What’s in a Name? 7 Tips for Naming Your Brand
Choosing a name can be nerve-wracking. After all, your name will be attached to your brand in all that you do. It’ll show up as your logo, in your URL, throughout your social media, and so on.
A strong name isn’t going to make up for a bad product, but a bad name carries a heavier weight. Even if you have the most effective, innovative product on the market, a bad name can be detrimental to your brand – and therefore, your success.
Ideally, your brand name will accurately represent your business and resonate with your target audience. It will function with the business side of your operations, and it will be a name that you’re proud to tell people about. So, how do you go about finding the name that puts you on cloud nine?
Here are 7 things to consider when choosing a brand name.
1. Think About Trademarking
Conducting a trademark search is an easy thing to overlook - especially when you’re wrapped up in the excitement of naming your new business - but neglecting this part of the process is a mistake that could cost you.
Imagine deciding on a brand name and investing time and money into products and promotions only to discover that someone else had a very similar idea - or worse yet, the same one exactly. At best you’ll have to change your brand name and start over from scratch, or at worst, you might find yourself facing legal issues with the other company.
You want to be able to trademark your business name not just in your home country, but in every country where your business operates. The trademarking process in Canada can be lengthy and complex, but it is crucial to legally protect your business’s biggest asset - your name.
2. Don’t Forget the Domain
Similar to checking for trademark infringements, you’ll want to ensure that your potential brand name has a strong domain available.
A web presence is absolutely crucial, and ideally, your website’s URL will be your brand name – sweet and simple. When considering brand name options, be sure to check and see if the domain name is registrable.
If you’ve fallen in love with a brand name but its domain is taken, you have two options: see if you can purchase the domain from the existing owner, or look into setting up a URL with another top-level domain (using .co in place of .com or .ca, for instance).
However, straying from the most popular domain extensions is generally not recommended.
Even if you go with another top-level domain, there are many Internet users who consider .com or .ca to be the defaults. If you choose a URL that uses a slightly less common domain extension, you run the risk of missing out on a lot of business.
3. Search Your Socials
Along the same vein, check to see if your proposed brand name is available as a username on the social media channels that you intend to use for marketing and brand promotion.
A social media handle with strange characters, extra spaces, or additional numbers looks sloppy, and you’ll likely run into the same problem where interested prospects have trouble finding your official account.
Save yourself the headache and check for social media handle availability before deciding on your brand name.
“You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint and you shouldn’t name a brand without a plan.” - Jeremy Miller
4. Make It Memorable
There’s a scientific element to what makes something unforgettable. The most memorable things are those that tap into a person’s emotions or lived experiences – that’s difficult to achieve when you’re trying to appeal to a wider audience, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
It's just like the great Maya Angelou said herself - “people will never forget how you made them feel.”
The most enduring names tend to be short, unique, and uncomplicated. A name that is difficult to pronounce or hard to spell is going to fade from memory far more quickly than a name that’s simple and straight to the point.
5. Pick Something Personal
Your brand name should be more than just a catchy phrase with an available domain. It should mean something to you and tell a story to your audience.
Take our brand name – The Brand Brew™ - for example.
We developed our brand name by holding a brainstorming session centred around two points of the greatest priority: strategic branding, and the ethos of our company and people. We jotted down any and every term that came to mind related to these two concepts, and when it was all said and done, “brand” and “brew” were two of the terms on the page.
noun: a publicly distinguished identifying mark for a product service or concept.
verb: to make, devise, or plan. noun: a commonplace British term for a cup of tea.
With our British roots, our love of tea, and our belief that thoughtful strategy is essential to an accomplished brand, we knew that we were onto something with this name. After all, we’re here to help you brew up the ideal blend to steep your success!
This is the process that helped us to develop a brand name that represents what it is that we offer to our clients, while also feeling authentically us.
6. Go for Growth
When choosing a brand name, don’t just consider your brand in the present moment – think about where you’re headed, too.
A brand name that is too specific could limit you down the road if you choose to broaden the scope of your business or shift gears.
Just imagine if Jeff Bezos had chosen to name his company “Online Bookstore” instead of “Amazon,” for example.
Account for growth in your future, and make sure your brand name is able to adapt to anything you might encounter down the line.
7. Consider Connotation
Sometimes when we fall in love, we put blinders on without even realizing it. While it's exciting and it feels wonderful, it can be dangerous and lead to potentially regrettable decisions.
Don’t allow yourself to fall into this trap when choosing a brand name. If you feel like you’ve found the perfect brand name – it's short and understandable, it represents your personality, it’s available across the socials, and to top it all off, it’s perfectly punny – it’s time to send it to the focus group.
This doesn’t have to be a legitimate focus group in a room with a one-way mirror. Simply pass the idea to your friends and family to see if they catch something you don’t. You don’t want to wind up with a brand name that has an unintended second meaning, or that gives off implications that you never intended to associate with your business.
As the name suggests, branding is what we’re all about here at The Brand Brew. For more information regarding choosing the right brand name for your business, contact us today!