Is a name that important for a brand? Well, the answer is yes. Even though your brand's reputation and profits do not entirely depend on your brand's name, it can contribute to your uniqueness in the emulative market.
Today, a brand name is not just a name for a company. It is the main element that differentiates you from your competitors. Consumers use it for more than just defining the brand. It reflects the fundamental standards your company stands for. It also arouses a feeling of loyalty in the customers and boosts the word of mouth marketing.
If your brand name can resonate with your consumers, you can confirm a dominant industry position. The name of the brand carries the motto and meaning of the brand. It is through the name that people will get connected to your products and services.
Finding a brand name that stays in a consumer's tongue like Google or Uber is not that simple. It is a careful process that requires brainstorming. This process of evolving a name for the brand is called brand naming.
How to kickstart brand naming?
As mentioned above, the initial stages of brand naming may seem easy. You may choose from a few words or letters that attract you. But, finally, when you are to finalize a name that will become the key to the brand, you will realize the depth of snag you have to overcome. There are companies which take 6months-1year to choose a name from 2000 above suggestions they consider.
You can find plenty of brand naming tools online like Name Mesh Business Name generator. They can help you get a first stage idea, but a thorough and more in-depth understanding of your brand and its story is crucial for a perfect name. Online tools fail in this regard.
Study the market trends
The primary step to start is to get an idea about your strategic brand naming process basics. It is good to create an outline with objectives that your name should put forward and the identity it should give your brand. You should be crystal clear on what your brand name should communicate.
The next step is to sketch your competition in the market. Get a picture of the market where your brand is to find success. Find out the already taken names and the ones that have attracted the customers. It is also advisable to get the reactions of the audience to these names.
Evaluate your customers
Before you move on to the brand naming process, you have to get a vivid picture of your customers' characteristics, likes, and dislikes, whom you are targeting for your products and services. This step is highly crucial for business as well as marketing strategies too. It is where many startups make mistakes. It is like choosing an outfit without considering the size.
You can rely on web tools like Alexa to grab demographic information about the visitors who navigate your competitor's website. You will get necessary information like age, gender, and location from this method.
Another trick is to go through the Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts of your competitors. It will fetch you a deeper understanding of their customer base and online following. Now you will be ready to create a clear picture of the customers your brand is targeting.
Choosing your brand archetype
The archetype is said to be your company's personification, which is very influential in forming your brand name. For finding the perfect brand archetype, you can find the answer to how you want your brand to resonate emotionally with your targeted customers. Picture the brand values your name has to communicate. Decide whether you want a wordplay for your brand or a sense of luxury.
Your brand name has to indicate who you are and what you do to the audience. So be very careful while choosing an archetype for your brand.
Brand archetypes are usually 12 types like the Hero, the Innocent, the Explorer, the Ruler, and so forth. Find out which one suits your brand image perfectly. If you want the process to be lighter, you can take the 'Discover Your Brand Archetype Quiz.
Brand Naming Process
1. Discovery and Brainstorming
Now you have collected almost all the vital information to begin your brand naming process. The first stage is discovery and brainstorming. In the discovery phase, you have to assess all the inputs you have and come up with an answer to what your brand stands for and how you plan to convey it to your customers. You must research your company as it will come handy in the brand positioning phase.
You should know how you would like to define your brand's right name, your priorities in your naming process, and who will be involved in the ultimate decision-making.
Specific steps can help you out to get a vivid idea.
1. Find out some of the adjectives that describe your brand perfectly.
2. Please write down the image that should be created in the customer's mind while they think about your company
3. Survey people to find out the words they relate to your brand
The brainstorming stage collects all the data you have gotten and converts it into energy to accelerate your brand naming process. Your business motto and vision should also reflect in this stage.
An easy tip for the brainstorming stage is to consider all the different categories of brand names you can choose. Here are some of the primary brand name categories.
Descriptive brand names convey the brand's message through their names readily, by which they remain unexceptional. They are exact names with little scope for creativity and interpretation. Mostly, they rely on common words or phrases, and so, they are challenging to trademark—for example, E*Trade, General Motors, or YouSendIt.
Evocative names bring into mind metaphors and suggestions that help the audience get the brand into mind. These names will be unique, creative, and singular. They are powerful tools that bring some uniqueness to your brand. Unlike descriptive names, Evocative names are more comfortable to the trademark, such as Nike, Patagonia, Amazon, and Virgin.
Invented names are made-up names created when you are unable to find the perfect word for your brand. They are more fanciful than distinctive. Even though they are very creative, it isn't easy to find such fabricated names. They do not possess a character on their own other than the one we assign them. It is effortless to trademark such invented names. The challenge lies in the hardship of establishing the meaning of the name in the customers' minds—for example, Exxon, Kodak, Xerox, and Verizon.
