Brand Identity: What’s in a Name?

Brand Identity: What’s in a Name?

By Thad Mantaro, Public Relations Manager

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” argues Juliet. And in doing so, she makes the assertion that names matter less than the point of reference. Her question arises in the context of one of the greatest plays in history, and also carries through to the present day in the battle for market share. What does a name matter?

Young lovers aside, most of us would argue that names matter. Words have power and although, like Juliet, we too know many things and people that transcend the names given them–we all know something we would safeguard—our own good name, the names of brands we trust, the name of our child. All have significance. Think of Daniel Day-Lewis as John Proctor in the Crucible—“Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies!” Of course, words and names matter.

It’s a slight stretch, but the Toastmasters name matters as well. And the word name is in many ways shorthand for the “brand.” As Public Relations Manager it’s my responsibility to remind us all of the power of our name, to draw attention to its power, and to those that the name and brand serve.

When we use the name “Toastmasters,” we engage in a relationship with the brand. For some, the concept of a brand is foreign. When innumerable songs contain a sample of another song, and rip-offs common, it’s become cliché to derive or draw upon the ideas of another.

But the Toastmasters brand stands for quality and it’s an emblem for those who remain as members; one they value and love. I would venture no one would trade their club’s name for another, nor would we feel an affinity and fidelity to the name of the organization that was forgettable. It’s our club, our district, our organization.

Branding guidelines ensure that the power of the brand remains consistent across communications. Think Google, Coca-Cola, Star Wars. Each is a brand that delivers quality. Toastmasters, too, promises a form of quality in terms of the programs and services it provides. It too offers a promise of quality in terms of the relationships that result.

There’s much to be said about the standards for maintaining the Toastmasters brand, and that’s more expansive than can be covered in this post. The best source for information on brand can be found here, and any time our club or Toastmasters event is publicized, I’d ask you to remember to consider the Toastmasters brand. For without that, we may confuse, like Juliet, that although there may have been many Romeos in Verona, there was but one she truly loved.