A change in name can be costly to any business.
And if you don’t get it right the first time you will literally be throwing cash out the window.
Get off to a bonza start with these 10 Brilliant Brand Name Tips.
“what makes a brand name stick like glue?”
A sticky brand name will:
arrive with a good first impression, draw a person closer and depart leaving a warm fuzzy.
Firstly, a brand name will be inextricably linked to so many visible and invisible facets of your business.
And, you will need to say the brand name over and over for the life of the business so you better love it – a lot. A brand name will represent a business on many platforms. It will also become engrained in consumer mindsets. It will be repeated thousands of times in it’s lifetime by clients and suppliers. A change in name is a costly affair to any business – big or small.
Secondly, there is no denying the booming global startup culture. Or that competition is stronger than ever. So, a solid brand strategy behind the name is the best way to avoid disaster. Before you start brainstorming names, get clear on your brand strategy.
– What does your brand stand for?
– Identify product or service pro’s and con’s
– Research the market thoroughly
– What do they care about?
– Does your brand align?
Resolve any ideological issues before embarking brand naming.
A brand strategy will help guide you towards the right brand name.
Basic Brand Name Tips
We’re nearly there. But before we get into my top 10 Brilliant Brand Name Tips I want to cover a few important basics.
All names need to be considered for:
– political correctness (insulting people will not attract your target audience)
– negative associations of any kind (even swear words)
– questionable meanings in foreign languages (avoid accidental insults)
– other aspects that may render a name unwise (ie: ‘heinous’ sounds like ‘anus’).
Use your common sense to weed out potentially offensive names.
Ok here they are…
10 Brilliant Brand Name Tips
Let’s get stuck in. Get yourself a real head turner with these 10 Brilliant Brand Name Tips…
First and foremost, keep it short – one word or two is best for a retail product.
Length is vital to recall.
Being easy to recall is the main goal when choosing a brand name. Aim for less than five syllables. Six or more syllables is can be complex, too long, awkward or sound weird. Any of these will be hard for the consumer to remember.
Don’t rule out a name because it looks blah on paper. When creating a brand name the context effects how it is perceived. The word on its own has little value or impact. An accompanying design can vastly change how the brand name feels or is perceived. A well executed design concept will work wonders with any word.
3. Unique Selling Point
Ideally the brand name will be indicative of the product (or service). Not the street the farm is on. Not your last name. Not the dog’s name. Not a vague but super cool word. Yes, I’ve heard many ridiculous reasons for choosing a name. In some way indicate what the product concept is.
In an ideal world it will be a logical word wrapped in the Unique Selling Point (USP). A name is easier to recall if you include the USP.
For example ‘Purely Nutz’ is a brand of peanut butters made of only nuts – no additives, just nuts. Or ’Sue’s Gluten Free Goods’ are clearly products which are gluten free. ‘Facebook’ is online book of peoples faces and as we all know, sooo much more.
Immediately understood names create instant connection to consumers. Read that again. It’s simple. But so often I clients come to me with a name that doesn’t make sense. There is a big difference between smart and confusing.
Another angle is to be evocative. Try to evoke an emotion without being too complex. Brands like Billabong, Cool Ridge and Bega have an historic and strong connection to Australia. Likewise Golden Gaytime, Red Rock Deli and Thursday Plantation do this well. Evocative names have an intuitive feeling about the meaning.
Simplicity is the key.
You can learn more about how to capture your USP in just 5 minutes.
4. Language Tools
Brand names benefit from having an auditory hook.
Alliteration, for example: Burt’s Bee’s, Coca Cola, Sensational Strawberries and Banana Boat.
Rhyming words are usually gold bullion in the brand name sweepstakes. Not only are the easy to remember but usually people know the word, so it’s easy to spell. Rhyming names also have a musical quality. Think Sweet Beets, Boost Juice and 7-Eleven.
Another linguistic trick is to humanise a brand. A name like Harry’s Hampers creates a sense of familiarity in the commonness of the name. Other brands that use this technique are Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment, Paul’s (ice-cream) and Bragg’s (apple cider vinegar).