Lexical names make use of wordplay, which helps the audience to memorize them. Such names use puns, phrases, compound words, alliteration, onomatopoeia, intentional misspellings, and foreign words. It requires some smartness to develop such names and create more impact if you pair or modify existing terms—for example, Dunkin' Donuts, Krazy Glue, Volare.
Acronyms are the ancestors of brand naming. But it has lost its popularity now. Many startups find it hard to bring an acronym as their brand name, even though Aflac has created their success with acronyms through rebranding strategy. The main reason for the fall of acronym brand names is that they are not easy for the audience to remember, and it is also hard to trademark them. For example, IBM, AARP, BP
If you want to add the complete cultural and historical associations for your brand, you can choose geographical names. These names are mostly used by the brands who did focus on the audience from a particular geographic area and are thankful to them for making them successful. You can always find a product or service with the name of a city or state in front—for example, New York Life, Nantucket Nectars, Arizona Tile.
Many brands are popular with their founder's name. If positioned correctly, these names are unique. Put some efforts into your marketing side to make the name familiar. Some examples for such brands are Ben & Jerry's, Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren.
2. Distillation of the ideas
Now, you have to focus on the ideas you have got through the discovery and brainstorming part. You may have got many vague insights from the brainstorming process. Through the refining process, you can find out the names that can easily communicate with your audience.
You can now shortlist the long list of brainstormed ideas into potential titles or evaluation charts to confirm that you do not miss any loopholes in choosing your brand's perfect name. Here are some questions that will help you to evaluate each of the names on the list.
1. What is the natural look of your name(both on the screen and paper)?
2. What is its uniqueness from your competitors?
3. Does it carry the meaning you wish?
4. Does it create an emotional resonance?
5. Is it perfect for your brand personality?
You may feel exhausted with a considerable number of names and ideas while choosing the name. But, the fact is, the more options you have, the more creativity and innovation takes birth. If you have many people with different ideas, you get some exclusive and striking ideas from each one that adds to brand naming.
It is you who decide the team to assist you in your strategic brand naming process. So make sure you choose people who can think out of the box.
3. Testing Stage
Two vital elements of the brand naming process are testing and vetting. When you have purified the whole long list of names to some of the best ones, the testing stage determines if the names you choose supports your business mission. During this phase, you consider the factors like the sight of the name on your logo, SEO, and content marketing scope for the brand name. You can also look for trademarks and domain name availability in this stage.
Online reputation is yet another thing to be concerned about. Just search the name you look for your brand on the internet. Eliminate any that could easily be confused with established players in your product or service category or a related category. A conflict arises when an established brand name is similar in terms of phonetics (sound), spelling, root word, or meaning. This will make it difficult for the audience to reach you, which may vanish you entirely from the scenario within no time. So make sure that your name does not resemble any famous personalities or brands.
Choose a memorable name.
If you want your brand name to create an impact on the audience, it has to be memorable. It is entirely too difficult to measure the notability of a name. Certain factors can help you out to get some ideas. The name has to be simple, short, and easy to spell. If the pronunciation and the spelling of the name are hard, there is very little chance of the audience talking about your brand. The mispronunciation of your name will not fetch your company the recognition you have always longed for. You can try by making some people pronounce your name before you confirm it.
Possibility of trademark
Numerous brands and competition are going on in the market. So it is a challenge to launch an exclusive name. It takes a long time to trademark a brand name even if your name is niche. During this time gap, there is also a chance that someone else might have taken your name. So you have to find ways to trademark your name very early.
Get the domain name
Do not misunderstand that getting a trademark means you get the opportunity to use the domain name too. Your domain name must match your brand title. Only then can your customers easily find you.
While you try to trademark your name, you can also put efforts to find the domain name's availability. You should even notice the similar-sounding domains available. Again, you can try to get social media usernames that will be useful for your brand at this stage.
Finalize your ultimate brand name
It is the final stage now. You have tested and vetted your brand name, and it is time to step your foot into the online world. You can go for the relevant domains, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and all the things you will require in the final procedure. You can build your logo around your brand name and start working for the goals you visualize for your brand to achieve.
Make sure to go for strategic brand names as they can easily resonate with your audience. If you have an attractive brand name, your brand will stay in the people's minds and mouth, who will gradually turn to your customers.
Your brand name is one of the valuable assets of your company that fetches long-lasting benefits. It can make you unique and memorable forever. As said earlier, finding the perfect name is a tiresome process that requires patience and effort. If you go with an ultimate strategic brand naming process, you can ease the complications. You can even take the help of some naming experts to assist you in this process. Our step-by-step process of brand naming can be a good pathfinder in your dark road.