the sound of steam from an espresso machine, the scent of brewing coffee beans, and the warm lighting throughout the atmosphere. These essential concepts which compose our coffee shop stereotypes are echoed by the Starbucks brand through all of its visual marketing efforts.

To the unfamiliar, the name “Starbucks” is taken from the word “Starbuck,” which was the calm first mate of the Pequod, the whaling ship from the Melville classic Moby Dick. To further the relaxing narrative, the brand doesn’t end with the fitting literary reference, but continues on with its trademark, which is a twin-tailed mermaid. With her open arms and alluring expression, she seems to say, “Come in. We have expensive but delicious coffee.” To tie it all together, Starbucks uses color coding to increase brand recognition by producing its stirrers, straws, and logos with a calming shade of green.

All Hail the Golden Arches
A lot could be learned from McDonald’s, however you interpret the logo, it’ll always be the northern star that inches you closer to your cravings. Known for its eye-catching Golden Arches —the 25-foot high glowing ‘M’—the fast food chain’s trademark keeps close to the business’ visual identity — casual, no-fuss, Americana. It speaks through and through to its chosen consumers: the masses. It is because of this adherence to the general marketing rule of coherence with its target market that the brand has chosen a simple, yet creative, trademark to represent them.

A Simple Answer to Any Question You Can Ask
With such a distinct name, the search engine Google has no issues with brand retention. What was originally supposed to be called BackRub, since it functions by searching through back links, the company that boasts a $100-billion revenue from the last fiscal year made sure that its name was something the digital audience wouldn’t have a problem typing in their browser’s search bar.

The search engine’s one-of-a-kind name is so used by the digital world that it even found its way into the pages of the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a verb — just “google” it! There’s a certain rhythm to saying the word “Google,” and it also helps that any self-respecting smartphone, laptop, or desktop owner intuitively keys in the easy five-letter word more than a thousand times for every inquiry they come across in their mundane lives.

Back when a good business name and trademark weren’t as hard to come by, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Google focused on staying true to who they are as a brand. It always works to have a trademark that’s as definitive and enduring as the peaceful mermaid of the Starbucks logo, as uncomplicated and thought-provoking as the Golden Arches of McDonald’s, and as catchy and unique as “Google.” Having your brand name and trademark aligned to your identity as a business is never accidental or coincidental. It always pays to have a clear voice to communicate to your audience, so that they understand what it is you want them to expect from you.

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