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Steps To Finding The Perfect Brand Name

Some brand names are so perfect, they’ve become synonymous with the product. Do you reach for a tissue or a Kleenex? Do you jot down reminders on a sticky note or a Post-It? Of course, these names have years of marketing behind their reputation, but they all have one thing in common: they’re cued into what their target audience will remember.

The best brand names indicate the value your company presents to your customers, while being unique enough to stand out from the crowd. After all, there are millions of brand names out there. How can you ensure that yours is not only special but also effective? Follow these steps.

Decide how you want your customers to feel

A brand is more than your marketing: it’s how your customers think and feel about your company. A large part of that is your brand name. Ever seen a business that has a formal, generic name, yet attempts to use whimsical, fun marketing? Sometimes this works (e.g. Geico), but usually, your name needs to reflect the brand personality you want to achieve.

To start developing the perfect brand name, play a game of word association. Brainstorm a list of words that express the type of brand you want to have, then think about how these words could be combined into your brand identity, including your company tagline.

Develop a list of name options

Some businesses use their owners’ or founders’ names as their name, and that’s a great idea if the name is unique yet easy to remember. However, if you’d like to develop a name from scratch, think about a combination of words that best expresses your brand personality.
Take the list of words you have created, and think about names that could be drawn from them. Words with positive associations or that are action-oriented, e.g. “Power,” “Super,” “Fresh,” “Fit,” and “Eco,” are all good choices. Next, think about a simple description of your company
that could tie in with these words. Then, look for ways to combine these words, or parts of them. Many successful brand names pair up positive words, e.g. HelloFresh, or use wordplay to grab attention, e.g. Pinterest. Think outside the box, but remember to keep your names accessible and easy to spell/pronounce.

Do your research

Few things are more disappointing than coming up with a great brand name, only to discover that it’s already been taken by another business. Even someone who’s not a competitor (i.e. in a different industry) can cause SEO trouble if they have the same name as you. It’s important to fully research your shortlist of names (and their variations) to find a name that’s 100% unique.

It’s also important to test the name. Too many companies choose names that are hard to pronounce or spell, then wonder why they’re not achieving brand recognition. Other names may not have the impact you want on your target audience. It’s easy to put on blinders when it comes to naming, so use a focus group or run the name by trusted colleagues and friends to
ensure it has the effect you desire.

Secure your name

Once you have a name that you’re ready to roll with, start registering it everywhere you can.
Snap up your domain name (with variations), and register your company name with your government as applicable. Be sure to sign up your brand name with all major social media platforms as well. Then, develop a launch campaign. If your name is highly unusual, consider running ads that
explain your company’s story and name in a nutshell (again, think Geico).

Incorporate the name into a variety of formats so that it starts to sink into your audience’s minds. Be sure to include the name in your logo, if only as an accompanying wordmark. This way, people can begin to link your name with their experience of your brand.

Wrapping Up

A powerful brand name does more than grace your letterhead and marketing materials. It provides you with an opportunity to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Your brand name should encapsulate the unique value you offer to your customers. Perhaps it reflects your company’s story or describes the outcome your customers will achieve. Either way, it should reflect a blend of symbolism and practicality. Take the time to develop your perfect brand name — it’s well worth it.

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