A good brand name is not something that looks impressive on business cards or sounds nice when uttered. And again, it’s not great because you think and feel that it is. Your brand name can only be termed as “great” if it can convey something to the customers.
The necessity to name a brand effectively originates with consumers as they always look for a brand name that is convenient to remember, identify, discuss, and compare. It will not be an exaggeration if we say that a company’s greatest asset is its name, which can accelerate its acceptance among the target audience.
However, selecting the ideal brand name might be difficult. But the question is: How do you pick an apt name? A name that is memorable or looks excellent on a web banner and for which the URL is still open? Yes, these can be some of the deciding factors, but when you are looking for the right one, you need to consider all the other factors as well, and it will demand much of your effort and thought.
What makes a brand name great?
There are numerous views and researches regarding what make a brand name great. For instance, a 2010 study from the University of Alberta discovered that customers respond positively to brands with names that have repetitive structures, such as Kit-Kat, Coca-Cola, Jim Jam, and Jelly Belly.
Though there is no secret formula, there are certain features that make a company’s name much easier to use and remember. You would always want something that –
- Conveys the essence of your company, evokes an image in people’s minds, and cultivates an optimistic emotional connection.
- Is unique and unforgettable and will distinguish your company from its rivals.
- Is accessible to all. People should be able to readily pronounce, interpret, and Google it. The name may be something uncommon, but it must be comprehensible.
- You can acquire and own (legally as well as in the public’s consciousness).
- Can be used in the future too, if you intend to expand the brand. The name must have an adaptive nature.
- You can communicate visually using design elements like logos, icons, colors, etc.
How to choose the ideal brand name
Finding a suitable brand name may be arduous, frustrating, and yet, exciting. There are a growing number of services that aim to assist you with the process. Some even take the help of an AI-operated company name generator. But in the end, it’s you who have to decide what is going to work for you. After all, it’s your company, and it’s essential to choose, assess and test a brand name. Here’s how you can decide on a perfect name for your brand by following these simple steps.
Define your brand’s essence
Before you decide anything, you must have answers to the questions –
- What is your brand all about?
- What are you trying to achieve (purpose)?
- What’s the brand’s vision (the future of your company)?
- How are you planning for it?
- What are the brand’s governing values?
All these factors collectively affect all your actions, even naming the company.
Assess the differentiating factors
In order to stumble upon the perfect name, you must understand what traits make your company a unique one. Your company’s essence is one such thing that will make you different from the others. But there are many other factors that will aid your brand stand out. Just remember, (while you undergo the naming process) you are searching for more than a fabulous name. It will be a name that will act like a mirror for your company.
You can start by studying your competition and how their names are helping them to get a grip on the consumers. It will help you to figure out things.
Well, this can be fun but daunting at times. You can organize a brainstorming session by gathering your creative team and stakeholders. Before you commence the session, it’s better to furnish a rough guideline as to what you are looking for. Else all will come up with unthinkable suggestions that will be of no use to you. You can begin the brainstorming session with specific questions or warming exercises. Say, for instance, you can ask them to –
- List the attributes that best define your company’s product or service.
- Specify the emotions you want your clients to experience while using your product or service.
- Perform a free association of words with respect to the product or the service.
Another excellent technique for brainstorming is to consider the many brand name categories.
Founder: You may want to name it after the real founder, like Macmillan (named after Daniel Macmillan and Alexander Macmillan), Louis Vuitton (named after Louis Vuitton), Armani (named after Giorgio Armani), etc.
The name can derive from fictional characters like Warby Parker, Ben & Jerry’s, etc.
Descriptive: The name may describe what your company actually does. Example: General Motors, The Weather Channel, Bank of America.
A completely new word: You can invent a new word to name your company. It does not need to have a meaning always. Xerox, Kodak, and Sony are some of the brand names which created history.
Derive from a metaphor: Names derived from a metaphor is a subset of representational names. Examples: Amazon, Nike, Quartz.
Acronym: Naming a company by using the initials like GE (General Electric)
Juxtaposed words: Often, brand names are formed by juxtaposing two different words, like Facebook, Breathalyzer, and Bubble Wrap.
After the session, collect 20 of the most appealing names.
Analyzing the names
The names you thus received from the brainstorming session must go through an analysis stage. It’s so because you might end up selecting something that might have already been claimed. Also, check with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and go through their database of all the trademarks that have been registered to date. If you find a name (or names) that are unregistered, get it verified by your legal team.
Put it to test
By now, you must have received your top five names. You should proceed by building mockups (create web pages, logos, packaging) to see how people respond to them.
Post these as ads on various social media platforms, and surely the crowd’s response will point to the most preferred name.