Neologism is ‘ a new word, usage or expression’.
Some neologisms in marketing have transformed into ‘generic trademarks’ such as Post-it, Velcro, Biro and Frisbee.
For marketing, neologisms are often wordplay centered around a brand name. Words have always been a crucial component of effective marketing.
They are more relevant now with the marketing content shifting as a result of the pandemic. The word “Google” is a neologism, although it is more of a ‘generonym’, a brand name people use as a generic word.
Neologism is a factor to consider in a naming strategy.
With fleeting attention spans, it is necessary to keep marketing content short. In the ever-changing marketing lexicon, neologisms encapsulate new trends and processes.
The pandemic has made it essential that a brand voice is caring and careful without losing its essence.
Neologisms often involve wordplay centered around the name of a brand.
For instance regulations had not allowed the popular but scientifically questionable endline, ‘ Guinness is good for you.’ It was changed to ,’Guinnless isn’t good for you.’
The marketing campaign even went to the extent of including a self-help group called ‘Friends of the Guinnless’ in sympathy for those who had to go without the stout.
The breakfast cereal Weetabix ran a campaign centred around two neologisms,’ Withabix’ and ‘Withoutabix.’ It used interesting visual hyperboles of success and failure.
The artificial leather brand Naugahyde produced an imaginary creature called the “Nauga’ which supposedly produced the material by shedding its skin. The Nauga dolls became a popular merchandising spin-off.
To use neologism in naming a brand, certain factors have to be considered.
The product/service and its benefits…
It would be useful to choose words that describe the benefits of a business or evoke emotions associated with the business. Facebook is a popular example of a hybrid neologism. It is composed of two common words, but it is also suggestive.
Core values of a brand…
Brand values can be used to build a brand can be communicated through its name.
Consider the target audience or specific group of consumers who are most likely to purchase the product or service. They can be men, women, professionals, amateurs, teenagers or children. The words should appeal to the ideal customers.
A brand name should be memorable. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, it can even be an acronym. For instance, IBM. It can be a simple description, for example, General Electric.
Some brand names are neologisms. Xerox is an example.
Now more than ever, marketing content should include pandemic-driven empathy. Customers want to be comforted, so the language has to be reassuring.
Neologisms are now being coined quicker than ever. ‘Quaranteams’ , ‘Covidiots’, and ‘WFH’ are popular examples. In times of such social crisis linguistic creativity has to manifest itself in ways that are encouraging.
For neologisms to become widely known among the target audience, they have to evoke positive emotions, symbolise trust and evolve with the times.