Generating the perfect name for your brand is a rewarding task. Creating names for new organisations are relatively common assignments. However, name changes for existing entities is relatively rare and often marks dramatic shifts in the organisation both in reality and self image.
Some organisations change their name because times have moved on and their existing name no longer fits with cultural norms and social moires. For example, the Spastics Society changes its name to Scope in 1994. Other reasons may be because the name has stopped being relevant. A naming generation project we are working on at the moment for a Mulit Academy Trust is necessary because the organisations name currently is geographically linked and this has become restricting.
Good names for brands
Like symbols, names are emotive. Coming up with the perfect name is difficult and arduous. Only when names are put into context do they gain meaning and life. It is very difficult for most to appreciate the power of the chosen name until well after the event and the name has taken on its own life. Names are hugely subjective and individual preferences and dislikes will come into play.
Your choice of name has a significant effect on the perception of your brand, and contributes significantly to its success or its failure. It may be a made up name, a set of initials or a descriptive name. The name may be geographically linked, the name of a individuals such as Marks and Spencer or highly conceptual like Trivago.
It may seem like a daunting process, one that can’t be analysed like market saturation or effective colours for logos, but there are certainly some pointers to finding the perfect moniker for your brand.
Avoid legal action
Names are a legal minefield. Name registration is complex and rights to the ownership of a particular name can be difficult to determine.
This may seem obvious, but it’s a problem countless businesses have experienced; when you’ve chosen a name for your brand, do an in-depth search to ensure that it isn’t already used or trademarked.
We at Ice House Design are thinkers and designers, we’re not lawyers. We always recommend consulting with a lawyer, and doing due diligence, it really is worth it; the financial ramifications of a lawsuit could be bad for a young business, and you’d have to start the name generating process again from scratch.
Part of this process will be to make sure you can buy the domain name. If you can’t, it will complicate getting the website up and running, and leave the chance that a website of the same name will appear in the future.
In this article, we take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts to name generation, to help you get off to the perfect start.
Don’t alienate potential customers before you’ve even started, create a name that is easy to handle, that’s aesthetically pleasing to consider.
Make it easy to pronounce, and easy to spell – if the competition is simpler to recommend for a silly reason like being easier to send by text message, you’re putting yourself at an easily remediable competitive advantage.
Being overly complex isn’t necessarily sophisticated, but it often is more confusing. Of course, there are exceptions, but by and large, this is a good rule to follow.
Those involved in the development of the brand may have some brilliant ideas, however as a result of their deep involvement in the project, they will be unable to view the process from a fresh perspective.
It’s important that you seek external feedback throughout the process, whether through surveys or focus groups. It’s easy to be blind to the obvious when you’re so involved in a concept, and a fresh pair of eyes can be incredibly illuminating.
Build-in room for growth
While it can be tempting to use a descriptive brand name, it can also be limiting in the long run. You never know what opportunities you’ll have in the future for growth, and having a name like ‘Dave’s Printer Repairs’ if you start out as a printer repairs specialist can make it harder to then repair computers, offer coding services, and fix phone screens. Or, Dave leaves.
A few should’s
The name should carry the essence of the core idea of your brand. It should have charisma, be idiosyncratic, not date, have no disagreeable associates, be something with which a powerful visual style can be associated and most importantly – be appropriate.
You can get very creative with name generation, it really is a great opportunity to make your mark in the industry, to develop an inviting entrance through which people will be enticed to explore your organisation.
Whether you need help with a full redesign of your brand or just a nudge in the right direction, we’re here to help.
Contact us via our form or call on 01225 466 080 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon!