Brand Naming 101
This process should come with a warning…“Don’t try this by yourself!”
Question: How many new businesses have the company or product name sorted out, before they have figured their route to market, their target customer or their USP (unique sales points)? Answer: Far too many!
The managing director is always totally convinced by it, they are so proud that they thought of the name, they can’t contain their excitement when they reveal it at the first design meeting. Many entrepreneurs are convinced they have to come up with the brand name before anything else, but this doesn’t lend itself to smart, consistent, coherent and effective brand design. In an attempt to take the pressure off thinking of the right brand name, here are some hints and tips from experienced brand design company Rose-Innes Designs.
Brand designers know a thing or two about names. The tone, the ring it has, the appropriateness and the evocativeness are all crucial. A good brand designer can tell you honestly if your ‘genius’ new name is great or whether you might like to consider some alternatives.
Here are some brand names the Rose-Innes team have come up with to give you a little inspiration…
Smartyre, a mobile tyre service
When we suggested this name initially, the client was so overjoyed that in haste they registered the domain and bank account as Smarttyre with two ‘t’s!, only to have to go back and change them later to the recommended brand name spelling. Smart price, smart service, smart people – the name has allowed Smartyre to create a recognisable, memorable brand identity.
Waters & Gate, a credit management company
When the company (then Clear Castle) approached us to design their brand we suggested they change the name and we suggested half a dozen concepts until they settled on Waters & Gate. Notice the subtle change? This new brand name is stronger and has an authoritative presence that carries the brand to those that are on the giving and receiving end of credit.
Here are some tips to consider when choosing a brand name:
- Jot down some thoughts about brand names and hold them loosely for some time.
- Play with words. The way things sound out aloud and they way things are read are quite different.
- Try not to jump onto one name too soon! If you hear yourself saying “That’s it! That’s it!” That’s your cue to reign it in!
- Spend some time searching online for similar products or services – check out the competitive market.
- Check which website domain names are available, but don’t let this deter you from choosing a name that is ‘right’ for what you are doing.
- Tempting though it is, avoid using words like “Solutions” or “Services”
- Keep it simple
- Avoid corny straplines, ask yourself, do you really need a strapline?
- It’s not what you say but how you say it
- Check with the IP office that your product or service category hasn’t already been taken with the name you are considering.
- Ask a designer to present the name to you in various designed formats and fonts before you select the final brand name.
- Find out if you need to register it on the IPO website.