A brand name should connect, signify, and represent a product, service or person. A brands name plays an important role in marketplace positioning, customer retention and has a huge impact on a customers perception of a brand, whether it’s a re-brand or a new business entirely, a key goal should be to configure a robust brand name that has longevity..
There are four fundamental stages that a brand naming process should follow in order to survive digital revolutions and changing consumer behaviours:
The key to the naming stage is to plan thoroughly.
Initiate by asking yourself core questions about the product, service or company which you’re naming:
What is the unique selling point against competitors?
What does the brand signify?
What will the name communicate?
Is there a story behind the product/service/company?
Once mind mapping has been completed, competitor analysis should be conducted to rule out potential copyright issues and to analyse the current market. Understanding the market landscape and competitor names allows correct brand positioning to be achieved. From the competitor research, conduct a SWOT analysis. Particularly focus on: The strengths and weaknesses of competitor brand names, how they connect to consumers, the meaning of the chosen name and if they have gone through any name re-brands to fit into current markets.
For example, market leader Nike’s name originates from Greek mythology. ‘Nike’ roughly translates to a goddess who personified victory, thus, the name chosen for the global brand represents their ethos and marketing projects.
How does the target market effect a brand name? Consumers connect to brand names based on their personal interests, age, history and location. Brands can have universal names that connect across multiple audiences, however, most connect to one main target audience. Target audiences should be configured or known before a name, in order for the name to resonate. Current and upcoming trends should be noted to connect with the consumer, for e.g. the digital revolution, apps and AI as well as trends in speech and language that could alter the pronunciation of a brand name.
The next step is to begin brain storming. Make notes, draw and discuss, compiling a list of as many ideas as possible. From here, separate the names into categories of:
Descriptive:- Names which describe directly what a company does or aims to achieve for e.g. Snapchat, PayPal, PlayStation.
Suggestive:- Names that signify value and create positive connotations in the customers’ mind, for e.g. Sky, Open table, O2.
Abstract:- Names which are made up but have a memorable sound or connections relating to the values or meaning of a brand for e.g. Google, Rolex, Skype.
Blended or Abbreviated:- Names which connote meaning and add context to a brand. This allows a name to remain indirect to the product or service offering. For e.g., Microsoft is a blended name of microcomputers and software, allowing Microsoft to become a more memorable brand name.
Conclude, finalise and certify
After this stage, you will have a mass of names, meanings and favourites. Now you’re able to narrow down the top 6 by answering these questions:
Does it exist in your service or product category?
Research the language connotations in other languages. Are there any negative connotations?
Is the domain name available?
Are there social channels registered as the chosen name?
Once this process is completed, go through the final list –it’s best to act as the consumer, and grasp what they would be thinking about the name, how it sounds and could possibly look and what the name reflects.
Name choosing can take anywhere from 5 minutes to weeks depending on the suitability. Aim for a brand name that works now, but you think will work in the future, ultimately the name should connote the product or service in the most positive way.
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