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Choosing a business or brand name can be more challenging than you think. It’s even harder to change an established name. These days there a so many things to consider before settling on ‘the one’.

A brand name will represent your business on many platforms and be repeated thousands of times in its lifetime 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 also needs to assist with your search engine optimisation. In addition, you will need to answer your phone with it for many years to come. The repetition of your business / brand name will be an integral part of your day to day life.

Surprisingly I find people rush this part of their marketing strategy – so eager to begin their business. Often they make one of 3 mistakes:

1. Choose a name that a large company owns so are later unable to trademark there own brand
2. Choose a name that has nothing to do with the product but they really like it personally
3. Choose a name that is too difficult – to say, spell or understand so it is not easily recalled

There are a few things that make some brand names real head turners….

First and foremost keep it really short – one word or two for a retail product. It helps a lot if there is an auditory hook, like a alliteration, ‘Harry’s Hampers’ or if the words rhyme…. ’Sweet Beets’. Short and easy to recall is the name of the game with when deciding on your brand name. Add a tagline for promotional activities if you feel it will assist but the actual brand name needs to be succinct. Sometimes the packaging will not be big enough to accommodate a tag line as well but it will help in all other marketing avenues.

Ideally the brand name will be indicative of the product – not the street the farm is on, not your last name, not  a vague but super cool word – indicate what the product concept is. It is always easier to recall if you include your unique selling point (learn more about capturing your unique selling point in a post I wrote recently. For example if you are selling strawberries you might consider ‘Sensational Strawberries’.

The brand name should also be easy to pronounce. Hint: 6 or more syllables will be hard to recall. A good way to test this is to ask a 4 year old to repeat it. If a small child struggles then the bulk of your potential consumers will too. If your business, product or brand name is too long, awarkward or just weird then it will be hard for the consumer to remember.

In addition, it will be vital to have a clear idea of who your brand will be aimed at. Chances are your brand will need to engage with the next generation of consumers and if that is the case then this is an easy read that outlines how to design for these consumers.

Choose a name that is easy, clear, upbeat, descriptive, and most of all a brand name that is available.

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 (even slightly) to the brand name will not have a positive effect on your bottom line it just makes it a 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. I have great news! There is an easy way to check the domain and all the social media platforms at once and it’s free! Have a look at www.namecheckr.com

ASIC is in the business of registering business names which you may also use as your brand name. Registering a business name doesn’t mean you own it, or that you are preventing other people from being able to register and use similar names. Generally, the only way to gain exclusivity over a particular brand name is to register it as a trade mark with IP Australia. Start with the new tool Headstart – give you a pre-assessment trade mark application to identify any problems and although it is not free it is likely to save you money in the long run. Be aware before you register the business / brand name or trademark to secure the matching website domain – this small cost will be worth the effort. I would also suggest also purchasing the .com, .com.au url’s.

If you are considering exporting then you will benefit from researching the searchable terms for your category in the region or country.

Your business or brand name can increase your SEO too. You want to have keywords that deliver a lot of traffic, but have low competition – easier said than done. Your competitors will already have this wrapped up and moving in on their territory so the best way to do that. Find out what are the key words that are being search for your product category, try Google Adwords (you will need to sign up to get the goods) or www.keysearch.co. Likewise if you want to search for single words you might try the free trial at Serps Rank Checker.

Three steps for brand name success:

1. Brainstorm names, some considerations in this process are:
– Simple and easy to pronounce
– Political incorrectness
– Negative associations
– Questionable meanings in foreign languages

2. Choose your top 3, research general acceptance with your target market and availability (name registration, trademark, domain and social media)

3. Register name with ASIC, trade mark the brand name and logo design with IP Australia and secure your domain name.

Obviously it is better to have a unique name. When I started Evolve Brand Design I thought “Yay!! that’s perfect” – the name says what I do… evolve brands with good design – a simple concept and easy to pronounce. That was 13 years ago and it seems now that ‘evolve’ is quite a popular word for other types of businesses including skin treatment and auto paint. After much deliberation I have I am sticking with it.

If you need help in the creative brainstorming phase I offer a brand name generation service for a fee, just give me a call on 0419 731 460.

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