Brand names should be distinctive, authentic, memorable, and enduring. The name should stick in people’s minds, build trust with consumers, and remain relevant as your company evolves. What is a brand name, and how do you develop a brand name for your company? This article will tell you everything you need to know about brand names and how you can create the right brand name for your business.
What Is a Brand Name?
A brand name identifies and differentiates one product from another. It captures the key theme of a product in an efficient and economical manner. A brand name can easily be noticed and instantly remembered.
Types of Brand Names
There are many types of brand names. Understanding these types will help you in creating a brand name for your business.
Descriptive Brand Names
Descriptive brand names are unremarkable because they convey the product or service offered by the company. These names don’t leave a lot of room for creativity. A clever tagline does the work of storytelling or conveying personality. Descriptive brand names communicate your company’s core competency. However, one downside to a descriptive brand name is that it can hinder your brand as it grows and diversifies. They are hard to trademark because they rely on common words or phrases. Examples of descriptive brand names include Toys R Us, The Weather Channel, Hotels.com, and Bank of America.
Evocative Brand Names
Evocative brand names use suggestions and metaphors to bring to mind brand experience or positioning. They are creative, unique, and can be the starting point for a powerful brand voice. Unlike descriptive brand names, evocative brand names leave some room for interpretation. Therefore, you can create a brand more extensive than just the products and services you initially offered. Evocative brand names are simpler to trademark than descriptive brand names. Some examples of evocative brand names are Nike, Amazon, Apple, and Patagonia.
Invented Brand Names
Perhaps you can’t think of a name. That’s why invented brand names are useful. Coming up with an invented brand name is a chance to be extra creative. As fun as it may be, these names may not be as easy to devise. Many invented names are based on Latin, Greek, or other foreign root words and modified to embody the brand’s personality.
Some popular invented brand names include Exxon, Kodak, Xerox, Verizon, and Pixar. These examples have built monumental brand equity over time. A challenge with fictitious brand names is that they have no inherent meaning at first. They often require significant time and marketing to become meaningful.
Lexical Brand Names
Lexical brand names are clever and rely on wordplay for their memorability. This naming type will include puns, phrases, compound words, intentional misspellings, and alliterations. Potentially to your disadvantage, lexical brand names can come off as cutesy. Some linguistic brand names are Dunkin’ Donuts, Krazy Glue, and Krispy Kreme.
Acronym Brand Names
Brand names have always used acronyms. However, these names have a long history doesn’t mean this name type is entirely practical. Acronym brand names are functional but lack meaning and emotion. Acronym brands must use brand design and positioning to create an unforgettable brand experience. These brands are often more challenging for people to remember and harder to trademark. Some of the most popular acronym brands are IBM, BP, UPS, BMW, and HP.
Geographical Brand Names
Often, geographical brand names are tied to their initial region or origin and cultural and historical associations. Geographical names are usually linked to companies that initially catered to a geographically limited audience but have expanded since then. Geographical brand names have some limitations because they may outgrow the region where they originally started. Also, a geographical brand name in your industry may be taken. Examples of geographical brand names include New York Life, Nantucket Nectars, California Pizza Kitchen, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Founder Brand Names
Founder brand names go back to some of the earliest brands. Today, founder brand names are less common, but some brands have managed to make it work. Founder brand names are easy to trademark. If positioned correctly, they can be very distinctive. Famous examples include Ford, Ben & Jerry’s, Ralph Lauren, and Mrs. Fields.
How to Come Up With a Brand Name
Creating a brand name doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes some time and thought. So, where do you start? Here are some steps you can take when coming up with a brand name.
Determine Your Brand’s Values
People choose specific companies not just because they sell a particular product but because of the long-term emotional connection they have with them. To begin, ask yourself: What’s your brand identity? What do you stand for? What are your values? Next, come up with 10-15 words or phrases that describe your business. These words should convey your brand’s overall essence. Examples include trustworthy, safe, unique, superior, simple.
Get to Know Your Target Market
Make sure your brand name speaks the same language as your potential customers. Therefore, you must know your audience. To know your audience, consider things like where your audience spends their time, their age demographic, their hobbies, and more. Now, you can talk to people you identified, hold focus groups, and administer surveys. This will help you identify your target audience. Ask people what drives them to purchase certain brands. You can also explore other companies targeting the same niche and research their branding.
Brainstorm Potential Brand Names
Brainstorming potential brand names can be fun! You and your team should come up with many ideas. Rather than going crazy with ideas, provide some guidelines. Here are some examples:
- Write down adjectives that describe your products and services.
- Describe what you want your customers to feel when they use your products and services.
- Do free association of words about your products and services.
You can also use the categories discussed at the beginning of this article to help you brainstorm brand names.
Conduct a Linguist Screening
Your brand name should be easy to pronounce in English but also in the language of every country you plan to target. Make sure the name doesn’t have any negative meanings or connotations in other countries.
Make Sure Your Brand Name Is Available
There are millions of companies out there, so not every brand name is available. Consider doing some research like a domain name search, Google search, and checking social media availability. You can also check the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As you research, you will narrow down your potential brand name.
Test the Name
Once you’ve narrowed down your potential brand names, it’s time to test them out. Introduce your possible brand names to people and explain your future brand. Explain your product or service and the market you plan to target. Then choose one image or logo and stick with it.
Your audience should be a variety of trusted members in your field for professional feedback. You should also have a group of friends or family to get a customer-based perspective. Finally, surveys are another way to test your brand name on your target market.
Incorporate Your Brand Name Everywhere
Last but not least, just coming up with a brand name isn’t enough. It includes other aspects of your business, such as your website, logo, colors, store layout, tagline, and marketing. All of these things work together to make your brand trustworthy and reliable to your consumers. It is what will ultimately set you apart from your competition.
Brand Name Generators
There are many business name generators to help you create the perfect brand name if you are struggling on your own. Here are some options to consider.
The Shopify name generator offers thousands of unique business names. It only displays names with available domains. Once you’ve chosen a name, Shopify gives you the option to open an e-commerce store using Shopify’s e-commerce features.
Oberlo Business Name Generator is a simple way to find a brand name. Enter a keyword that is relevant to your company, click “generate names,” and you’ll have pages of unique names from which to choose. You can enter variations of keywords to find the perfect brand name.
Freshbooks’ name generator is interactive. First, select your industry. Then type in some keywords. Freshbooks will display three brand name ideas. If you’re not in love with those results, there is an option to see more name ideas.
Fit Small Business
Fit Small Business guides you through a series of questions to help you find the perfect brand name. The generator provides a list of names that are three or more words long. Once you’ve chosen a name, it will also redirect you to Bluehost’s website. Here, you can register a .com domain for your business.
Choose a Brand Name Carefully
It’s essential to take your time creating the perfect brand name because it’s the first thing people see. A brand name defines your business and will have a significant impact on your reputation.
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- What is a brand name?
- How do you brainstorm potential brand names?
- How do you come up with a brand name?
- What is a brand name generator?
- Why is it important to have a good brand name?