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5 Steps for choosing the right brand name

A brand name isn’t simply a group of letters and syllables that sound good. And it isn’t only a name that looks elegant on your website. Also, it doesn’t matter if you passionately like it because your name isn’t about what you want. In other words, naming your brand is all about your customers. This means whatever you choose to name your brand, it must resonate with your target customers.

After all, a good brand name is what makes you unique, remembered, and recognizable as a business. For instance, when I say Coca-Cola, it doesn’t take a smack on your head to remember this delicious soda (brand). I bet you’ve recognized and remembered the brand instantly, almost unconsciously. This shows how important and powerful a name can be.

However, the question that remains is how to choose a great brand name. And how to come up with something distinctive, catchy, and easily remembered… Something that can convey the message & core of your brand to customers.

Well, In this article, we’ve listed 5 steps to help you choose the right brand name for you.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

What is a brand name?

A brand name is a unique name, assigned by a company or organization to a certain product or service. Brand names can also be chosen based on the name of the company or an individual. However, nowadays brand names are selected strategically to serve certain marketing efforts. In other words, brand names have become marketing tools to establish brand awareness and loyalty.

How to know a brand name is good

There are many studies and theories about what makes a brand name good. And to go through all of them will probably need more than a section or article. Yet, there is one lesson that we can learn from this, which is there isn’t a secret recipe or formula for a good name.

However, there exist criteria by which we can measure how good & effective the name is. This is good news because the criteria can help assess the effectiveness of a brand name… and how to choose one in the first place.

Usually, a good name consists of six elements, and we’ll look into each one below:

Meaningful

When naming your brand, ensure you pick up a name that is meaningful. Put differently, the name you choose must convey the core of your brand. It must also nudge people to create a picture of who you are. Above that, having a meaningful name, helps people to easily connect with you and what you stand for.

Distinctive

Your brand name must unique and different. That’s because it is the key element that distinguishes you from other competitors and makes it easily remembered and recognizable as a brand. So, make sure you choose something special that sets you apart from everyone else.

Accessible

Accessible here means coming up with a name that is easily said, spelled, shared, and understood by people. You don’t want people struggling to pronounce, understand, and Google your name.

Protectable

Make sure you protect your brand name. That is your rightful property.

The most popular option to legally protect your brand name is to register a trademark or copyright, or both. By doing so, you inform everyone that you claim to have the only right to use the registered mark or work. 

Future-proof

Creating a future-proof name means that it wouldn’t be outdated as your company grows. Put another way, you should choose a name that can be always relevant to your company’s future growth and changes.

Visual

Your name must be also visual. This means it should be easily converted/conveyed through visual elements like… logos, design, pictures, etc.

Here is a step-by-step guide to choosing the right brand name 

After seeing the components that make a good brand name, it is time to understand how to choose the right one for you.

So, let’s get into it

Understand your brand essence

To come up with a good name, you should first understand your brand essence. This means that you should articulate who you are and what you aspire to accomplish as a company. This step is essential because it helps you find a name befitting the essence of your brand. 

To understand what’s your brand all about, you should identify 4 key aspects:

Purpose: Ask yourself why you exist as a brand.

Vision: What kind of future do you want to build? And what will it look like?

Mission: your mission is about what you want to accomplish or change as a brand.

Values: what set of values and principles guide your business operations & motivations

Combining the above aspects will help you understand the core of your brand. As a result, you will be able to choose a name that is relevant to you.

Identify what makes your brand unique

Finding a good brand name requires knowing what makes your company special. This means you should identify what aspects that differentiate you from competitors. This will help you come up with a name based on what sets you apart from the rest.

So, when naming your brand, always keep in mind the things that make your company unique. Ideally, you will be able to find a great name that encapsulates the key differentiators of your company.

Brainstorming

This step is all about collecting different ideas for potentially finding the right brand name for your company. One way to do it is to work as a team in which each member suggests his or her ideas. This will create a space of creativity that might inspire your long-waited name.

Moreover, you can brainstorm ideas using brand names’ categories. If you’ve never heard of these categories, don’t worry. They’re simply the most common types of business names used by most companies. Doing this might help you identify what brand names you want to use that suit your company.

However, when brainstorming, always keep your customers and brand essence in mind. Also, don’t overlook what makes you unique from the rest. 

Try to consider all the above aspects to come up with practical ideas for your brand name.

Check if your brand name isn’t taken

Now, let’s say you’ve got a list of potential names for your brand! Obviously, you cannot use all of them…and probably some of them are already taken/registered by someone else.

So, before testing any potential name you should ensure that it isn’t registered by another company. This will help you shorten your list, keeping you only with the names that aren’t already taken.

To verify your list of names, Search the list of trademarks registered with the USPTO.

Test the waters out

After shortening your list and picking the best names for your brand, you should start testing. This will help you identify which brand name best resonates with your customers. It is like running an experiment with different test subjects.

For instance, you can start testing your top 3 names. For each one, you can design logos, mockups, product packaging, and homepages. Then, you can test them out while analyzing your customers’ reactions.

This method is effective because it offers direct feedback from your audience. This will help you spot what your customers like and what the best name to choose is.

For visual learners

A pro tips from DAN LOK:

Final thoughts

Choosing the right brand name is an important aspect of the success of your company. However, we must understand that your brand is only a part of branding. In fact, to succeed as a company, you need an effective branding strategy. Still, this doesn’t underestimate the significance of finding a good brand name.

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