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Rebeca Arbona, Naming and Creating a Distinctive Brand — InnovaBuzz 338

Rebeca Arbona, BrandTrue

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Rebeca Arbona of BrandTrue, a firm dedicated to brand strategy with a focus on new brand creation and naming. Rebeca lives to help brands communicate the truths at their core so they can leap from tall buildings and crush their villains. She’s always been a word geek and, as a kid, read the dictionary for fun, but she somehow ended up with a career in Brand Strategy. So when she realized that naming combines her love of words with her talent for brand strategy, it was like a radioactive spider bite that unleashed her superpower. She’s now a Strategic Namer and New Brand Creator, crafting breakthrough names and distinctive brands that help her client’s businesses fly.

In our discussion, Rebeca and I talked about:

  • The 3 levels of truth — surface truth, social truth and self truth
  • The importance of niching down your service and your client
  • Alignment of brand with strategy and the entire customer journey

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

Show Notes from this episode with Rebeca Arbona of BrandTrue

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

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  • Smart work is about getting more strategic, looking around, and seeing that what is right may be a different thing to do, not just the one thing that has always been done.
  • The Three Levels of Truth
  1. Surface Truth — where there’s typically not a lot of emotions involved. It is something that is necessary but not sufficient.
  2. Social Truth — where a brand really focuses on the people they serve.
  3. Self-Truth — the place that requires a lot of courage from brands, and where you really go deep. If the 2nd truth is about people, self-truth is about the brand itself.
  • Deep truths are not necessarily the things that you say to people but they are things that you understand and you can leverage. When you understand your deep truth, you can leverage that.
  • Deep truth is the passion that you bring to your brand.
  • When you start going to the deep stuff, people will understand who you are. They will understand why you’re different and why you are there for them.
  • Strategy is important for you to communicate.
  • There’s a dynamic tension between being really descriptive versus being unique when naming things. However, it is not that important to be as differentiated in that first grasp of the name. What is even more important is to be really clear about its context.
  • Always begin with the surface truth. You can’t get anywhere by starting in the middle. Start with the facts.
  • Be extremely descriptive when you are creating something that is new to the world.
  • The name can’t do it all, so don’t fall in love with the name. Pick a name that has room to grow.
  • There is no such thing as a good name or bad name, you just have to think about your strategy. Think about what you are trying to accomplish, something that helps you understand more the shape and the direction that you want to take the name to.
  • Strategy, planning, and having room to grow are all helpful but those are not the only things that drive success.
  • Brands grow organically over time. Innovations create further innovations by expanding the understanding of what the brand can be.
  • Brand driven decisions are part of innovation. Innovation is not simply an idea. The brand as a home for the idea is an important part of innovation.
  • Recognise and identify the values that drive you and differentiate you.
  • Find the courage to not sound like everyone else by understanding what is going on at a deeper level. When you connect with people deeply, that is when they are going to care about your brand more than they care about another.
  • You can’t succeed by serving everyone. It is when you connect more meaningfully and with more emotion to a smaller group of people that you can have a fabulous business.
  • One way to connect with more emotion is by being more focused and going to underserved audiences, and ultimately bringing them solutions to their problems.

The Buzz — Our Innovation Round

Here are Rebeca’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative — Have more courage and more discipline.
  2. Best thing for new ideas — Really understand the fundamentals of your brand. Bring out as many ideas as you can. A quantity of ideas leads to more ideas and more success.
  3. Favourite tool for innovationFull Focus Planner
  4. Keep project/client on track — Well-thought planning and documentation. Really understand what your process is and plan it out in advance. Stay on top of it with great documentation.
  5. Differentiate — Have the courage to go for deep truths and reflect them back to the people you are serving.

To Be a Leader

Truth is how you are going to differentiate and stand apart.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Rebeca through her website and LinkedIn.

Suggested Guest

Rebeca suggested we have a conversation with Eva Lutz, of InnoG. So Eva, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Rebeca Arbona.


Cool Things About Rebeca

  • She’s from Puerto Rico.
  • She holds a BA in Linguistics from Yale University and an MBA in Marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
  • She’s a board member and mentor at UpTech, a tech accelerator program for startups.




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Dr Jürgen Strauss

Founder of Innovabiz: TRANSFORMATION MARKETING — Building visibility, professional authority and connection with your dream clients

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