BrandIQ | 11 Rules For Naming Your Brand

Does your brand name ring a bell? What message does it convey? These are some questions to ask when assessing a name. When naming your brand, there are really no hard and fast rules. A brand may be named after the founder as in the case of Dell, Ford and Dangote or after a geographic location just like Eko Hotels and Suites or Bank of America. You can name your brand after countries, for example Nigerian Breweries and American International Group or even after its operational definition. University Press is an example of a brand named after its operational definition.

Although the decision is yours to make, there are certain “christening” rules that should guide you.


“First” is a common example of such words. Today there are a lot of brands that have “First” in their names.


Never give your brand a name without thinking through. You don’t want to end up with a name that is unpleasant to consumers.


Using shock strategy may grab attention but shocking brand names can also backfire. French Connection UK, FCUK as originally spelt, initially had this problem.


Consider the environment in which your brand operates. This matters as certain cultures may not accept some names. Find out if your brand name will be accepted in your area of operations.


A name can mean different things to different people. If you intend to operate beyond your immediate environment, you will need to consider what your brand name means in your target countries or across different cultures.


Don’t copy names of other brands especially well known brands. It is wrong to do so. You may get away with it when you are not well known but the moment you become successful, you could have a law suit on your hands.


Not every name can be a brand name. While there is no harm in naming your brand after yourself, don’t do so unless your name has “brand quality”. Also, stay away from native names that are difficult to pronounce.


Naming your brand is serious business. Don’t fool around with your brand name. For example Common Sense Limited is not a good name because it says nothing about your brand.


Religion is a sensitive issue therefore there is a need to be careful about names with heavy religious implication. You do not want to put off people with a different faith unless it is a religious brand.


Check for the availability of your name as a domain on the internet. Since most internet names have email extensions, you should consider limitations you will face if your domain name registration presents difficult options.


Consider how your brand name sounds particularly over the phone. You don’t want people making faces each time you mention your brand.

In conclusion, a name says a lot about your brand and can be the deciding factor between customer attraction and repulsion. Choose wisely.

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BRANDIQ | 7 Ways to Create Brand Differentiation

Ever been hit by confusion in a store over the sheer amount of choices before you? Confusion sets in because you have no clear preference or can’t distinguish between available products. This daily task of choice can be a burden for the consumer. So, as you develop your business, a key question to ask is “what will distinguish my product or service from those of competitors? What will make it different?”


Brand differentiation is an organic factor in branding. Besides the quality of your products, it provides another layer of value. There are 7 ways to create brand differentiation; what we call the Brand Septagon.


brand septagon








The Brand Septagon

Uncommoditise your product or service

Starbucks Coffeee







Product commoditisation occurs when your profit margins are so thin, you must sell volumes to break even. Competing products abound and the customer has no particular reason to buy your products. An example of a company that successfully uncomoditised a popular product is Starbucks.

Starbucks, the largest coffeehouse in the world and leading retailer of specialty coffee revolutionised the product by creating the distinctive Starbucks experience. Some people go there to be alone with their thoughts or be together with their friends or listen to incredible music. Starbucks is more than just a coffee place.

Create corporate distinction







To create corporate distinction, ensure your organisation is known for a particular area of speciality. An example is Google’s global dominance in Internet search. The organisation distinguished itself through search quality and innovation. A remarkable feat is the adaption of the word ‘Google’ as a verb which has earned a place in the dictionary. Google continues to set the pace with new inventions like Google Glass.

Celebrate your customers









A secret to attracting and retaining customers is to make them feel special, different and appreciated. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) connects its advertising campaign to international celebrities who regularly stay at the hotel and consider themselves fans. Fans include Kevin Spacey, Christian Louboutin and Jane Seymour. Mandarin Oriental donates $10,000 to any charity the fan chooses.

Retain your customers

200px-Virgin.svg (1)







You must ensure that customers don’t leave unexpectedly. Make exit difficult by tying them in through loyalty schemes or points. For example, in an attempt to penetrate the American market, Virgin America offered a free round-trip ticket to any location in America after four paid round-trips.

 Make it easy for customers to compare the advantage of one product over another










Share your price advantage or new product features on your website. For example, the world’s largest retailer, Amazon sells electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and other consumer products.  It makes price comparison between vendors easy.

