To generate the perfect brand name is no easy task. It’s one of the hardest jobs for an agency to undertake. There are so many great names out there, but the majority of them are already registered or trademarked. This makes it a challenge to come up with something that no one else has already thought of; so you can build your brand on unique foundations. However there is nothing more satisfying than solving this challenge and generating the perfect name. And for you it’s also one of the most important decisions you will make for you company or brand.
In this article we will explore why your brand name is important, the aims of the new name and the creative process we would follow to generate the perfect brand name.
Why is your new brand or business name important?
It’s your first impression
The name of your brand or company is likely to be the first interaction people will have with your brand, so you need to make a good impression.
It’s therefore vital that your name is distinctive, unique and memorable, and will withstand the test of time. And the right name should always have a reason behind it. It should resonate with your target audience. It should stick in their minds and remain relevant as your company evolves. In other words, a strong brand name is vital to establishing a strong brand reputation.
It’s what makes you unique
While a name isn’t a substitute for a good product or service it can be an element which helps you stand out in a competitive market.
8 Top Tips for Name Generation
Keep it Short
The best names are as short as possible, one or two words only. This makes them easy to remember and lead to a more powerful brand.
Play Around with Words
You will need to get creative with words, don’t be afraid to invent and twist words to create something unique and original.
Make Sure it has Meaning
Your name should be meaningful and appropriate to the sector and your target audience. Ideally it should represent the persona of your brand.
Aim for Simplicty
Don’t overcomplicate it, your name can only do so much, don’t get bogged down trying to fit everything into your name.
You want your name to be well used, and your company easy to find. Therefore you need to ensure your name is easy to understand, pronounce, read, spell and most importantly: to remember.
Your name should be unique, distinctive and memorable.
Make sure your name will expand with you as your company grows, or extends into other sectors.
Check it is available both legally; so you can register your company or trademark and also online; so that you can secure a suitable domain name.
Keep an Open Mind
Make sure that you keep an open mind during the process. Don’t get your heart set on a certain name, only to find it is not available and can not be registered or you can’t get that all important domain name. Keep your options open until you are certain you can register all the required assets.
The creative process
There is a creative process to generating the perfect brand name. Of course there is always the possibility of that lightbulb moment but often it all starts with the creative process. Our approach is outlined below:
Step 1: The Brief
The brief is the most important stage in any name generation project, it should set out clearly what the product or service is offering, identify any USP’s (unique selling points or points of difference) and also what you wish the brand to stand for within the market. In other words, what you want it to evoke for your customers. The brief can be in long-hand, it doesn’t have to be succinct at this stage, it’s about gaining as much information as possible to spark different ideas.
Step 2: Research
The next step is to research the competition, to see what others are doing in your sector to be able to compare your offering and look for points of difference and insights.
Step 3: Brainstorm
This is the time to come up with ideas. At this stage no idea is a bad one. The more the merrier, bad ideas can create links which can lead to good ones. Create a mind-map, starting with the key messages and perform what we call a “brain dump”, and get everything you can think of down.
From this you can then start to create a list of name options. Collaboration is key at this stage. You need a creative team, whose opinions you trust. It can be helpful to try and create separate lists for each type of name. This can aid developing a wider range of ideas and help to form your initial ideas into formal name options. If you would like some inspiration why not take a look at our article about brand name types.
Step 4: Review
Take all the name ideas and review them. Ask your teams opinions, remove the weak options, and cut them down to a list of the best options. Make sure each option is easy to say, spell and read, then discount any which are not. It is also important to analyse the rationale for each name within your shortlist.
Step 5: Check
Take your shortlisted names and check that they are not in use, this includes searching with Companies House for registered business names, brand name registrations, and also internet searching for names in use.
Step 6: Short List
Repeat steps 3 to 5, until you have a great list of the best 5-10 name options.
Step 7: Decision Time
It’s time for a decision. Depending on the size of company, be it a start-up or large organisation, there may be several stakeholders to consult, but ultimately a decision needs to be made. You may also need to look at consumer research at this stage to cross check your final ideas directly with your target audience. Finally, you need to be comfortable that you have made the right choice, once you have your name, you will be using it for years to come.
In conclusion, the name generation process is fundamentally a creative one, where a wide variety of ideas are required. Often external help in this process can be vital to get a clear perspective and to aid critiquing your idea, and also to support the decision on the final name. In short, your name should be:
- Appropriate (meaningful to the sector and target audience).
- Easy (to understand, pronounce, read, spell and most importantly: to remember).
- Available (legally & online).
- Distinctive (is it unique and memorable and does it stand-out from the competition?).
If you need creative help to generate the perfect brand name, get in touch to see how we can help.