45,000 new brand names are registered in Spain every year. As these names are thrown at customers from all directions, it becomes critical to choose a name that will stick.
So what is a good brand name? A label that makes a powerful first impression on potential buyers, one that resonates with the customers’ needs and evokes trust, relates with the brand values and positioning, is not just pleasing to the customer’s vision and hearing, but is truly memorable – these are some of the characteristics of a strong brand name.
How to choose a good brand name? Branding agencies strongly suggest against picking a name randomly. Instead, they offer brand naming guidelines and models one can use. Following a structured and systematic process can help choose a brand name that best represents one’s ideologies and values.
To begin with, an organization can narrow down the type of brand name they wish to have. There are 4 types of brand names:
• Descriptive names (for example, PayPal)
• Acronyms (for example, IBM)
• Invented names (for example, Xerox)
• Experiential names (for example, Virgin)
We are more into an abstract way to think about names depending on the feeling they give you:
• Abstract names (creating a non-existent name)
• Evocative names (based on a root word)
• Suggestive names (indicating the benefits of the brand)
• Associative names (referring to the brand concept)
Either classification you go for, each of them helps to have an awareness of other brand names in the same category as one’s product or service. Preparing an exhaustive list of competition’s brand names can shed light on the typical naming strategy/construction model used by other brands in the industry. Specialists advocate looking for common trends, naming conventions, and frequently occurring words or phrases.
Then be prolific in coming up with possible names for your brand. One can simply brainstorm with one’s team or alternately with a branding agency. As a next step, experts recommend shortlisting about 20 names that are most aligned with your brand attributes. Finally, score the names on their strategic, creative, and formal suitability to arrive at the best brand name.
Researching typical naming errors can help avoid the costly and tedious procedure of applying for a brand name change later. Forbes lists avoidable naming mistakes, like choosing a name that is too hard to pronounce, inadvertently using a brand name that already exists, finalizing a name that is too specific or too generic, and selecting a name based on domain availability alone.
The name of a brand is often a customer’s very first touchpoint with a brand. While it may be tempting to rush the process and pick a brand name hastily, time, and energy invested in careful selection can go a long way in creating brand recognition and enduring loyalty.