 Make it hard for new competitors to access your market









Raise the competition bar through promotion of excellent standards, innovation or value added items. This makes it difficult for competitors to penetrate your market or steal market share. An example is Microsoft Office. Microsoft offers a full bundle of useful products to customers at an unbeatable price. Consumers love the offer and competitors find it difficult to match the breadth of offerings provided in the single package.

 Stoke desire











Change the status of everyday utility products into objects of desire. Nike, one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel elevates sport shoes into must-have items through partnerships with some of the biggest names in professional sports.


Putting the knowledge of the Brand Septagon into practice will help to differentiate your business. Take the time to score your business or product on the 7 parameters.


BrandIQ is a series by Alder Consulting on why you should brand yourself or company.

Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.



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Alder Strategy | Revisualise your Brand

Putting your business on the road map to success requires effort and consistency. Even after defining the corporate essence and raison d’etre of your business, attention should be given to other strategic aspects that will ensure long term focus. An important aspect of a business owner’s branding strategy is the business vision. There are 3 methods you can employ to define your brand vision. One is the Possibility Exploration Approach. It employs the use of your imagination, and helps situate your business in the future. For example, American IT Corporation, HP’s business vision statement is “To view change in the market as an opportunity to grow; to use our profits and our ability to develop and produce innovative products, services and solutions that satisfy emerging customer needs”. hp logo









Another method for crafting your vision statement is Comparative Revisualisation. You think of a successful company in your genre, and tell yourself, “I can be like them…” You parallel your dream to their size, scope, depth, reach and character or flavour. Just like Stanford University whose vision statement is “Become the Harvard of the West”.

Stanford University logo




Another approach to envisioning is the Introspective Approach.  This method requires a great deal of visual introspection and meditation. When married together with biographical and aspirational fragments, it yields a high level of potency. You can read up stories on great brands like Apple, Google, Toyota, and Ferrari.






















As you read these stories, idea words and phrases jump at you to stimulate your thinking. As you keep on thinking, a visual character will emerge. As you keep on meditating and exploring the dimensions, the future is made clear, teased as it were from infinity. You then need to put your thoughts down in writing.

As you read about the businesses that interest you, also study the men and women behind these companies. The more biographical the stories are, the more beneficial they are to you in envisioning your corporate future. Ultimately, your business vision is a story being told into the future, starting from now. It is progression and not just a statement.

Here are some lessons to note:

Avoid unrealistic vision projections. Reappraise your vision to suit your changing environment.

Once you’ve achieved a vision, you should review it and set another.

You need to reach into yourself to pull out the vision.


Alder Strategy is a blog on brand strategy for businesses and brand practitioners

Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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The Alder Social Media Report: 5 Volumes of Insight!

Social media in Nigeria just got exciting with the official launch of the Alder Social Media Report, the definitive report on social media in Nigeria. The report comes in 5 volumes: Top Rated Social Media Brands, Social Media & Governance, Social Media & Business, Social Media, Technology & Ethics and Social Media & Culture. Whether as an individual or a corporate organisation, the Alder Social Media Report is a light on our path to going digital with the rest of the world.

The Alder Social Media Report was formally presented at Social Media Week with the theme, Alder Social Media Report: Brands, Trends and Insights. The event held in Lagos from 3pm – 4pm on February 17, 2014. With the hashtag #SMWAlder, the relaxed, informal, participatory gathering had a robust panel of experts.

Leke Alder, Principal of Alder welcomed guests with his keynote address. In the audience were stakeholders from banking, politics, telecoms, entertainment, ICTs, health and fitness, non-profit and others.








Leke Alder, Principal of Alder Consulting

There was a multimedia display of 15 interesting facts about the Alder Social Media Report. Insights include the fact that there are reportedly 48 million Nigerians on Social Media and that Nigerian political parties will spend an estimated N1.3 billion ($7.6M) on Social Media this year alone. Video presentations were made by Morin Oluwole, Business Lead/Chief of Staff to the VP of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook and Japheth Omojuwa, African cyberpreneur, public speaker and columnist.

Subomi Plumptre, Head, Corporate and Social Media Practices detailed the findings from the Alder Social Media Report 2014 and provided tips to overcome common challenges users face online going even further to say that: “With Social Media, you can conduct an entire transaction without setting eyes on your provider.” Nollywood Actress and Brand Ambassador, Kate Henshaw’s shared how her experience with one of the Lagos public transport buses and reporting the incident to officials on Twitter led her to discover how operations in the company worked. She concluded by saying: it’s amazing that a simple tweet helped resolve this issue.” 








