The Importance of a Brand Name
We all have names. Some names are typical, while others are quite unique. Names establish a good starting point, as they can give clues to one’s origin, gender and even aspirations. Besides revealing our background, names also help distinguish us from one another.
Like people, brands can also be distinguished by name. However, a good brand name conveys a precise message and anchors the product to its inherent values. It not only provides a glimpse of its story, but rounds it, makes sense of it and reaffirms it.
What Are Good Brand Names
Interestingly, studies have shown consumers are partial to good brand names. What are good brand names? Names that are simple, easy to remember, easy to say, easy to see. For instance, consumers tend to favor brand names that start with plosive sounds like B, C, D, G, etc. Think Budweiser, Coke, DKNY, Gucci. Consumers also prefer typical brand names, rather than atypical. For example, Tropicana would be a typical brand name for orange juice; Brownies would not. Consumers gravitate towards brand names with a symbolic or pictorial value e.g. Apple’s apple and American Airline’s eagle. In some cases, they even prefer brand names with similar letters as their own name (otherwise known as implicit egotism, but that’s another article).
Whether you’re a large company extending your product offerings or a small business starting a new product or service, deciding on a brand name is an important and arduous task but a necessary one. I recommend a four-step process, which involves setting objectives, creating a list of possible names, evaluating the names and choosing the names.
Like any great task, one should always start with a list of objectives. What do you hope to achieve with the brand name?
Create a List
On average, most businesses should consider about 50 names to start with. There are many ways businesses can come up with good brand names, some include getting help from agencies, others may brainstorm in-house or even decide to purchase existing names in the marketplace.
Start by assessing how the names measure up with your initial objectives. From there, see if they meet other important criteria such as does it evoke connotations, is there overall appeal or does it translate well globally.
Once you’ve narrowed your options, be sure to set aside 3-5 choices in case of trademark clearances. We recommend you consult with an advertising agency for further assistance with qualitative measures such as implementing linguistic research, focus group and survey testing.
Remember, a brand name is one of the most important components of your business. Like your own name, a brand name is highly revealing and will influence how others perceive it as well as determine the kind of sales and overall success of your company.