If you need to choose a great brand name for your product, service or business, start by (thinking about/when one thinks about) the importance of the name in your calling/labeling efforts.
Your business name is an extension of your brand, reinforcing the value you provide or distancing you from it. When you’re developing your business name, a service or a product, you have some options:
• Create a new word (Amazon, Google)
• Choose a word the describes something (Sprint)
• Describes what you do (Transatlantic)
• Using the inventor or founders name (Walt Disney)
• Take a word out of context (Apple)
When deciding it’s important to think about what your name should mean and represent. For example, if you’re running a company that provides business marketing services, your name should be a sample of your work, right?
Naming Steps & Key Concepts
Before you choose a brand name
Since your name is an extension of your brand, it’s important to develop your brand strategy before you start the naming process.
Do you need to hire someone?
With a good process and strategy, you can probably develop a good name on your own. However, you may not have the resources or desire to handle the project internally. While it’s no guarantee that a firm or consultant will develop a better name, they may do it more quickly and objectively.
There are a number of factors to consider, including
• The stakes: if you’re investing a lot of money into launching a new product to a major market with established competition, the stakes are high.
• Your confidence in your team’s creative firepower or objectivity.
• The amount of time and energy you have to devote to the project.
• Whether you can afford to bring in an outside resource.
Develop a strategy to choose a great brand name
• Determine what your name needs to accomplish.
• Decide how it will work with existing product or service names (if applicable).
• Determine what kind of name to develop – descriptive, invented, founder’s name, etc.
• Develop objective criteria to evaluate the names you generate.
Generate plenty of potential names
If you’re competing beyond your local area, you may find that many of your potential names (or URLs) are already taken, so you’ll need to create a long list. Invite a variety of people to a brainstorming session. Plan it well, and capture every idea for further evaluation.
Evaluate the list against your criteria
Your goal is to fairly and without emotion find the name that meets your judging requirements, so be careful about asking friends and family whether they “like” a name. For example, a name that raises eyebrows may do so because it’s different – and it may be the most unforgettable and powerful one in the bunch.
Test your name
Make sure it:
• Won’t be constantly mispronounced or misspelled, which defeats the purpose of a name
• Sounds good over the phone (for example, when a sales rep calls a prospect)
• Isn’t confusing
• Conveys your desired brand personality
• Has a URL that works with it
Protect your brand name
It’s important to protect your name to the appropriate degree. If you choose a name that violates another company’s copyright, you could receive an (order to stop doing something and never do it again) letter and have to go to court and/or change your name after months or even years of use. By protecting your name, you also gain the ability to prevent future competitors from using it.
After you choose your great brand name, you can create your logo and corporate identity, and (related to big business) then begin creating your brand story, brand personality and call me/label messaging to use throughout your sales materials and marketing efforts.