chauke-1jpg

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: What's in a name?

So there I was on SA374 back to Johustleburg after a really inspiring weekend at the majestic and truly breathtaking Zeitzmocaa in Cape Town. The charming air hostess walked towards my seat and said… “Excuse me, sir! What exactly do you do?” I was lost for a bit but then I was quite keen to understand where exactly she was going?

Then she proceeded to say… “As I was going through the passenger list, I saw your name and it was so familiar. I couldn’t quite point where I know the name from, so I thought to ask because the name sounds like someone I should know” I was sweet-talked! Sylvester Chauke conjured certain images I guess and this was a good example that there is strength in a name.

This got me thinking… Most often the first piece of information we have about a person is their name. It’s the first thing we learn about someone and then create a vibe or judgements about those people expediently. So the first piece of information is especially important. It can lean you in a positive or a negative direction. And those first impressions can set the stage for future interactions.

Example… Bell Pottinger, Nelson Mandela, Pieter Dirk Uys, Lucas Radebe, Adolf Hitler, Basetsana Kumalo, Donald Trump, Madonna.

It is vital in brand building to think of names that conjure certain images to the consumer. Often in my line of work, I meet new brands with names that miss the mark, that could be better. This is because many times, we do not place enough time and effort in the naming of the product like we do to the product itself.

Yes, there are brands that got it right – Apple for an example says… we think different! There are names that immediately evoke meaning and trust: Google, VISA, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Amazon.com, Disney, Starbucks, FedEx, Red Bull, LinkedIn, Shell, Nando’s, DNA Brand Architects (winks). A brilliant name sets the stage for any brand. That’s why naming your brand is so important.

The brand naming process isn’t something one leaves to a council or a few sessions over drinks with your agency. Naming your brand — whether it’s your company, products, or services is a decision that can shape the future and trajectory of your brand. Granted, a lot of the mentioned names (excl. DNA Brand Architects) have been in operation for many decades and have spent billions on advertising to build their brand equity.

So if you are reading this and are thinking of a brand name… pause… think long and hard and remember, this is an important step! The importance of naming our brands, our projects, our businesses cannot be underestimated. Let it not be a quick tittle but rather may it be filled with depth and may the name manifest into the kind of brand that consumers want to connect with. On the African continent particularly, we have such colour and energy that we can afford to be a lot more fun.

Oh, I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining a positive sentiment around the brand because as we have seen lately and as has history taught us, there are some misfortunes that happens with our names too. Try this test Bell Pottinger, Adolf Hitler, Robert Mugabe, Donald Trump – don’t get me started. What’s in a name huh? A lot!

Sylvester Chauke is an award-winning entrepreneur and cascader of the Stand Against Bland movement in marketing amongst other fun things. He is founder and Chief Architect of DNA Brand Architects, sits on the Advisory council for WEF Global Shapers and is a Board Member of the South African State Theatre.

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Sylvester Chauke Opinion: A new world order in advertising

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: A new world order in advertising

Brand strategist Sylvester Chauke says there is a real need for brands to review how they do things as society twists and turns.

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: The miseducation of Twitter-ville

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: The miseducation of Twitter-ville

Award-winning entrepreneur and brand architect Sylvester Chauke says not every tweet is actually worthy of our energy.

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: When race stands in the way of great ideas

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: When race stands in the way of great ideas

There's an underlying tone in brand communication that speaks to a lack of integration and a “racial tension”, says Chauke.

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: The Likes Economy

Sylvester Chauke Opinion: The Likes Economy

Marketing guru Sylvester Chauke weighs in on the global obsession with accumulating masses of 'likes' on your social media posts.

Top 10 #FridayStandIn hosts and fun moments

Top 10 #FridayStandIn hosts and fun moments

We've been featuring interesting personalities as guest presenters on the Redi Tlhabi show. It's time to recount some key moments

Popular articles
Are you eating good fish or bad fish?

Are you eating good fish or bad fish?

Author of Eat-Ting, Anna Trapido talks to #WeekendBreakfast host Phemelo Motene about the SASSI coded fish system.

[LISTEN] Five, grade five learners caught drinking alcohol at school

[LISTEN] Five, grade five learners caught drinking alcohol at school

Dr Sue Goldstein, Director at the Soul City Institute for Social Justice chats about parents drinking booze in front of children.

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Low sex drive is common and non-sexual relationships can also be fulfilling, explains clinical sexologist Dr Eve.

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Geoffrey Matovu filed for divorce in the Family Division of the High Court accusing Ms Tryphena Nakiyingi of being disrespectful.

Jerome Booysen of Sexy Boy's life could be under threat

Jerome Booysen of Sexy Boy's life could be under threat

A fight broke at a hospital where Booysen was admitted and it is believed Booysen was the target of the scuffle.

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Stuff magazine’s Toby Shapshak.

Going to be hard to look the other way - Steven Powell on FBI probing Guptas

Going to be hard to look the other way - Steven Powell on FBI probing Guptas

Bruce Whitfield interviews Peter Hain (Wits Business School) and Steven Powell (Director in Forensics at ENS Africa).

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

Nkosinathi Nkomo came up with a system that could turn grey water into usable water amidst the Cape Town water crisis.