Did you know that Pepsi-Cola® used to be called Brad’s Drink? Or that the world’s most popular search engine was originally created under the name BackRub?
As humans, we form connections with words based on the experiences and knowledge we have of those words. Your business name is an incredibly impactful piece of your overall brand that has the power to forge a memorable, meaningful connection in consumers’ minds and position your brand for future scalability. As the very first impression a consumer will have with your brand, a well-chosen brand name can open doors and differentiate you from competitors while a poorly chosen name can limit your opportunities, create confusion, and negate the work and value of your brand.
As with any piece of your branding or marketing strategy, it is essential to be thoughtful and intentional in your approach to choosing a name for your brand. Here are 6 tips to consider:
Understand who you are
Before you set out to name your company, it is important to get clear about who you are. What is your mission and purpose as a company? What is your story? Understanding the heart of who you are can help create the framework for creating a name with lasting meaning. Rather than describing what differentiates your company, focus on the meaning and feeling you want your company to evoke. Have a strategy in place and know what it is you want your brand name to accomplish.
Once you have a firm grasp on who you are as a company and what your goals are, brainstorm! Get your creatives together and create a structured brainstorming session. Ask the right questions and give prompts! A structured workshop can lead to greater creativity and a more efficient process than an open-ended brainstorming session.
Keep it simple
Your brand name should be something consumers will understand and remember. Make sure the name you choose is not confusing and won’t constantly be mispronounced or misspelled. Use proper spelling, and, if possible, choose a real word.
Make it scalable
The name you choose has the power to set your business up for future growth, or to limit it. Over time, your goals may change and your product or service offerings will likely evolve as your business does. Be sure your chosen brand name does not confine you to a certain identity, product offering, or location. For example, Amazon®’s metaphoric name symbolizing scalability allowed the business to grow and evolve far beyond its original identity as an online book seller.
Test it out
After you have generated some name options for your business, test them out. Say them out loud, and ensure there is no confusion or potential misunderstandings around pronunciation. Additionally, test your brand name with your logos, slogans, and other branding pieces. Do they complement one another?
Finally, make sure your brand name is available and has the ability to be trademarked. With over 24 million businesses in the United States and millions of domain name registrations, testing for availability is a crucial step. When possible, opt for the “.com” domain name, as it tends to be associated with more established businesses.
Choosing a name for your businesses is an important, exciting step in the process of establishing your business that can help set you up for success for years to come. At Addison Clark, we help create strong brands for our clients. For more information on our branding services, give us a call!