Most every company has a brand name. A brand separates Company X from Company Y. It’s the name that customers and prospects know and remember. So, logic would tell you that your brand name is a critical part of your positioning, your image, and your overall success.
But what makes a great brand name? We have worked with many clients over the years helping them name new companies, new products, and product lines. We’ve learned a great brand name must not only engage the target, but compel them (either directly or indirectly) to want to do business with you.
The following are some of the basics that we start with when we undertake a naming project:
It must communicate the essence of the brand.
All names create their own intrinsic meaning. They can be rational and descriptive (such as Discount Building Supply) or more emotional and imaginative (such as Yahoo). In either case, every name creates a meaning and ultimate brand image for your target. We believe your brand name should communicate your brand’s strategy and its essence. Whatever name you settle on, it must project the right brand image to your target.
It must be easy to say.
Just look around you at some of the brand names you see in your industry and your day-to-day life. Some brand names are easy to say and roll right off your tongue. These brands typically give you a good feeling about the company. A strong brand name is not only easy to say, but everyone should be able to pronounce it (and spell it) the same way.
It must fit within a naming system.
This is referred to as a nomenclature. Simply put, it means having a naming system that will allow you to grow and add new products or services that also fit logically within your brand. A great example of this is what Apple Computer did with its iMac, iPod, iPhoto, iPad, etc. They created a powerful naming system that became a critical component of its brand success.
It must be unique to you.
As you build your brand, be sure to protect it. Your brand name is a huge investment. It is one of your main differentiators in the marketplace, separating your products and services from your competitors. Not only should your brand name be ownable, but your brand essence should be as well.
As you can see, we believe the naming of a company, product, or service is much more than coming up with a name. It is a process that every organization should take very seriously. We also believe it should be part of a larger process of identifying and differentiating one of your most powerful potential assets – your brand essence.