How to Create a Unique Brand Name for Your Business?

12.09.2019
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People usually take three to four seconds to make a decision. These are called snap judgements and humans will hastily conclude whether you love something or even someone on sight.

In the world of consumer/client purchasing one of the triggers that will affect this choice is a name.  A good name should communicate your value and uniqueness. A prospective client or customer should intrinsically know something about what you do or what you’re about from your name.

Just like words, a substantial number of brand names are created yearly in Dubai. Creating a good name is a challenging task. So, to help you develop a brand name that generates value and builds customer trust, we have listed out some helpful tips below.

Forming the Name

This can only be done properly after the brand has gone through the strategy phase. Brand strategy to a brand is like oxygen to life. Any business, whether small-scale, medium-scale or large-scale must have a strong brand strategy, this will drive everything from consumer interactions & perceptions all the way across to names and language.

As much as naming is crucial to branding, you cannot create a brand name that adds value to your business without establishing a brand strategy for your business.

Creativity

What is the “thing” that distinguishes your business from others and places your product or service correctly in the marketplace?

Brand names are just like words (of which about 5,200 new ones are being created and trademarked every year). The increasing number of brands make the process of brand naming a more difficult task.

Creativity anchored in strategy allows you to create a brand name that is unusual enough to be unique but that also completely aligns with your business, product, service and customer perception. 

We employ various methods to unlock the inner creative in a brand naming workshop. These are a trade secret, but should you choose to embark upon a naming workshop with us we will help you with this.

Some companies may decide to use a founders name or initials like Hewlett Packard, HP, or a mix and match like Microsoft – two words put together. Other companies employ what’s called an erase and replace, like Fanta (based on Fantasy) or some companies have the luxury of being able to coin a new word, like Zappos or Skype. This, however, is usually more common in tech branding.

Another naming option is to use words that exist in the English vocabulary (like Apple or Dove). These names may already exist, but the brand is able to outweigh or gain enough brand traction to compete with the original emphasis and meaning of the word.

We have different tools that we use to expand the thought patterns above.

Generate a Long List

To be on the safe side, it is best to generate a long list of possible brand names if you intend for your business, product or service to go beyond your local market.

There are a lot of brands out there with trademarks that make naming quite a difficult task. So, having a wide range of options makes things much easier for you.

Evaluate the List

After you must have generated a long list of potential names you want to give your product or service, you can then go ahead and evaluate your choices.

Do all the names listed objectively meet your criteria? If you get external opinions, make sure you have thoroughly explained your brand strategy before asking for 3rd party opinions. If a third party offers you their opinions they will usually be based on personal preference as opposed to strategy. Unless the person referenced is your target audience, their opinion may not always be helpful.

Test Name

When you have selected the top four or five names, test them.

Typically, this is done within a workshop or can be tested with focus groups. But as mentioned, in order to get valuable feedback from your focus groups, you must adequately explain your brand strategy to them, otherwise, the response you get will be typically subjective.

Make sure the name is easily pronounced and is not confusing. A brand name that customers find difficult to pronounce properly can initiate an unfavourable snap judgement. Where possible try to look for suitable URL’s but don’t let the URL drive the naming process.

Check that names do not infringe on the trademark of other businesses, products and services. Also, check that names do not mean something else or sound like something rude, or even sound like another business name. This is to ensure that you avoid legal proceedings that can derail your business goals and cost you. We normally recommend using specialist lawyers for this type of work. 

Final Analysis

At this stage, you should have 3-5 top name contenders.  Here you know that all the names work, so it’s simply a matter of choosing the name that best describes your business, product and service, and sticks to the criteria listed above.

A helpful tip is to try and imagine what the name will sound like in conversation, or in a radio or TV commercial, or when spoken in a business context.

After the name is selected the branding agency you are working with can then start to develop the right strategic brand creative (both visual and/or verbal) for your business

Intellectual Property

Depending on your aspirations for your business, we always recommend adequate protection of your new brand name to prevent your other similar businesses from using it in the future. We would recommend using a trademark lawyer to assist with this process as it has specific legal connotations and is not a creative solution at this stage.

Deciding on your Brand Name

The name you choose for your business is often more important than you might initially expect.

First impressions matter and Names are not just arbitrary labels; a good name can expose your business to the world, while a bad one could cause your business to struggle more than necessary.

Even the big brands sometimes get it wrong, Ralph Lauren had to invest a fortune changing the name from Ralph Lifshitz. Or BackRub who changed their name to Google after a year of business operations.

Seek Professional Help

As you can see, a name is like a blank slate. The impressions and memories that your customers create about your brand are often triggered by your name. 

We take nine months to name our own children and somehow expect to name a company in 10 minutes. Naming is one of the hardest components of creating a brand because it can be so subjective.

Expert advice, however expensive, can actually save you a lot of money in the long run. At Joie Brands, our process of naming is elaborate. We provide expert advice on why a name might be right or wrong for you and also provide logical explanation and thought throughout the process.

So, to ensure that your business doesn’t have to go through the expense and challenge of a rebrand or a rename we encourage all business owners to create a good name for the first time round. This allows you to maximise the psychological associations of a good name, improve upon the rate of profitability and create confidence that you have done your homework and that your business is here to stay.

Don’t know where to start? Get in touch with us today.