Name Recognition and Branding

Scott Dieckgraefe Insight

“Every Baby Needs A Name”

I was fortunate to spend quality time in Boston this past summer, and it was great to see an entire city embrace its historic role in the birth of our nation. Walking Boston’s Freedom Trail, I was reminded of the key people and events that shaped our country’s early days.

At Boston’s Old City Hall, there are statues of two prominent people from times long past – Benjamin Franklin and Josiah Quincy III. Both men are closely associated with Boston and were instrumental in our nation’s history, yet only one man’s name is widely remembered today, illustrating an important lesson about branding. More on this in a minute.

Separately, the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation has proposed naming heat waves (essentially an early step toward branding) as we now do with hurricanes, due to their impact on people and economies. Heat waves are the deadliest type of domestic weather events, causing tremendous human and economic harm. This past summer, 65 million Americans in 16 states were under heat advisories at the same time; and the scale and frequency of these advisories will likely increase with climate change. The Arsht-Rock Foundation believes that categorizing and naming heat waves will raise awareness, helping people understand the potential impact of heat waves, while encouraging governments and others to take helpful actions (e.g.: opening pools and cooling centers, postponing sporting events, etc.). We believe this prediction will prove to be true, highlighting the importance of branding.

Named hurricanes, like Katrina and Sandy, bring specific memories to mind, reminding us of their impact on New Orleans and New York in 2005 and 2012, respectively. If left unnamed (without branding), we’d be hard pressed to recall specifics of individual hurricanes and they’d blur into the collective sameness of others.

The same happens with marketing of products. Without clearly establishing the uniqueness and benefits of companies and their products, we run a high risk of essentially being an unknown statue among others that are clearly differentiated and better known and respected.

Back to branding lessons learned from the statues. When we think of Ben Franklin, we envision his long wavy hair, portly physique, his inventions and innovations, and his participation in the founding of our country. As for Josiah Quincy III, well, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the second mayor of Boston, Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and the 15th President of Harvard University – a quite impressive resume. Perhaps with better publicity and some honing of his personal brand, Josiah Quincy III would be better known today.

How is your company positioned today? Vibrant, growing companies need to actively craft their branding to help ensure it aligns with the company’s goals, and is well remembered among your customers and prospects.

Studio/D is a full-service marketing communications firm working with mid-market industrial and manufacturing clients, together with companies that support the manufacturing ecosystem. We’re a team of “makers” who simplify complex communication challenges with messaging that engages and drives results. Learn more about us at, or call our president, Scott Dieckgraefe at 314-200-2630.