Naming your brand is about as easy as naming a baby because there is so much to consider, both positive meaning and negative association. Then there is the threat of whether it is taken already!It’s been said that you never know how many people you loath until you have to name a baby!
What’s in a name. The traditional model of marketing was sell, sell, sell. This relied on an assumption that great products would sell themselves, that prospects would be blown away by the features and quality. Up to the 60’s this was the case because there were only a few brands to choose from and features were limited. But today’s market is so crowded that there is NO WAY any prospect could concievabley purchase any product or service based purely upon merrit alone. They would dies of Analysis Paralysis first and their head would explode!
Enter the role of Brands. Brands reassure us that we are making the right purchasing decision because we are convinced that we can trust their promises. This is then a short cut to all the comparing on merit and the prospect makes a purchasing decision.
The role of the Name of the product in the old paradign was seen as mostly irrelevant as the product was king, but now that superior products are passed over every day, things like the name or the Tagline are important to drawing us in for a first time experience with a brand.
The name of a brand is used in all communications and could not be more important to its identity. When businesses rebrand and CHANGE their names there is always a huge risk of losing clients loyal to that name. So what are some guidelines and classifications to help guide the naming process?
Lissa Reidel who is a Marketing Consultant says that: The right name has the potential to become a selfpropelling publicity campaign, motivating word of mouth, reputation, recommendations, and press coverage.
Just as bad is a bad name that has an unintentional negative side meaning. Hopefully your business kjnows its target audience and niche well enough to avoid faux pas like this but it is surprising what can escape notice, especially phonetic run ins of words. This can be a trap in foreign languages where businesses are trying open as a new market. The help of localised branding specialists is the best insurance against embarrassing double entendres or names that sound out of step with their intended meaning. The confectionary “Smarties” are called “Lentilky” in the Czech Republic.
So naming a brand is about as easy and naming a baby.
What’s more is the name should also be available in some form as an available URL. Movie studios have been inventive in the area with www.<Insert super hero>TheMovie.com to circumvent domain name speculators. Similarly you may be able to expand the URL to still secure that golden .com name. Also each country or state has a register of official business names and these should be checked against to see that the name you wish is available. Check this other country loacalisation URLS and registers if you hope to market their as well.
Qualities of an effective name:
It communicates something about the essence of the brand. It supports the image that the company wants to convey.
It is unique, as well as easy to remember, pronounce, and spell. It is differentiated from the competition. Easy to share on social networks.
It positions the company for growth, change, and success. It has sustainability and preserves possibilities. It has long legs.
It enables a company to build brand extensions with ease.
It can be owned and trademarked. A domain is available.
It has positive connotations in the markets served. It has no strong negative connotations.
It lends itself well to graphic presentation in a logo, in text, and in brand architecture.
Types of names
- Proper Nouns
Many companies are named after founders especially if they started as sole traders or partnerships: Lorna Jane, Tory Burch, Ben & Jerry’s, Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, Mrs. Fields. It might be easier to protect. It satisfies an ego. The downside is that it is inextricably tied to a real human being.
- Descriptive Nouns or Verbs
These names convey the nature of the business. Good examples are YouSendIt, E*TRADE, Find Great People, and Toys “R” Us. The benefit of a descriptive name is that it clearly communicates the intent of the company. The potential disadvantage is that as a company grows and diversifies, the name may become limiting.
A made-up name, like Pinterest, Kodak, or TiVo, is certainly distinctive. Abstract names are the easiest to register or find as available URLs because no one had any reason to consider them! This goes equally for your target audience too! Therefore, a company must invest a significant amount of capital into educating its market as to the nature of the business, service, or product but a good tagline can help here. Usually even abstract sounding names may have some rationale to their creation. Häagen-Dazs is a fabricated foreign name that has been extremely effective in the consumer market.
Things, places, people, animals, processes, mythological names, or foreign words are used in to allude to a quality of a company. Good examples are Google, Nike, Patagonia, Monocle, Quartz, Zappos, and Amazon.com.
These names are difficult to remember and difficult to copyright. IBM and GE became well-known only after the companies established themselves with the full spelling of their names. Acronyms are difficult to learn and require a substantial investment in advertising. If the accronym can actually spell a word then that may help in memnomics. Some examples are D&G, AARP, DKNY, CNN, and MoMA.
Some names alter a word’s spelling in order to create a distinctive, protectable name, like Flickr, Tumblr, and Netflix. Combinations of the above Some of the best names combine name types. Some good examples are Citibank, and Hope’s Cookies. Customers and investors like names that they can understand.