Branding Insights #4 – The 7 Keys to Creating a Powerful Brand Name
Whether you’re creating a new brand name for a new business and you have a clean slate to start with, or if it’s time to rebrand your existing business with a more powerful brand name, you’ll find what you need here.
Before we dive into the 7 keys, it is fundamental that you have done the foundation work, which is defining exactly who you customers are, what you sell them (and what you don’t), why they buy from you, and what your key difference is to your competitors.
The outcome of these fundamentals is your brand story. We strongly recommend that you have the essence of your story defined before you work on your name. It will help you create something relevant and uniquely yours.
Let’s dive in. The 7 keys to creating a powerful brand name:
- Stickiness – For your brand to be memorable you will want to create an instant, concrete image in the mind of the prospect by the sound of your name. For instance what comes to mind when you hear the brand name: Bluefox? For a more well known example, how about Apple?
- Keep it Short – The best names are only 1 or 2 syllables long. If you cannot do this, and there are instances where it simply isn’t possible, look to the next point. The benefits of keeping it short are that it is easier to remember, less room for error when searching and easier to create a simpler and more powerful brand identity (Your logo or brand mark).
- Control the nickname – People are inherently lazy and they tend to shorten long names. Think Coke vs Coca cola. 1 syllable vs 4. If you consider the nick name at the outset then you can create a powerful brand name from the nickname.
- Avoid acronyms – Even though your brand may have years of meaning prior to the acronym, they are meaningless to your new customers as they will not likely be exposed to them.
- Spelling – Spell it correctly, and as it sounds, without any clever letter swaps. You will not want to have your staff continually spelling it out for emails and web address, nor will you want to miss any business for the same confusion.
- Hidden meanings – Check that the brand name doesn’t mean, or is associated with, anything embarrassing or insulting elsewhere on the planet. This is all the more important for international businesses.
- Finally, it has to be a freehold name for you to legally own it – Thorough checking of all the relevant databases is recommended. These include trademarks, business registration, domains etc.
Further to the last two points. It is always best to develop a list of names and do your due diligence on each before committing to one. Try not to get too attached to any particular name until you know it is freehold and you can secure all the assets you need, in particular the all important domain names, or you will likely be disappointed.
If you have any questions, comments or stories to share, I invite you to do so here. Make sure to subscribe so you get all the Branding Insights as we release them.