Five Tips for Creating a Brand Name

May 29, 2012

“In the long run a brand is nothing more than a name.”
– Al Ries & Laura Ries The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

Creating the name for your brand can be one of the most difficult parts of the branding process. It is ultimately the most crucial part, so it’s important to get it right. It needs instant appeal but also longevity…it’s here for the long haul. Building a brand takes time, so planning it well in the beginning can help make the process easier.

There are a few key ideas to keep in mind when coming up with a name. Below I have listed the top five ideas I believe are a must:

1) Keep it short. One word, two at most. Ideally no more than one or two syllables for each word. This will help make it a name to remember.
2) Keep it logical.
The name of your brand should reflect the essence of your product. Furthermore it should speak to your target audience. Upon hearing your brand name one should be able to roughly ascertain what you do.
3) Keep it different.
The name shouldn’t sound similar to any other brand on the market. It’s important to differentiate yourself in the minds of your prospects.
4) Keep it timeless not trendy.
Leave trends to the fashion industry. Building a brand takes time and you need a name that will stand the test of time, not one that will sound passé in a couple of years.
5) Keep it as a potential “verb”.
If your brand ever becomes part of the mainstream vernacular it’s strength will lie in it’s ability to become a verb. We no longer “search for words online” we “google” them. Thus keeping your name short and simple with “verb potential” will help your brand circulate through word-of-mouth.

There are numerous other considerations when naming your brand such as avoiding numbers and having a first initial early in the alphabet. However I believe the five points I have outlined here are crucial. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule and many successful brands don’t adhere to the rules above. Launching a new brand is hard, keeping these tips in mind could save you time and money.

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