Kate Henshaw, Nollywood Actress and Brand Ambassador

Panel discussions and questions from the audience also touched on government and non-profit organisations being dependent on public opinion. Strategic Communications Technical Assistant to the Ekiti State Governor, Rosemary Ajayi noted that: “For the first time in Nigeria’s history, Nigerians can engage with their leaders one-on-one via Social Media. Governments must begin to face the reality that they can no longer leave out digital participation in their governance agenda”. Meanwhile, Nnodim Blossom, founder of BLCompere Ltd and Curator of #AdoptATweep made the clarification that; “Social media negates our cash and carry society and we will willingly share not-for-profit content”.








Cross-section of #SMWAlder Panelists

The highlight of the event was an honour roll call and the presentation of the Alder Top Social Media Brands awards to organisations and individual brands that made the most Social Media impact in Nigeria for the 2014 edition.

The event closed with a commitment by Alder to continue its focus on innovating in the Social Media space locally, with a vision to provide a yearly standardised Social Media report not just for Nigeria, but ultimately, for Africa.

The full list of recipients and 5 volumes of the Alder Social Media Report is available at

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The Amazon Called Social Media

I will like to welcome you all to this Alder Social Media Week event. Glad you could make it and thank you for honouring us.

The social media world is a jungle. There are preys and predators, hyenas, jackals, reptiles, snakes, iguanas… It’s a tough world out there. There are arrows flying all over the place, javelins vectoring, dane guns blazing, in sporadic hiccups.

But there are also civilized settlements in this Amazonian forest of opinions, pictures, video clips, emotions and rantings. There are civilized enclaves of conversations, goodwill, advice, hope, and compassion.

What we’ve tried to do with the Alder Social Media Report, the first of its kind, is to bring some order to this zoological community; to categorise the classes of opinion, interactions and people; to identify the lions and other cats – the great influencers. It’s taken a lot to put together but I’m glad that our effort is very much appreciated judging by the reception of the report.

We have also been able to show the corporate world that social media is not what they think it is. It is not an alternative ungovernable universe where loonies rant and rave and everything goes. Social media is the marketplace of ideas. It is a powerful feedback system. It is the bedrock of innovation, the meeting point of the corporation with the individual customer. Wise corporations have turned social media into vehicles of product testing and customer service. A modern corporation ignores social media at its peril.

The Government being dependent on public opinion has not been left out. There are lessons from the Arab Spring. Politicians never being short of opinions themselves have erected barricades in the social media jungle. Political parties have delineated spaces for agenda development. And you know something is powerful about social media when the Pope creates a Twitter account. @Pontifex is not just a social genuflection to the younger generation, it is the facing of reality. And not just the Pope, the world’s most powerful Head of State, President Obama has a Twitter handle. And he’s posted 11,000 tweets. There is of course the risk of the demystification of the office of the Pontiff, or the office of the President, but the greater risk is lack of accessibility beyond officialdom.

Our creative challenge at Alder Consulting, and this is a gauntlet I’m throwing, is how to better adapt social media to citizenship and neighbourliness. How can we better use social media to organize elections in Nigeria? How can we better use social media to solve a societal malaise like rape? How can we better use social media to promote good? How can we better use social media for security? How can we better use social media to promote causes – like gender equality, literacy, sound education policies, to fight the monster of corruption? How can we better use social media to promote a better image for Nigeria? Can we effectively use social media to fight advance fee fraud, aka 419? Can we use social media to stem the spate of wanton killings masquerading as religious righteousness?

This is a challenge not just for Alder Consulting but for everyone.

I’ll like to seize this opportunity to thank the winners in the maiden Alder Social Media Ranking and Report. From the interactions I see on Twitter and Facebook you may need to work hard to keep your crowns next year.

I want to thank our panelists – the affable media personality Adebola Williams, our wonderful Morin Oluwole of Facebook, the opinion pugilist and conscience of society Japheth Omojuwa, our very own delectable, down to earth social crusader, Kate Henshaw; the very Rosemary Ajayi, the talented Nnodim Blossom, and our cerebral and hardworking Subomi Plumptre of Alder Consulting. Thank you for accepting our invitation.

I also want to thank our partners – Social Media Week, Body Lawson Studios, X-to Pro FX and Thank you for your partnership.

This much I assure you. We will continue to innovate in the social media space. Our vision is not just a social media report for Nigeria, but for East, West, Central and Southern Africa. Our penultima is a standardized social media report for Africa. Our ultimate goal is a global report.