* Note: an auditory hook doesn’t not include misspelling a word, using a swear word or including hyphens. These things will not work in your favour with the majority of consumers OR with the search engines.
Take the time to find a suitable auditory hook. It can be the difference between good recollection or “what’s that name, umm?”
Say it out loud. Does it roll of the tongue easily? A brand name should be easy to pronounce.
A good way to test this is to ask a 4-5 year old to say the name. If a small child struggles then the bulk of your potential consumers will too.
Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash
Add a tagline for promotional activities if you feel it will assist. But leave it out of the brand name, that needs to be succinct.
Sometimes the packaging will not be big enough to accommodate a tag line. However it will help in loads of other marketing avenues. Think of it as a support to the main act. Ensure the brand name and the tagline sit together without a repetition of words.
7. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Being found easily in the digital world, is a key factor. Your business or brand name can increase your SEO too.
A descriptive name will assist with search viability. Wrap you name in keyword/s. You want to have keywords that deliver a lot of traffic and have low competition. Which, I admit, is easier said than done. Your competitors will, most likely, already have the keywords in their names. Start by finding out what are the key words that are being searched for your product category. This is worth talking to a professional about – I offer this service if you need help.
It’s all wonderful to choose a name that is memorable, clear, upbeat, descriptive and evocative. But if the brand name is unavailable then it’s back to the starting line. Before deciding on your brand name research its availability. Availability of the domain name and social media handles will (in the end) dictate your final decision so do this first.
Having a domain name that is different to the brand name is not ideal. Even slight differences can be confusing for customers to find you. Quite often large companies reserve names so competitors can’t use them. It is best to get on to this early in your hunt.
There is an easy way to check the domain and all social media platforms at once and it’s free! Have a look at www.namecheckr.com
Before you start you will probably have a few names in your wish list. Try not to fall in love with any of them until you register the business name with Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). To search name availability start with the ‘Search business names register’. This is for Australia. Most countries have a business register.
’Search within:’ select ‘Check business name availability’. Type in your name and ‘search’.
The results will return ‘available’, ‘manual decision required’ or ‘not available’ using the traffic light colour system.
Generally, the only way to gain exclusivity over a particular brand name is to register it as a trade mark with IP Australia.
ASIC is in the business of registering business names which you may also use as your brand name.
However, registering a business name doesn’t mean you own it. It also doesn’t mean you’re preventing other people from registering similar names. You can start with the tool Headstart. This will give you a pre-assessment trade mark application. It will identify any problems and although it is not free it is likely to save you money in the long run.
Before you register or trademark the business or brand name, secure the matching website domain. This small cost is totally worth it. I would also suggest also purchasing other relevant url’s. For example you might consider .com, .com.au, .org, .co.uk, .us, .eu.
11. Bonus Tip: A Word of Warning
When choosing a name be careful not to limit the scope of the business. Let’s say you produce chocolates. Your brand name is Chocoholics but then you decide to expand into fruit based biscuits. Now the name Chocoholics doesn’t work well.
Ensure your name allows for product growth.
Step by Step Towards Brand Name Success:
1. Prepare the brand strategy
2. Brainstorm names
3. Choose your top 10-12
4. Research acceptance with your target market
5. Eliminate. Be ruthless. Choose your top 5-6
6. Research availability (name registration, preferred domains and social media marketing channels)
7. Select a name. Woohoo. Well done!
8. Now, register name with ASIC, secure your domains and social channels.
9. Finally trade mark the design with IP Australia as soon as possible.
TOP 3 ROOKIE ERRORS
A brand name will represent your business on many platforms. It will be repeated thousands of times over its lifetime (and yours) so it is vital it can stand the test of time. Not only will it appear on your product packaging and marketing materials. It will be a digital footprint for your online presence. And remember it assist with your search engine optimisation. You will need to answer your phone with it for many years to come.
The repetition of your business or brand name will be an integral part of your day to day life. I hope it’s the right one!