When it comes to creating a brand name for your company you have to be very picky. Frankly, if you go with the first choice that pops up during a brainstorming session, you’re probably asking for trouble. Your brand name is an extension of your business. That means the name you choose needs to properly represent the value you’re providing with your product and/or service.
How to choose a brand name
Let’s look at a few tips on how to create a brand name for your business and the most common mistakes you should avoid.
Figuring out whether you need to hire outside help
Creating a brand name for your company takes a lot of creativity. With so much competition out there, branding a business name is harder than ever before.
If you have the creative firepower and strategy in place when it comes to creating a brand name, you certainly don’t need outside help. However, hiring a qualified and well-experienced agency that understands the importance of a brand name will ensure that you make a well thought out and relevant decision.
There are no guarantees that the ideas of an agency will be better than yours, but if you find an agency that has a track record of offering effective branding consultancy services, you can rest assured they have a process that works.
Create numerous potential names
It doesn’t matter how good you think your first choice is, you should generate numerous potential names for your brand. Nothing is more disappointing than finding a brand name you love only to find that the URL has already been purchased by someone else. Gather a group of people and brainstorm until you’ve spent all of your creative energy. Then you can begin to sort through your choices objectively.
Throw away names that don’t reflect your brand
A name may sound clever, but you must ask yourself if it reflects your brand. Choosing a brand name for your company requires that you take a long, hard, objective look at your mission statement. Does your brand name reflect your goals? It’s crucial that you remain objective when naming your brand.
Testing your business’s brand name
Just because you’ve chosen a name that sounds great to you and your team doesn’t mean it’s a home run. Just like anything worth doing in the business world, you’re going to have to put it through a rigorous testing phase.
Here are the questions you need to answer when testing your brand name:
- Is your name easy to remember?
- How well does it sound when spoken aloud?
- Is your name confusing?
- How easy is it to spell?
- Does it reflect your brand?
- Is there a URL available for your name?
If your brand name fails your testing phase, you should seriously reevaluate going back to the drawing board. You should never grow too attached to any single name during the testing phase because it will be that much harder to throw it out if it doesn’t fit.
Here are a few more tips you should incorporate when creating your brand name:
- Avoid inside jokes or puns that only you and a few friends understand. If it can’t be understood by everyone, don’t use it.
- Avoid appending “Inc.” to the end of your name unless you’re actually incorporated.
- Pick a name that customers can emotionally connect with, such as a name that invokes a pleasant experience or memory.
- Try to avoid a ridiculously long name.
Creativity is your best friend
The most daunting aspect of choosing a brand name is making a choice that hasn’t been taken already. There are millions of businesses out there that have claimed the rights to every niche word that you can think of. Therefore, creativity is going to have to be your best friend as you figure out how to pick a brand name.
During the brainstorming process try to look for a brand name that communicates the message of your business in a clever way. For example, the shoe company “Reebok” is simply an alternate spelling of rhebok, an antelope found in Africa. As we all know, antelopes are known for being swift, which is precisely the message Reebok wishes to communicate to its audience.
Another great example is “Lego” which originates from the Danish phrase leg godt, a term that means “play well.” Clearly, Lego’s brand name does a great job of communicating their mission statement.
Mistakes to avoid while picking a brand name
We’ve already glossed over a few mistakes to avoid while choosing a brand name, but we have yet to talk about the major mistakes that could get you into trouble if you make the wrong choice. Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes that businesses make when figuring out how to choose a brand name.
Taking on a local name
It’s quite common for new businesses to take on the name of the city, state or region where they’re located. For example: “Inland Empire Air Conditioning.”
The Inland Empire is a region located in Southern California, about an hour away from Los Angeles. That name might work while the company is small and contained within the Inland Empire, but what will they do when they wish to expand into other regions and counties? Their name will become a hindrance because customers will assume they only serve one area.
Choosing an obscure name
Reebok and Lego are great examples of companies that were successful at transforming ambiguous words and phrases into a successful brand name. However, “Reebok” and “Lego” are easy to spell, comfortable to say, and memorable to say the very least.
Naming your company “we’re the best” in ancient Greek may sound great on paper, but does the actual word or phrase sound intuitive when spoken out loud, or does it cause confusion? Most people won’t waste their time trying to figure out your “special message” and will simply move on to another business.
Picking a boring name
You certainly don’t want to be too obscure, but you’re still going to have to be creative. There’s too much competition out there to go for a flat, boring name. Keep in mind that if you’re the leader in your niche, you can be as plain and flat as you like.
Take Bank of America for example. That’s a straightforward name, but they’re at the top of the pack in the banking industry so they can get away with it. You will have to be more creative.
Not willing to change a name that doesn’t work
We’re all human and we make mistakes, but you must be willing to accept the fact that you might choose a name that simply doesn’t work for your business. Are you willing to change that name even if you’ve grown attached to it? If not, your stubbornness will hurt you in the long run.
It all comes down to removing your emotions from the equation. Pick the name that will effectively communicate your company’s message and be willing to change what doesn’t work. Otherwise, you’ll have to live with your mistakes which would likely be to the detriment of your business.
Knowing how to choose your brand name is just the first part of the equation. If you’re ready to build a lasting brand to represent you across all mediums, you’ll need a qualified full-service marketing agency that has a long track record of developing successful brands.
MARION has a qualified team with years of accumulated experience dedicated to creating successful marketing campaigns and developing brand names that effectively communicate the message of your business. We offer marketing strategy, logo design, SEO services and other key elements to take your business to the next level.
To learn more about how MARION can help you accomplish your business goals, contact us today!