Naming your brand is an exciting, and also terrifying step. A successful title stands out from the pack; it’s recognisable, memorable and a bit clever. Nailing it puts you on a fast track to success, while coming up with a weak or silly name can halt the momentum of even a solid business. The power of branding is hard to overstate, and the name is high on a checklist of things to do. So how do you go about it?

Brand positioning

Well, the best first step in figuring out what your brand name should be may feel counter-intuitive, because it involves putting the cart before the horse. To develop an ideal brand name, you need to consider your brand’s positioning; that is to say who you are aiming to sell goods or service to – your target market. Understanding that can be a guide to what brand names might work, and which may not be appropriate. After identifying who you’re trying to sell to, it helps to broaden the questions you ask yourself about your brand. For example, what are its values, vision and mission? Nike is an excellent example of this concept; it manufactures sports footwear, and the brand is named after the ancient Greek goddess of victory. The title was derived from the core values of victory and heroism they were aiming for, and it resulted in a phenomenally powerful brand name.

 

Brand naming process

Once you have outlined your brand’s values and positioning, it is a good time to begin generating name ideas. There is no penalty at the design stage for coming up with names you don’t end up choosing. You never know where a good idea will come from, so limiting yourself at this point is pointless. Good names have a wide variety of common traits; few will tick all the boxes, but it’s still worth shooting for as many as possible. The best results are simple; short, sweet and easy to say are the ideal elements a brand name should have. Why? Because you want people to remember it. Another factor to keep in mind is whether a name is appropriate; a short, witty and original moniker is meaningless if it is patently unsuited for your industry. Using an inappropriate name risks creating confusion if potential customers mistake what kind of company yours is. The next attribute to keep in mind for a name is longevity. Will it stand the test of time? If you think that in 10 years you will have grown tired of it, then it’s probably best to discard it now. The same applies to a name that riffs on a trend; attaching it to a fad can instantly date it after a few months, in turn necessitating extensive and costly rebranding. You can make things easier by breaking the naming exercise down in to five categories and plotting your competition across these to see what the landscape looks like. It is essential once a shortlist of names has been drawn up that you stop and check on their availability. If another business has trademarked your brand name idea, or all the suitable domain names for the idea are gone, then the idea is a non-starter. The last thing you want is legal trouble because you didn’t take 15 minutes to research. Before you take your brand name idea all the way to the implementation stage, a soft launch is a sensible idea; testing the name among potential customers (or existing clients, if you are changing your name) with surveys, or even just polling on social media can provide valuable feedback. Throwing the name out into the real world and seeing how it fares is an excellent test. If people aren’t clear on which product or service you provide, or even just notably struggle to remember what your brand name is, then it may be best to go back to the drawing board. Alternatively, if the reception is generally positive then you know you’re onto something.

 

One final thought to sign off on

Finding the ideal brand name can feel like an impossible task, which is why you should shoot for perfect and then compromise on good. If you want to show people who you are, what you stand for, and how you do things differently, then why not get in touch for a chat? Let our team help you outshine the competition. Call us on 0161 711 0910 or send an email to wakeup@dawncreative.co.uk. We’d love to work with you!