Why Your Brand Name Is Important & How To Choose The Right One
Writer: Dejan Kvrgic
Building a successful brand requires a lot of work. And while you should focus on delivering the highest-quality products or services, do not overlook one element of your brand that your target consumers will encounter first – your brand name.
The name you choose will carry a lot more weight than you may realize initially. It is what makes you authentic, memorable, distinctive, and capable of creating a lasting impact – and, as such, it’s a crucial component of a strong brand reputation. Not convinced that something as simple as a name could have such a profound impact on your business? Think about some of the world’s leading brands – Coca-Cola, Google, Nike, Kleenex, and Apple, for example. These words have long stopped being just brand names; they’ve become a part of everyday conversations and automatically evoke emotional responses. That’s what a strong brand name can do for your business, too. The question is – how do you choose the right brand name? Stick around, and we’ll discuss the importance of brand names and share some proven tips on choosing one that reflects your brand’s values and makes you stand out.
Why Is Your Brand Name So Important?
Here’s something you should be aware of: Words are more than just precise combinations of letters that have certain meanings attached to them. Humans tend to develop their vocabularies throughout their lives – from early childhood and well into adulthood. And during that process of learning new words, something interesting happens:
We learn more than just the meanings of these new words. In fact, we also form entire networks of associations. These associations have the power to induce both positive and negative emotions whenever a particular word comes up – and you might not even realize it. It may seem like we’re going off-topic here – but we promise that this actually has a lot to do with branding and, more specifically, the naming process.
Here’s the thing:
Your brand’s name is a word, too. So, there is room for your customers to associate positive – or negative – connotations with it based on their experiences. Granted, you can never fully break away from these “preconceived notions” about certain words – but you can still ensure that your customers associate your brand name with positive emotions and connotations.
That sums up the importance of your brand name:
It is a chance for your brand to come up with something new – a novel word that your customers can then infuse with meaning and form positive connotations that will, hopefully, last a lifetime. A simple shift in perception could lead to a shift in business outcomes. So, in that sense, a good brand name is a great investment in your future. Besides, out of everything you’ll do branding-wise, the name is likely the one thing that will stick around the longest. Oh, and remember: A good name isn’t just good because you like it or because it looks oh-so-cool on your website’s header. That is not how this works. A good brand name is one that can communicate something to the customer and drive differentiation in an overly saturated market.
How To Find The Right Brand Name: A Few Tips To Get Started
Unfortunately, we can’t give you a magic formula here. What we can do, though, is outline some things that all great brand names have in common:
- Meaningful, in the sense that it communicates the essence of your brand and develops a positive emotional connection
- Distinctive, unique, and memorable enough to stand out from the competition
- Accessible, as in, easy to interpret, pronounce, and spell – and search for online
- Trademarkable and available as a domain name
- Suitable for expansions and able to grow with the brand while maintaining relevance
- Visual, as in, able to be communicated through designs, such as icons and logos
But that doesn’t tell you much about what you could do to ensure that the brand naming process goes as smoothly as possible, huh? We hear you. That’s why we’d like to share some tips on how to come up with an effective brand name:
- Articulate what’s at the very core of your brand. The name you pick sets the tone for how others view your brand. Sometimes, it makes more sense to start “backward,” with the end in mind, and go from there. Take the time to consider your purpose, mission, and brand values, so that you can choose a name that reflects that.
- Understand what makes your business stand out. You’re likely entering a competitive market, so it is crucial that you’re aware of what makes your business unique and differentiates you from the competition. You shouldn’t move forward without performing a thorough competitive analysis first.
- Have a structured brainstorming session. Brainstorming can be a fun process; you all get to gather around and start throwing in ideas, words, and phrases that you think could work as part of your brand name. However, try to introduce some “structure” into it – such as prompts or guidelines – to ensure that things don’t get too chaotic.
- Embrace uniqueness – but keep it simple. That might seem contradictory, but the point is that you should strive for a balance between creativity and simplicity. You want a name that’s short, easy to remember, and reflects your business – but still has a touch of “unusual” to it that makes it stand out.
- Vet your brand name – and check for trademark issues. Yes, you have to think about the legal stuff, too. Do your due diligence; check the database of registered trademarks found on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website. Otherwise, you could end up facing a lawsuit – and a costly rebranding process.
- Do a linguistic screening and ensure it’s easy to pronounce and write. That is even more crucial if you plan on expanding your brand internationally. You want to ensure that the name you choose won’t hinder your growth, cause confusion among your customers, or have any “unfortunate” connotations or meanings in other languages.
You carried out the research, you went over the numbers, and you’re ready to take the next step towards launching your business. We know that there’s a lot on your to-do list right now and that the process is every bit as exhilarating and inspiring as it is terrifying. And while we don’t want to add more to your already full plate, we feel the need to underline the importance of choosing the right brand name. For one, it’s supposed to create a lasting impression in your customers’ minds and represent the products or services you offer – and the values you stand for as a brand. Plus, making the wrong choice could set you back by months or lead to additional rebranding expenses further down the line. We could go on – but the point is: Your brand name matters – and it might just be one of your biggest assets. So, choose a good one.
Pastilla can help you navigate the naming process and select a name that will set your business up for success. Get in touch with our team today!