Choosing a brand name is one of the most important decisions you'll make for your business. It's not something that should be done lightly. Your brand name is more than just a catchy tagline or a clever play on words. It's an extension of your company's identity, and it will shape how people think about you and your products. Think of all the times you've seen a company with a terrible name. You don't want to be that company! You want people to think of you as something special, something worth remembering.
So how do you find the right name? Well, we are here to help. We have put together some tips to help you find just the right one:
- Understand Your Brand Identity
The name of your business should be a clear reflection of who you are and what you do. The problem is, when you're first starting out, it's hard to know what that is. It can be easy to get lost in the weeds when you're trying to come up with a name for your product or service. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking about things like keywords and marketability instead of considering how your brand will fit into the bigger picture. But if you don't have a clear understanding of who your company is and what it does, then whatever name you come up with will not accurately reflect either of those things. And if people don't understand what your brand is offering them, they won't be able to connect with it—and they definitely won't buy from it!
Brainstorming is one of the fastest and easiest ways to find a name for your business. It is most effective when you get together a group of people who are knowledgeable about your business and its products or service, as well as creative thinkers who aren't afraid to be playful with ideas. You'll also want to include someone who can take notes and keep track of what's been said so far, since brainstorming can often generate dozens of names at once. Brainstorming sessions can go on indefinitely if you don't set limits from the start. Set a time limit (30 minutes? 60 minutes?) and stick with it — even if you're still getting great ideas after that time has elapsed (which you probably will). If necessary, have someone remind everyone that it's time to wrap things up.
- Check Trademarks
You must make sure no one else has already registered a similar trademark on the same words or images as yours. A trademark is any word, symbol, or design that identifies products or services in commerce. It's meant to help consumers identify quality products and avoid confusion when shopping. Trademarks come in two main categories: trademarks that identify brands and those that identify goods and services (also known as "collective marks"). For example, the Nike swoosh is a brand mark; the sneaker is a collective mark. The purpose of registering your trademark is not just so no one else can use it — though that's important too — but also so you can take legal action against anyone who does use it in ways that could confuse consumers into thinking they're buying from you but actually aren't.
- Test Your Brand Name
Before you can start building a brand, you need to test your brand name. A lot of people think this is a waste of time, but it's really not. Think about it: if you build a house without checking the foundation for cracks or settling, you're going to end up with a pretty bad house. If you build a brand without checking your name for connotations, misspellings, typos, and how well it works, you're going to end up with a pretty bad branding strategy. And let's be real—you don't have time to be building houses all day long. So test that name now and get back to building the brand of your dreams!
So choose your name wisely, and make sure it has connotations that you can represent with the quality of your product. Keep in mind that short catchy names are often the best, but try to balance out the short name with a longer brand. Something like "McDonald's" is memorable, but it lacks a certain character compared to something more creative like "Subway." Think about logos like Nike's swoosh; what do you see in your mind's eye? With a little creativity and an open mind, your company or product could have the same iconic status. Good luck!