A strong brand name is more than just a catchy phrase or something that looks good on your business card. You don’t like it because it’s good, either. It’s fantastic because it tells customers something.
Customers need effective brand names because they desire easy ways to recognize, recall, debate, and compare different companies, according to branding expert Marty Neuemier in his book The Brand Gap. The most valuable asset for a brand can be its name because it promotes differentiation and accelerates adoption.
However, picking the ideal brand name can be challenging. How do you come up with a good name? a memorable name? a name with an available URL and one that looks excellent on a site banner? Some claim it’s simple—just use a name generator and move on. Some claim that it is very impossible, but if you give them a million dollars, they will accomplish it for you.
You might opt for one or the other depending on your spending limit and branding requirements (no judgment). But based on our expertise, it is possible to find the ideal brand name; it simply requires some careful consideration and hard work.
Why is a Brand Name Good?
Numerous theories and research papers exist regarding what makes a good name. According to a 2010 University of Alberta study, for instance, customers are more likely to favor brands with names that repeat frequently, such as Coca-Cola, Kit Kat, and Jelly Belly.
There is no magic formula, but there are characteristics that are typical to all brand names that make them simpler for you to use and for others to remember. You want something that is, ideally:
- Meaningful: It conveys the essence of your brand, creates a picture, and fosters a good emotional connection.
- Distinctive: It sticks out from your rivals and is special and unforgettable.
- Accessible: It’s simple to understand, say, spell, or Google. (Your name must be comprehensible, even if it is strange or bizarre.)
- Protectable: It is possible to legally and symbolically “possess” it by using a trademark, registering a domain, and purchasing a domain name.
- Future-proof: It can expand with the business, keep up with the times, and be customized for various goods and brand extensions.
- Visual: Icons, logos, colors, and other design elements can be used to translate or communicate ideas.
There is basically only one question that can tell you whether a name is successful (notice that we didn’t say “good” or “poor”). This is useful information to help you vet names. Does it strike a chord with people? That the only thing that matters.
How to Choose a Good Brand Name
Finding a successful brand name may be challenging, frustrating, and exciting. Neil Blumenthal, a co-founder of Warby Parker, claims that it took his team six months and more than 2,000 names to settle on the ideal one.
More and more services are attempting to make your life easier by pre-screening and recommending names (such as Wordoid or Shopify’s Business Name Generator), domains (such as Bust a Name), or names and accessible URLS (e.g., Brand Bucket).
These resources can be useful for brainstorming, but it’s crucial to carefully select, investigate, and test a brand name. (Some things just can’t be generated automatically.)
So, if you’re prepared to choose your brand name, follow these simple instructions.
Step 1: Express the heart of your brand
Understand who you are and what you want to accomplish before naming yourself. You must express your brand heart in order to do this. This comprises:
What is the reason you are here?
What kind of future do you want to contribute to? What will the future hold?
What are you here to do, exactly? How would you design such a future?
Values: What tenets govern your actions?
These factors collectively affect all you do (including choosing a name). If you’re unsure about the answers to these queries, use the workbook template we’ve provided below to identify your brand’s heart.
Examine your differentiators in Step 2
Finding a brand name requires knowing what makes your company distinctive. There are many other aspects of your company that set you apart from the competition. Your Brand Heart is undoubtedly one of them. As you proceed with the name process, you should keep these distinctive qualities in the forefront of your mind. Keep in mind: You’re not only looking for a catchy name. Looking for a fantastic name for yourself.
If you don’t know exactly what sets you apart, use our method to do a competitive study (which includes a free template to make the process easier). You may better understand how you can differentiate yourself through each element of your branding by taking a close look at your rivals.
Step 3: Generate ideas
The exciting (and occasionally brutal) phase is now. Gather your creatives and stakeholders, then organize a brainstorming session. While letting everyone loose might sound like fun, it works better to give them some form of limitations or rules to operate inside. You might want to open these sessions with particular tasks or questions. For instance:
- List all the adverbs that best characterize your product or service.
- Describe the feelings you want your clients to have after using your product or service.
- Make a word association exercise with your product or service.
- Consider the various types of brand names as a brainstorming technique.
Step 4: Research Your Brand
The most frustrating thing is unquestionably this. Testing anything that has already been taken is pointless, therefore you must thoroughly examine your front-runners.
Search the database of registered trademarks maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office after reducing down your brainstormed list to the team favorites (preferably those 15-20). Check out their overview of trademark fundamentals while you’re there. If they are all taken, other plans must be made. Your list will be whittled down for you by this practice. But if you’re a genius and you managed to find 20 unregistered names on your first attempt, pick your top three and test them.
Observation: If a name seems to be available, have a legal team thoroughly investigate it.
Step 5: Test repeatedly
The most thrilling phase is about to begin now that you have overcome the legal barrier. You get to test your top three names and design your mockups (think logos, product packaging, and homepages). You could be shocked by what appeals to folks.
Steven Cook, an attorney for startups, has provided this straightforward and quick testing idea:
Create a landing page with your brand for each name. Use the exact same copy, only changing the logo or brand name.
For one week, run a highly targeted Facebook ad to your ideal clients.
Find out which page generated more conversions.
When you’re through, you ought to have a front-runner. (If there is a tie for conversions between two names, your brand team should make the decision.)