Naming a brand. Our top 5 tips…

By Kate Clayton
By Kate Clayton

Brands invest a lot of time, money and emotion into creating products – big and small, so achieving the right name needs some careful thought as it will be sticking around for quite some time.

So, is there a methodology to creating a powerful and effective brand name? One that entices consumers, clearly expresses the brand, is memorable and hasn’t been used before. It’s a lot to factor in and it may take some time to get it right.

We guide brands through the naming process, giving the benefit of our expertise whilst ensuring their full involvement in this first exciting, all-important step in bringing their brand to life.

Here are our 5 top tips for coming up with those all-important names:

1/ Define the Brand Values and Personality

Defining these elements will give a much clearer direction for the naming and provide an important check list to refer back to later in the process.

  • What brand values does the name need to represent?
  • What do you want consumers to think and feel?
  • What makes the brand unique?

2/ Competition

It’s important to embark on the naming process in context to where the brand will be seen, and so understanding the market category where it will exist is key.

  • Review the competition
  • Which names are taken?
  • Which ones are good?
  • Any consumer insights/feedback?

3/ Name Generation

This is where the fun begins! There are no right or wrong ideas at this stage, so with the defined values and outcomes of the competitive review in mind, the name ideas can start flowing.
Breaking ideas down into different types of names can help guide the process…

  • Descriptive names – describe what the company does
  • Abstract names – made up words that have a strong memorable sound and have the potential to gain new meaning
  • Nouns – such as surnames or place names
  • Composite names – a combination of real words mashed together or linked with ’&’
  • Legacy names – founder’s names, nicknames or acronyms

4/ The Consumer

Once you have a list of potential brand names, it’s time to think about your consumer. They are the ones who you want to engage with and ultimately buy your brand and so ensuring names will appeal to them is key. Here are some questions to consider…

  • Distinctive – is the name unique? How does it stand out amongst the competition?
  • Legible – is it easy to read? Is it easy to spell?
  • Appropriate: will it make sense to the consumer? Can they relate to it?
  • Sound – how does it sound out loud? Is it easy to say? Is the pronunciation obvious?
  • Memorable – is it easy to remember? How many times do you have to read or hear it before you remember it?
  • Emotion – does the word evoke thoughts of anything? Is it believable?

5/ Ask the Experts

Creation of great name ideas is a real skill and to ensure you get the best start it’s important to enlist the help of great creative writers. Teasing out the best names often requires some out-of-the-box thinking. This is why many of our clients ask us to contribute to this process. We start by using all the techniques above to compile a wide range of name ideas, then work together with our clients to create a shortlist which can be used for checking legalities before being voted on, and a final name chosen!

The important thing to remember is that no idea is inherently ‘right’ or ‘wrong’; rather, each one influences a name in a specific way. These tips are all about steering the process, but ultimately, it’s all about playing with different words until you find the one that feels right for your brand – enjoying the process as you go!