Across the globe and all through history, names have played a very important role in our society. In some cultures, names are believed to pass on their significance to the bearer, making people wises, stronger, more successful in their adult life. We don’t just name people, we name things, assigning individuality to places, events and objects and, in doing so, try to ensure their impact upon the world.
We also name abstract entities, in a bid to bring them to life and, in a world where there’s no shortage of entrepreneurs, we try to turn unremarkable businesses into memorable brands. Just like a parent picking a name for their child, we have to prioritise some traits of that name above others when naming brands. Let’s have a look at the three most important options you’ll have to consider.
Catchy vs Obvious
When choosing a brand name, one often starts with the options that, at the very least, hint the business’ industry and capabilities. There are many, many brands out there with names that very obviously describe their focus and, because most of them incorporate common nouns, the good ones are taken. Reluctant to take a step back and re-evaluate their choices, people often persist in their attempts to find a viable way of making this work, ending up with brand names that you have to read a certain way or contain both letters and numbers that don’t necessarily make sense to anyone other than whoever’s come up with it.
A good way of figuring out whether you’re on the right track is by running it passed the people around you. If you’re greeted by a look of utter confusion, have to spell out the name or immediately have to follow-up with an explanation of the name’s structure…it’s a good bet you’re way off.
If you find that the obvious choice is taken, don’t try to force nouns, syllables or numbers together just for the sake of having at least a hint at whatever it is your business does. Instead, focus on selecting a name that contains words from your specific industry or representing your core business, even if they’re not all encompassing.
Simple vs Meaningful
One important trait a name needs to have in order for it to be memorable is simplicity. The easier it is to pronounce and write, the easier it’ll be to remember. Some brands, however, rely heavily on their business’ story to differentiate themselves from their competitors and simplifying that name, might distance the business from its story.
Is it worth the trade-off? Shoestrings and Fancy Things thinks so. Sometimes, a name can be so closely linked to what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, that going with a different choice will void it of meaning and personality.
When choosing whether to go with the simplest or the most meaningful option, always consider what it is you’re actually doing and which option will support your efforts in the future. Opting for a meaningful brand name might be a great choice for a tailor, whereas a simple one will be much more effective for an outlet.
Preference vs Forethought
Since we’re talking about thinking ahead, one crucial aspect in choosing a name for your business is its viability for the future. Whatever you’re going with has to work not just now but, at the very least, for a few more years.
Brands evolve and, to support that growth, your brand’s name has to lend itself to a number of applications. It has to support your brand’s identity, reinforcing the emotional connection you’re trying to build with consumers. It’s a significant element of your brand experience and one of the key take-aways when people interact with your business.
This is why personal preference has to square up to the name’s potential in helping you achieve these goals, and potential should win every time. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having to rebrand your business more often than you’d like.
The Bottom Line
You might think that choosing a brand name is a matter of finding the right combination of words that symbolize your business, product or service. A combination that sounds nice, is easy to remember and has gives you enough room to play with the concept in a marketing campaign.
In fact, your brand name has to hint at your business focus, become a tool that helps you convey a memorable brand experience and maintain its relevance for your business for years to come. Considering its impact, the choice is anything but easy so take your time, think it through and try to apply it to make sure you’re making a better choice than your competitors.