Brand – Aug, 2021

Naming of a brand | Ice House Design

The naming of your brand should never be underestimated. It is one of the main metrics by which your organisation will be discussed, judged, recommended, and remembered by everyone. 

How important is the naming of a brand? Well, the name of your brand will become synonymous with all that your company stands for, the sound that, when uttered, will bring to mind the rest of your brand design. Below, we take a quick look into some of the things to consider when choosing your brand name.  

Consistency and the naming of a brand

As with every other element of your brand, the name that you choose must be consistent with the rest of your brand ideology and design. 

For example, as catchy as it may sound, it could be inappropriate to name your brand “Rocketship Enterprises” if the service you offered was a care home cost comparison website. That may be an obvious conflict between name and service, but there could also be more subtle clashes.

Whatever you choose, think very carefully about how it could be understood, what nuances you could have missed. 

External points of view are potentially priceless, and focus groups can be an excellent way of finding these, as the more people you test the name against, the more likely you are to discover any hidden double entendres. 

That’s not to say that the public are always trustworthy when it comes to naming things – unless you don’t mind going through a fiasco of the ‘Boaty McBoatface’ genre!

Descriptive isn’t a must

While some brand names are very descriptive (Whole Foods sells, among other things, whole foods) it isn’t a necessity. In addition to descriptive brand names, you can choose either existing words or attempt to make one up. Apple, to use a somewhat hackneyed example, most certainly does not sell fresh fruit, and is one of the most successful brands to ever have existed. 

Nike isn’t a representative of the Greek god of victory, although success is integral to their brand image! Naming your brand is one of the areas where you can get the most creative, so try to think outside the box.

There are however advantages to descriptive brand names. As I write this, a lorry has driven past with the name ‘Cardiff Galvanizers‘ written along its side. Immediately I know what the firm offers and I know where I can find them. In two words they tell us much. Moreover, they also say they are a no nonsense company in a similar sort of vein as Cuprinol.

These sort of names suit nuts and bolts, plain speaking businesses dealing with raw material and commodities without flim-flam or fanfare. Anything other there needs to be good reason. On that note, a word to steer clear from in a brand name is ‘solutions’. A trap so many businesses fall for. A catch-all designed to be helpful becomes anything but and more of an unnecessary appendage to a name. In some way, every organisation is a solution to something so becomes a meaningless distraction.

The brand name is fixed – pick it well!

While you can change a lot of things in the case that you ever have to go through a rebranding process, your brand name is pretty much the one thing you don’t want to have to change. 

While clients can be persuaded developments to a visual identity to better articulate your new direction is one thing, brand names changes while possible mean, “I’m using X’s product, they used to go by the name Y though” when someone tries to talk about a company is confusing, and can be a psychological barrier to a brand. 

Name stability is a powerful tool. It helps audiences feel comfortable and get a sense that they’re in safe hands. Changing the name of a brand, except in exceptional circumstances, is not going to help people get that sense of stability that they crave – quite the opposite in fact. 

Be very careful when picking your name, as while it only takes a second to choose it, that decision will have lasting ramifications.If you need help with your brand, require a discussion on where to take specific aspects of design related to your business, or simply want to have a chat… we’re all ears and would love to hear from you.

Posted by Jack Owen