Brand Name

There are two massive bear traps when it comes to naming or renaming a business.

  • One is the ‘does what it says on the tin’ trap, and the other
  • is the ‘let’s go crazy’ trap. Small businesses have a terrible habit of falling into one of these.

Interestingly, the name choices are not usually small variations on a theme but are instead quite different in nature. They tend to fall into the following categories.

  1. Does what it says on the tin names (which are generally trying to communicate something about the product or service benefit to the prospective customer).
  2. Charming/wacky/weird/enigmatic names (which are trying in one way or another to make an emotional connection).
  3. Straightforward labelling names (which tend to stem from the names of the founder or the origins of the business, using family names, initials and so on).
  4. Made-up words (which might also be trying for some kind of emotional connection but are generally more concerned with distinctiveness and memorability, and of course online uniqueness and trademark ability).

How to pick your brand name that connects on emotional level

  • The purpose of your brand, what are you trying to do
  • The meaning of your brand. How do you want people to feel
  • Short names are better to remember
  • Settle on a name that has resonance in some way. A name with flavour, interest, zest
  • If you have a name that is known, be wary to through it out
  • Don’t use initials

How do you craft a brand name

  1. Is it distinctive and different from competitors?
  2. Is it ‘appropriate’ (will people be repelled or embarrassed by it)?
  3. Is it engaging?
  4. Is it informative (does it help tell your story)?

Use 8×8 grid similar to morphological box but simpler, and put every phrase and every word you can think of and see if you can link them in some way. i.e. Brand Strategy Guru.

Changing business and brand alignment

If your business changes in nature, it’s important to realise that the box may no longer match the content, it might be time to rebrand, otherwise they out of alignment. Unless the brand is broad enough to cover the change in business. Brand should fit business.

Branding 101