5 Steps To Create A Memorable Brand Name
This article was originally published at Forbes.com.
A brand name holds a lot of power. Those one or two words can impact how people perceive your brand. They can influence a customer’s decision to buy from you and even shape the memories people have of your product or service. That is why choosing the right name is so important. It’s also why it can be a challenging task. You need to create a memorable name that embodies your brand and isn’t already taken—not an easy feat.
So, how does one go about conquering the daunting task of finding the perfect name? There are a few steps we take at our agency that I’m going to outline for you in this article. But first, let’s chat about what makes a brand name memorable.
What Makes A Memorable Name?
When it comes to choosing a name, you should consider a few characteristics. After all, your name will dictate first impressions and set you apart from the competition. Your name should be:
- Meaningful: You want a name that creates a positive emotional connection with customers and prospects.
- Catchy: If no one remembers your brand name, it doesn’t have much value. You want a name that rolls off the tongue. Try alliteration. Think: Best Buy, Coca-Cola, PayPal. Or a play on words like Higher Ground for a coffee shop.
- Simple to spell and pronounce: You also don’t want people to struggle when reading or writing your brand name. Keep it short and simple.
- Visual: The name should translate well through design. Think: logo, colors, icons, etc.
Now, here are the steps we take to create a name. But to be honest, these aren’t concrete. Steps always look different from project to project.
The Naming Process
1. Understand what you want your brand to accomplish.
The first step is to understand your brand personality and what you want to achieve. Start with some questions:
- Why do we do what we do?
- What makes us different?
- What are our values?
- What solution(s) do we provide our customers?
This will narrow down what you want your name to represent and communicate. A bold, confident name will be different than a comforting, warm one. For example, the brand name Titan conjures up images of strength and size. While in contrast, the brand name Snuggie evokes feelings of warmth and comfort.
2. Get to know your target audience.
Now it’s time to understand your target audience. Consider the following aspects:
- Stage in life (kids, retirement, etc.).
- Challenge (and how your product solves it).
The characteristics of your audience can strongly influence your brand name. For example, you can play around with words like Uber for a younger audience. Make this process easier with a focus group. Strategic experts will speak with a segment of your target audience to understand them.
3. Start thinking and jotting names down.
With the research done, it’s brainstorming time. You can do this in a couple of ways:
- Brain dump: Get everyone in a room and just jot it all down. There are no bad ideas. If someone says a name, write it down.
- Excel spreadsheet: Share an Excel doc. Everyone does their own naming exercises and enters their ideas.
4. Trim your list.
When your brainstorming is done, narrow down your list. If the name doesn’t fit the brand’s characteristics, eliminate it. If it’s hard to say, throw it out. You get the idea. Once the front-runners are established, it’s trademark time.
5. Do a trademark search.
Save yourself the heartbreak and don’t get attached to a name before this step. (Trust me.) Check trademark availability via the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website.
Time To Create Your Memorable Brand Name
Naming a brand, company or product is complex. But if you follow the five steps in this article, you can create a brand name that reflects your business, stands out in your industry and leaves a lasting impression on your customers.
At Paulsen, we offer quick, easy concepting and vetting services, along with logo development to carry your new name forward. Plus, we have strategic experts to assist with initial research and target audience studies.
If you’re in the market for a new name give us a call or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.