What’s in a name?

More than you might think…
Brand Identity - Brand & Product Naming
Brand Identity – Brand & Product Naming

Whether it’s coming up with a name for your organisation, a new product or even a new baby, it’s a hugely difficult process, as names evoke so many varying emotions and can be highly personal.

You’ve probably experienced all types of brand names – ones that confused you, delighted you, turned you off, and maybe even offended you or seemed insensitive. Who’s been to Dirty Bird in Cardiff- or even better, seen their sign? Now- whilst Dirty Bird pull off their name impeccably well (and serve great food whilst they’re at it) not all companies will want something as risqué.

Selecting a brand name is one of the most important decisions your company will make. The name needs to communicate the essence of your idea, product or business in just a word or two.

While there are no universal rules for finding a perfect name, due to the emotional and personal nature of selecting a name, it’s important to structure your thinking and adopt a process to help you. This is ours…

Brand Strategy

Your name is an extension of your brand, and it can reinforce your values or distance you from them. It needs to be unique, memorable and something your customers can relate to, but most importantly, needs to fit the culture of the organisation and accurately reflect the values of your brand.

The starting point for naming your company or product relies on a clear Brand Strategy. How can you know if you’re choosing the right brand name if you don’t know what your unique value proposition, brand promise, and strategic direction are?

Whether it’s starting from scratch, or reassessing what you already have in place, we would start with a Brand Strategy session.  The process can be very cathartic, and a lot of fun, but ultimately the goal is to get to the crux of your business and establish your values, goals and direction.

Create a Short List

With your Brand Strategy in mind, it’s time to lock the team in a room and brainstorm!

We usually come up with 5-10 potential brand names that will last through market changes, brand extensions, geographic expansions, trends, fads, and so on.

You should create a brand name that can stand the test of time, because you never know where the world, the market, your consumers, competitors, and- perhaps most importantly- you, could go in years to come.

Social, Domain Name and Trademark Availability

A fantastically witty or fitting brand name is no use to your business nowadays unless it can be baked up with digital assets. Checks for domain name and social media availability are crucial. While it’s very possible that the exact name for your brand won’t be available, you need to know early if there are acceptable alternatives available. For example if you’re target market is in the UK then @yourbrandnameUK is often a good option.

The last checks to make are competing trademarks.  You don’t want to launch a brand and receive a letter a few months (or years) later telling you that someone else already owns that trademark so you have to stop using it. It’s vital to perform the necessary checks at this early stage to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.

Once all of these stages are complete, we are likely have narrowed the list to 3-5 of the best options.

Choosing the name

Then it’s over to you! Armed with our shortlist and always on hand advice, you’ll be able to choose the new name for your brand that’s going to elevate your positioning and get you where you want to be. It’s a personal choice and we recommend you spend a few days ‘living with the name’ before you make your final choice.

So, you’ve got your name. We’ll be on hand to help you with the registration process then it’s time to start looking at rolling it out and creating a logo and brand to surround and support it- but that’s a story for another day.

Kathryn Shaw
Project Manager
Date Posted
4th February 2016
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