I want to thank everyone once more for honouring us with your presence and listenership. Thank you and God bless.


This keynote address was delivered by Leke Alder, Principal of Alder Consulting at Alder Social Media Week event (#SMWAlder) 2014.

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#AlderSMR Press Release: The Alder Social Media Report and Rankings is finally here!








Lagos, Nigeria

The Alder Social Media Report and Rankings is finally here!

Rankings to be released January 31, 2014 and the full report during Social Media Week in February.

Alder Consulting is set to release the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR), a presentation of Nigeria’s most impactful and innovative social media brands (corporate, government, institutional and personal). This comprehensive report features contributions from experts across the world who analyse the impact of social media and its invaluable contributions to business, politics, governance and culture.

Subomi Plumptre, Executive Committee Member at Alder Consulting and the Head of the Social Media Practice said, “Because of the vastness of the report, it will be released in 2 volumes. The first volume features Nigeria’s top social media brands and will be released on January 31st, 2014. A special brand mark will also be released which can be used by the top ranked brands. The second volume includes all contributory articles and insights for businesses & brands. It will be auspiciously released during Social Media Week, February, 17th – 21st, 2014.  The decision to stagger the release of the report takes into consideration the fact that individuals will like to download the report directly to their mobile devices. Social Media Week will also provide a great platform to discuss the data from the report”.

Topical areas of the report are: Top Social Media Brands in Nigeria; Nigerian Social Media Trends & Insights and Expert Articles by notable African and International contributors including Morin Oluwole (Facebook), 2go, Michelle Corsano Pellettier, Kate Henshaw and many more.

The 2-volume report will be available at on release. For more information, kindly visit


About Alder Consulting

Alder is a creative intelligence company with offices in Lagos and London. We use creativity to expand horizons, realise visions and improve bottom lines.



Alder Consulting. The Creative Intelligence Company

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AlderSMR Conversations: Conversations about Social Media Use and Impact

A Chat with Subomi Plumptre, Member of the Executive Committee at Alder Consulting and Head, Social Media Practice on the Rationale for the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR)

Alder Consulting: Thanks for joining us today on AlderSMR Conversations about Social Media Use.

Subomi Plumptre‏: Lovely to be here.

Alder Consulting: You are Head of Social Media Practice at Alder Consulting. What does this entail?

Subomi Plumptre: Just to be clear, I wear about 4 caps at Alder Consulting. Social Media is one of them. I head the corporate practice and the strategy unit and also serve on the Executive Committee where I oversee knowledge & HR.

In my social media role, I develop social media strategy for clients, oversee implementation and also curate the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR).

Social media is something I am VERY PASSIONATE about. So you could say I volunteered for the role.

Alder Consulting: Tell us about Alder Social Media Report for Nigeria & the rationale behind it.

Subomi Plumptre: At Alder, we’ve always been intrigued by phenomena that shape culture, economies and society. Social Media qualifies.

Subomi Plumptre: We released the 1st Brand Report in Nigeria in 2001, showing how the wealth of nations was powered by commercial brands. Social media has equally revolutionised society, fostering a culture of “nakedness” & access.

Our Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) will track the IMPACT of social media in Nigeria and the main players driving the impact. For example, we will show how social media helps citizens become political campaigners, advocates and journalist.

We’ll showcase how brands are being held to account by customers; how new jobs are being created by bloggers, social media managers and online “activists”.

Alder Consulting: Yes, social media is changing the fortunes of many individuals and brands in Nigeria e.g. #SaveOke and #DanaCrashAction.

Subomi Plumptre: Also, Alder Foundation and Ms. Ifeoma Obinani (Hip Replacement Surgery) is an example of how lives have been saved through crowdsourced donations.

The AlderSMR will also show how elections have become more transparent through citizen monitors armed with mobile phones. All of these form the rationale for the Alder Social Media Report.

Alder Consulting: The Alder Social Media Report features social media articles & analyses as well as a popular ranking. Why a ranking?

Subomi Plumptre:  Why a ranking? Simple. Social media is consumer-led and consumer-driven. Trending topics and memes are driven by consumers. Brands serve CONSUMERS, therefore consumer voices MUST count in determining the top social media brands.

Those are our reasons for including a ranking section in the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR).

Alder Consulting: With public polls open to manipulation, what measures were put in place to prevent this for the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR)?

