A brand’s name is perhaps the first touchpoint for its audience followed by its logo and communication. The most successful brands have impactful and memorable names though they rarely mean anything literally. This might sound like a casual thing, but these names are cleverly crafted to send out a very specific message and relatability.
Many new businesses and start-ups casually name their business, mostly something that is hip and relevant in that time’s pop culture. However, naming your business should be given more time and effort. A name should instantly set your brand apart and must be timeless rather than something that dies out as the culture changes. Coming up with a name for your start-up is a very important part of branding. This should be given its due time. There are a few dos and don’ts that can help you craft a name that will set your brand apart.
Learning from the giants!
It is wise to take directions from someone who knows the terrain. Thus, it is important for an entrepreneur to observe successful brands and identify what they are doing right. Learning from people and businesses can give you a much-needed insight that otherwise would take unreal amounts of time.
Let’s look at a few examples of highly successful brands and identify what is that they are doing right.
Apple is perhaps one of the most successful brands right now. When we think about it on the surface, we might think of it as the laziest name a person can think of. However, the name did wonders. When a child learns the alphabet, this is perhaps the first word they learn. This is a name that is light, non-aggressive, and has a very high recall value.
If you look at Google, the name doesn’t mean anything. This gave it a sense of uniqueness. The word today is almost synonymous with search engines. That is the power of the business that they built a meaning into a meaningless word. There are more and more examples like Nike, Adidas, Amazon, Twitter, Canon, etc. which are powerful names. These words mostly don’t have a meaning and the brand’s work fills in the meaning into these, making them synonymous with the work of that brand.
Takeaways from successful businesses
- Choose a name that is timeless and doesn’t die as cultures evolve.
- Your name should be simple so that it has a high recall value.
- It can be descriptive of brands work like Twitter, Facebook, Burger King, Jeep, etc.
- It should reflect the overall branding and the message you want to send to your audience.
- It should relate to your target audience. A hotel brand serving elite customers rarely has a hip and funky name.
Let’s see how names impact a business’s branding making it a crucial part of the core branding strategy.
Name is the shortest summary of your story
As an entrepreneur, building businesses from the bottom up, and selecting a name for the business can be daunting. However, if you know the story your brand communicates, crafting a name becomes relatively easier.
A name is the one-word summary of your brand’s story. Name is one tool out of many that a brand uses to tell the story. You can be skeptical that why don’t talk about research, studies, models, and facts to craft a name instead of stories, messages, and communications? It is because stories travel the farthest.
A brand’s name is its most used asset, traveling the farthest thus it must reflect what your goals and messaging are. Once your brand’s name enters the world, the word itself will find different connotations and meanings based on your consumer’s experience of your brand.
Get an available name!
Even if you arrive at a name that you like, conveys your story, and has a high recall factor, likely, the name is likely already taken or not legally available. There are currently 400 million companies in the world, with new businesses springing up every day. This means that there are 400 million unique brand names already taken.
Thus, acknowledging the problem, it is very difficult to come up with a truly unique brand name. That is why, understanding your overall appeal, your story, and how you want to be associated with it, you can come down to something more tangible.
In case you are out of ideas, you can also use online brand name generators. The important thing to note here is, that the idea is not to blindly generate a name and use it to escape the labor and effort, but to explore ideas, get new perspectives, and list down a few names you work on later.
Namelix is a great intuitive online name generator that allows you to generate hundreds of names based on keyword and name type. Shopify’s business name generator is also a good option, which allows you to set up a store directly by registering the name. Novanym is a wonderful name generator as well, that allows you to select the industry type and name type along with a keyword.
A name that works
Arriving at a name that you love and a name that’ll work wonders can be time-consuming. However, we have distilled 7 important things you must adhere to, to get a name that will set your brand apart.
- Meaningful: The name should communicate the essence of the brand. It must support the image your brand wants to communicate.
- Timeless: The name shall be timeless. It should not lose relevance as cultures and societies change.
- Unique: There are so many brands today probably doing the same thing. Your name should set you apart, in terms of image, distinctiveness, and expression.
- Modular: It must allow the brand to expand and extend with ease.
- Protectable: The name should be owned and trademarked by the brand. There should be a domain available.
- Positive: The name shall have positive connotations. However, there are exceptions where the brand intentionally relies on negative connotations.
- Visually supportive: The name should be such that it can be visually translated into a logo.
Naming can be a daunting process that takes a lot of time. Some people spend too much or too little time choosing a name. Make sure that you give the needed time and effort into the exercise. Your brand’s name is its most used asset. It’ll be written on paper, sent by mail, reflected on websites, and shown in ads. There is no one method of figuring out how to name your brand. It is very personal and intimate to your brand. However, there are tips, guidance, and directions that we can discuss so that you have a larger understanding of why the name is important to your branding and how it impacts the brand.