The decisions of naming a brand is a subjective minefield. The right name for your brand can have a significant impact on your success. The wrong name can be damaging and fail to connect with your customers. It can also result in an insurmountable business with many hurdles. A clean name can be extremely positive towards your marketing and branding efforts. Your brand name is the first chance for you to establish your brand identity, brand values and equity.
In this blog post, I have outlined just a few of the many options which you can explore.
Use a name that conveys some meaning.
Ideally, you want your business name to convey something meaningful and positive, which relates to your business. Whilst meaningless names like Google and Apple, have great appeal due to their sharp catchiness, they cost a lot of money to brand successfully. Unless you have a handsome marketing budget, it’s best to keep to something a little more obvious. Think about what message you want your brand name to convey. Your name is an important part of your brand identity. It will appear on your business cards, your social media, your website, all your promotional materials and more
Use your own name.
This is one of my favourites, and over the years the facts and figures have proven it to be the most successful way of branding. Majority of the hugely successful individual brands in the world are named after the brand owners themselves. Whenever you have the opportunity, I would say stick to this formula and do not downgrade yourself to be known as something else. It’s your brand and it’s your values, which are at the heart of your brand.
Avoid making decisions with friends.
It’s tempting to involve friends in finding a name for your brand. Sometimes, this can work out well. But 90% of the time, it will go horribly wrong. Your friends see you in a completely different way. They know you personally! Your prospective clients don’t. Conducting market research with strangers who are likely to buy your products is a much better way to gauge the relevance of your name choices. This applies to anything business related. If someone isn't spending money on your products, then their opinions should not affect your busniess decisions. My friends are precious to me and I do sometimes discuss my business with them but I always ask them for the negatives. Even the positive comments about your business from your friends and families should not affect your business dicisions.
Can you register the domain? Is it available?
It’s important to make sure that no one else and especially your competitors are not using the same name. Even a similar name with a different variation can harm your business. It’s not uncommon to find similar, or even identical, names in different industries, and this causes endless confusions with people. Have you ever had two friends called by the same name within your group of friends? Did you have to change one of their names?
Make sure you register both the .com and the country specific extension of your domain name. Registering only the country specific domain name and ignoring the .com extension will only limit your future growth. The thinking that you only need country specific domain extensions is rather old and times have moved on dramatically in the last ten years. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of operating under one name but having a web address pointing to a completely different name.
Borrowing brand equity.
Building brand equity is key to the success of many brands. Naming is one way, where you can quickly increase your brand equity by borrowing from existing terms that already have their own positive values and images. For example a great city where you are based, or a particular musical instrument you play or even a specific product which is easily recognised by everyone, such as ‘cake’.
Whilst there are some disadvantages to assigning a geographic location to your brand name, there are some instances where regional pride or national heritage can work in favour. Places have the advantage of being able to evoke an emotion from people.
Some of the world’s most successful brands have short, sharp names that’s memorable for their audience, for example, Gucci, Chanel, Dior, Prada, Apple, Virgin. Keeping your name as short as possible will make it easier for your audience to remember you. It’s important and helpful to picture your name alongside a logo, to be able to visualise on a website or social media platforms, so you can see how it will look to your audience, whom you are trying to communicate with.