If you didn't grow up in a cave you know that the "Home of the Whopper" is Burger King. Home of the Whopper is a marketing moniker - a nickname created by Burger King. A moniker, if created and used properly, can be a great branding tool. Branding is simply the identity that your customers associate with you.
If I say "Rover" or "man's best friend" - most people will know that I am talking about a dog.
My client who owns a garage is branding their shop as, "Home of the 9.99 oil change." This is great because it builds a main offer or benefit into their identity. Top notch Internet marketer Joe Vitale refers to himself as "Mr. Fire". This is a fairly good moniker because it gives you a real sense of his dynamic business identity.
Using a good moniker creates an association in the mind of your customers. When one of my client's prospects thinks of where he can get an inexpensive oil change - it's easier for the brain to make that leap. When Burger King shows a commercial on TV with that whopper going through the flames, I get hungry and instantly the brain associates it with BK.
The human brain works by making associations. We are association machines. Try to hold the word "animal" in your mind without getting a picture of some kind of animal popping in. Go ahead try it... Even if the picture or pictures weren't that clear - it's really hard to keep them out isn't it? Try to hold the name David in mind without picturing somebody you know named David. I just tried and David Letterman's gap-toothed smile kept popping into my head.
A moniker - like a slogan, is a shortcut to building an association in the brains of your customers. If you are going to use one - make sure it's a good one. What makes a good moniker:
- It must be very short - 7 words or less is a good rule of thumb.
- It must make the right type of association. Volvo's thing is safety. They should not use a moniker like "the car that won't get you killed." The brain doesn't picture NOT getting killed, it can only think of getting killed. Unconsciously a moniker like this would build fear in many customers. Think positive.
- It should fit your brand and your identity. Don't be cute if the rest of your branding isn't cute. Don't be too serious if your branding is whimsical.
- The best monikers associate a benefit, feature, or offer. Think "Home of the_____"
A customer service consultant I met recently goes by the moniker, "The Angry Customer Guy". This is great! His moniker describes the problem he helps his clients solve. Who do you call when you're losing business because your customers are angry?
Think about using a moniker instead of a tag-line or slogan in your small business marketing. Build profitable associations in your customer's brains.
J D Moore - Marketing Comet