Subomi Plumptre:  We put in place an IP lock to discourage repeat votes. We also have independent nominations by an expert panel. The report will be presented in 2 sections: popular & expert rankings. 2 perspectives. 1 robust report.

Alder Consulting: Tell us a little bit about who’s on the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) independent panel & how it works.

Subomi Plumptre‏: The Expert panel comprises Brand, Communication & Media Specialists; Social & Digital Media Specialists and Media Academics.

They include Mo Abudu of EbonyLife TV, Yanju Olomola of Coca-Cola Hellenic, Olumide Amure of Bloomberg TV Africa, Idorenyen Enang of L’Oreal, Ali Baba – a renowned comedian and entrepreneur, Steve Babaeko – a frontline advertising guru, Enitan Denloye of Etisalat Nigeria, Chude Jideonwo of Red Media & The Future Project, Morin Oluwole of Facebook, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade of Google, Gbenga Sesan – an ICT for Development Consultant, Japheth Omojuwa –  an African cyberpreneur & columnist, Kathleen Ndongmo – a humanitarian & social ventures champion, Kingsley Ezeani of Information Nigeria, Nnodim Blossom – an advocate of social media for social good, Chioma Chuka – a social media professional, Dr. Isah Emmanuel Momoh of School of Media & Communication, Pan-Atlantic University and Tomi Oladepo – a PHD digital media researcher.

Subomi ‏ Plumptre: The Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) expert panel will INDEPENDENTLY nominate top social media brands for impact on Nigeria, culture & society.

Alder Consulting: It’s been a pleasure speaking to you about the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) for Nigeria. For more details, please visit

Subomi ‏Plumptre: Great to be here. Thanks!

AlderSMR Conversations is a series of QnA sessions between Alder Consulting and people who use social media. During the session, guests explain how they use social media as experts or as individuals whose lives have been impacted by social media.

Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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#AlderSMR Press Release: Public and Expert Rankings End; Early Favourites Emerge








Lagos, Nigeria

Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR): Public and Expert Rankings End; Early Favourites Emerge

On November 8, 2013, the public poll for the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) was concluded while the expert ranking ended on November 20, 2013.

The AlderSMR is a presentation of Nigeria’s most impactful and innovative social media brands (corporate, government, institutional and personal). This comprehensive report features contributions from experts around the world who analyse the impact of social media in Nigeria and its invaluable contributions to business, politics, governance, charity and culture.

Through the public poll, the public had the opportunity to nominate their favourite social media brands in 36 categories. Early favourites in the banking category include FirstBank, GTBank, and UBA (in alphabetical order). In the consumer products category, Etisalat, Indomie Noodles and Konga received multiple nominations while Chocolate City, Don Jazzy, Linda Ikeji and P-Square are favoured nominations in the entertainment category. The top 3 brands in each category will be formally announced in the report in December.

Report contributors include Morin Oluwole (Facebook), Japheth Omojuwa (African Cyberpreneur, Public Speaker and Columnist), Dele Momodu (Politician, Entrepreneur & Teacher), Kate Henshaw (Nollywood Actress), Lanre “eLDEE” Dabiri (Recording Artiste & Entrepreneur), Gbenga Sesan (ICT for Development Consultant) and Ameyaw Debrah (Ghanaian Celebrity Blogger & Publicist).

The finished report will be distributed free of charge to government institutions, corporations, educational institutions and diplomatic missions. It will also be available online for download.

For more information and to view the profiles of all contributors and panellists, kindly visit



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World Economic Forum Africa (WEFA) Case Study: Project Management for an International Event

The World Economic Forum is an international independent organisation. It is committed to improving the state of the world by engaging political, business, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in partnership with the Nigeria Committee of the World Economic Forum Africa (WEFA) tasked Alder Consulting to produce and manage the handover event held in South Africa in 2013. Nigeria is the venue for the 2014 Forum.

Alder was responsible for marketing, production and contractor management in South Africa. Alder designed and produced a brochure on Nigeria (with folder), banners, flash drives, carrier bags and an animated multimedia video featuring Nigeria’s strengths.

Alder scripted and designed the brochure, designed wall and scroll banners and customised flash drives.

We created e-versions of the brochure with animated videos. Following the Nigeria handover, we managed a cocktail reception for guests.

Brochure Cover

brochure cover




Brochure Inside Page

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Brochure Inside Page

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Scroll Banners

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Wall Banners

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Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.


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