No name, no brand. Trapped by the name (MQB vs. MQB)

A challenge – almost a feat – that a single word must accomplish. The name is something irreversible that simply cannot be done wrong because, not only our own brand but also our own reputation is at stake, before the eyes of all the interest groups. Its strategic role is therefore key and out of debate. The requirements that brand positionings have to meet, the necessary linguistic and cultural security and also the legal availability are key elements in order to guarantee a safe and consistent solution that will lead us to a commercial success in a market that is gradually becoming more global, competitive and exposed.

Besides, it is important to point out that the name should intuitively indicate the brand’s field of action, so as to avoid different interpretations or confusion. If that is difficult for a name, even more for an acronym! (a name formed by initial letters, with or without meaning, such as for example Dona Karan, DKNY).

All this is pertinent in reference to the successful TV programme “MQB” which, in their first season in TV1 Channel, was born as a dancing contest under the name “Mira quién baila” (Look who’s dancing), where MQB was clear and explicit. In their second season in Telecinco, the channel ignored the brand’s legal availability and if they wanted to keep on using the original acronym they had to translate it into words. The chosen name was “Más que baile” (also MQB, but now meaning More than dancing), which unfortunately implies ambiguity in its interpretation: it is now not merely a dancing contest, if it is more than dancing from now on, so it could be about popularity, which jeopardizes the technical opinion of a jury formed by acknowledged professional dancers (Víctor Ullate or Joana Subirana, for example). Is it dancing or is it more than dancing? And if it actually is more than dancing, what happens with the well-known dancers whose performance is to be assessed by using dancing criteria? Could the programme managers make a change of direction and question their credibility about what is or is not valued? What solution is Telecinco going to adopt?

The solution was to give two prizes: one to the most voted contestant by the audience – popularity- and then the prize of the jury, given to the contestant who had really proved their art, technique and competence.

This is an example of the essential importance of making the right choice of a brand’s name, which may trap or distort, via an acronym, their own philosophy by misleading the audience. Something a good name should avoid.

Francesc Arquimbau.
Manager of Nombra (Coleman CBX)

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