As a branding firm and creative team we operate with a variety of tools to help our clients when launching a new product or service. However, whether the task requires a brand identity that stands out or an online campaign to interact with customers, the objective is always the same: help a business grow by providing well crafted content to a targeted audience. That's our purpose and what gets us fired up every time we work on a new project. More coffee?
"What's in a name?", Juliet asks in Shakespeare's play. We think, there’s a lot that should go in the process of developing a name for a company or a product. It's not a task to take lightly, nor is it wise to rush to a decision because business cards need to be printed or the website is ready to launch.
Here are 7 tips that will help to create a strong brand name:
||a few samples of names we have created for our clients:
- Actify (Marketing firm)
- Aktiv8Vapor (E-cigarette)
- Jacobus Consulting (IT)
- Roleo Therapeutic Massager
- Santo Diablo Mezcal (Liquor)
- Cache d'Or (Jewelry)
- Miami Candy (Jewelry)
1. Don't describe—differentiate. The biggest mistake companies make is being too literal with their names. A name should not attempt to simply describe; it should have the ability to suggest the essence or values of a company. Also, what’s important is, to always look at a name with your customer’s eyes. They may perceive a name differently than you do. Customers tend to respond more to emotional clues than dry descriptive terms. Ask yourself, would you rather buy a computer from “Jobs Computer Systems” or from “Apple”?
2. Avoid xyz. Names that are composed of initials are difficult to establish. They tend to get lost in the marketplace clutter without having a legacy like GE or IBM. "A no-name name is the corporate equivalent of a disguise." - Jack Trout
3. Research, research, research. The more data is available, the more likely you will be able to avoid the bias-trap. In early stages of the naming process it happens quite often that a favorite name gets tossed around which then leads to tunnel vision. Data allows to keep the focus on the larger picture.
4. If it's too obvious—forget it. The most successful names over the long-term are often those that are initially the most polarizing (think Google, Amazon, Apple, Starbucks). A name that is too obvious will only support the category but not the brand itself. When you select a name, you are looking for something to punch through the media clutter, not add to it. The objective is to stand out, not to blend in.
5. Brevity is key. One word brands are most effective. The shorter the better. Lengthy, multiple word names lead to truncation. When people mess with your name, you lose control over your brand.
6. Consumer or employee testing never works. While they are often well-meaning, they do not result in names that are based on the appropriate strategic rationale. To quote Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
7. It’s a global economy. Make sure the name also works in other languages. Nothing can be more embarrassing if your hot new company name spells something weird in Chinese or Spanish. Remember “Rolls Royce Silver Mist”? They had to rename it to “Silver Cloud” once they found out that “mist” means garbage in German. An expensive adventure.
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