The 7 Golden Rules to Developing a Great Business Name for your Brand
You have a killer product. You have a stellar team. Your marketing is on point.
There’s just one problem. You don’t have a name for your brand!
If you are anything like me, in Highschool you could write the best essay your teacher had ever seen, but it was always made an unappealing first impression. Why? It was named “Untitled.”
Content is key when it comes to success.
Yet, quality content deserves a quality name. A quality name is one that stands out; a name that jumps to mind whenever the logo is seen. Think Starbucks or McDonalds. Your mouth starts watering just considering those brands. Why? Their name tells you everything you need to know.
So, for all of you with title block, here are 7 ideas to help begin on creating a stellar business name.
The 7 Golden Rules of Developing a Great Business Name for Your Brand:
Rule #1: Look for inspiration
Great comedians all have one thing in common: somewhere in the middle of their best stuff they say, “you can’t make this stuff up!”
And they’re right.
Observation of the everyday world is key for discovering your brand name. It can be an object, a name, a shape, or even an experience that launches your creative juices towards the best name you ever did see.
When it comes to developing a business name look for external inspiration. Seriously take note of anything that you like—an object, a colour, an emotion, a shape, anything. Every piece will help you narrow down a name.
Rule #2: Consider Definitions
Some of the greatest brand name development started with simple etymology. And some definitions defy belief, but as a comedian would say “You can’t make this stuff up”. LEGO, for example, got their name from two Danish words which when combined mean, “play well.” BOOM, you have a brand name that is recognized (and adored) globally.
Rule #3: List Your Observations
As you are going through your observations, write down the first words that come to mind. Do not filter this process, just let your stream of consciousness do the talking. Again, DO NOT FILTER this process – this is a key point!
Do this for a minute, maybe two, take 20 minutes if you need too. Then, take the words you’ve written on your list and qualify them. Eliminate the ones which are absolute rubbish, and then create a ‘maybe’ pile. Take all the words in the ‘maybe’ pile and individually put those words into a ‘Google Images’ search and watch the results.
The images that are generated in the search will evoke different emotions and inspirations that will either allow the word to become your brand name or lead you to your next one. This is a really interesting exercise to see other perspectives of the name or word that you plan to use for your brand.
Make notes of your image findings as you go along because this research will help you in your logo development a little further down the track.
Rule #4: Be Dyslexic
Throw your primary school grammar lessons out the window and make a spelling mistake on purpose. See what happens…
See what happens with the words on your list if you spell them phonetically instead of grammatically. Sometimes being too ‘kool for skool’ is exactly the wordz you need 2 give u the creative boost that will send your naming game over the edge. (See what I did here… but you get the point!)
Joining words together, misspelling them, working with old slang… all of these ideas have worked wonders for companies like Budweiser.
Rule #5: Keep it Simple
It’s easy to get bogged down in the hundreds of thousands of possibilities these creative processes can generate in brand name development. The key is to remember that you want a name that is easily recognizable that is consistent with the mission of your brand. Therefore, when developing a business name, choosing a word or phrase which speaks about what you do is an easy way to make yourself memorable to the rest of the world.
For example, if you are a photography company looking to sell candid portraits of people’s lives calling yourselves, “Snapshots” is a simple, understated way of explaining what you do in a single word.
Rule #6: Make Pronunciation Easy
When you draw your business name from an exotic source—like a foreign language or religion—be sure to adapt your name to the language of your target audience. Everyone likes a touch of the exotic, but your brand needs to be recognizable and easy to spread via word of mouth. Do not choose a word so creatively ludicrous that it cannot be easily spelled or discussed in day to day interactions.
Think about what your ideal client might need to type into the search bar in Google… and there’s your answer on how easy it needs to be to pronunciate.
Rule #7: Gain Feedback
Lastly, once you’ve narrowed down your list to two or three choices, ask people within your target audience for their thoughts and feelings regarding the brand name. Not any people, especially not Bob at the pub or Beryl at the corner shop (especially if these people are NOT your ideal client or your target audience.
Ask the right people what kinds of imagery and feelings your evokes for them. Ask them to tell you what the first think of or associate with once they hear or read your name. For example, when we hear the name ‘Starbucks’ we can already smell the coffee.
Explain your brand to this same individual and then ask them if they believe your new name fits—why or why not. Listen to their feedback as this will bit you further down the line if you ignore what they had to say.
Ultimately, choosing a brand name is one of the most important decisions you will ever make as an entrepreneur. This process is easily over complicated. Relax, have fun, and brainstorm some fun words using the 7 tips we’ve provided here.
If you find you still need further guidance, speaking to a Branding Expert will help you streamline this process and potentially even do it for you.
Find yourself in need of a Branding Expert? Give us a call on 1300 339 223 or click here to send as a message.