Wednesday 04 June, 2014

How to Name Your Brand – Tips and Ideas

When you’re going through the process of giving birth to a brand, the name is the most important decision. It’s the core of your brand. You really need to put some serious thought and consideration into it. The name you choose could be the determining factor in whether your brand becomes a household name or is totally forgotten. Here are some tips and ideas to help you come up with yours.

Think Sticky

A good brand name is ‘sticky.’ This is business-speak for something unique and memorable. In other words, it sticks in your mind. If you look at the big names in your (or any) industry, you’ll see that they have this quality. When considering brand names, ask friends and colleagues for their opinions. Brainstorm ideas and try them out for their stickiness.

Start with Key Benefits

One good way to brainstorm is to start with your business’s key benefits. Take your unique selling proposition and brainstorm names that might communicate this. Make a list of the unique strengths of your business and use this to start. Again, try the names out on people. Ask them what comes to mind when they hear them.

Good Names, Bad Names

Here’s another way to brainstorm using other brands’ names. Make two big lists. One list is for brand names you think are good. The other list is for ones you think are bad. For each item on the good list, ask yourself, “Why do I like this? How can I do that with my brand name?” For the bad, ask yourself why the names are bad and how you can avoid making the same mistake with yours.

Make It Web-Ready

When brainstorming brand names, do some web research. See if a good domain name with the brand is available. While this isn’t the main deciding factor, it can make a difference, especially in terms of SEO. You might do some keyword research as well to see how hard it will be for you to rank for the name. You can also make sure the name or something too similar isn’t already being used.

Play with Words

It’s great if you can come up with a name where there’s a bit of wordplay. Not only is a brand name with wordplay clever, but it also sticks easily in people’s minds. A bit of humor also helps.

Stay Simple

Although your brand name should be unique, clever and memorable, it also needs to be simple and easy to spell. Some brands go all out devising clever and weird spellings with originality in mind, but then it’s difficult for their customers to figure out the spelling and mind them. If you make up a word for your brand name, make the spelling intuitive. Again, test with friends.

Use a Business Name Generator

I’ve never used one myself, but there are business name generators online that you can use to help you brainstorm. There are plenty of these sites online that you can use for free and, while they won’t think up your dream brand name for you, they can give you some good ideas or direction.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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