The name is the brand trigger. When it is said or read or thought, all the impressions, experiences and promises of the brand are brought to mind.
Creating a new brand name, whether is a new company or a new product line, is an opportunity to take a deep breath, take stock of who you are and where you’re headed, figure out what new things you need to add to the marketing mix, and what baggage you may be ready to leave behind.
The following key attributes should be present in every company name:
- Position the company/product within the markets it serves.
- Attract customers and prospects, usually by stating a benefit, specific or implied.
- Be memorable
- Be easily pronounced
- Have positive verbal associations and connotations.
- Be unique, not at all like competitor names.
- Be protectable.
Next is a list with some five things to be considered when you start naming a new company, product or service:
1. Determine How Important the Name Really Is
Having a clever name isn’t always important. Many companies thrive in industries that are based on government contracts, bidding wars, business friendships, etc., and their name is often just a unique identifier to be placed on legal paperwork.
For most companies, however, their name can be an integral part of their marketing process. A clever, memorable name can make a potential client think about the company for a few extra moments, which may be all you need to get the edge on your competitors.
2. Stand Out…
The most common mistake made when naming a new business endeavor is to make it sound like the others in that industry. This is based on anxiety about whether the new business will be taken seriously. In reality, it’s critical that you stand apart from your competition, and that you look to your competitors as examples of what to avoid.
There are literally 30 or 40 wireless companies called Mobile-something — Mobileum, Mobilocity, MobileOne. Make a rule and don’t pick a name with ‘mobile’ in it, if you name a wireless company.
3. …but don’t get carried away.
A name that doesn’t mean anything, or it has no depth won’t work ussualy. A name should connect with something already in the collective subconscious. Don’t forget, you’re trying to make an emotional connection.
4. Test your tolerance for going ‘out of the box.’
If you’re looking for something unusual, usually when it comes down to it, the obstacle is always fear. Make sure that the fears aren’t based on what happens to brands out in the world. It’s like Banana Republic. People don’t see the name and think, ‘Whoa, an ugly racial slur — I’m not going to shop there.’ It’s all contextual.”
5. Don’t involve too many people
Most corporations have no problem delegating marketing and advertising issues to the marketing department, but when naming is involved, especially naming the company itself or key products, suddenly everyone wants to have a say in the process, and it can quickly become politically and emotionally charged. Therefore, it is essential that you keep the number of people involved in a naming project to a minimum, that they have real authority, and that they all understand the ideas outlined above.