What’s in a name? Well, apparently lot. When it comes to choosing that perfect brand name that aptly describes your venture can be difficult, time-consuming, exciting yet it remains the most important element for any start-up or established firms/businesses alike.
Creating the brand avatar
What are you building your brand for and your niche audience/customer base are the two main points that you and your team should think over in precise details. It is imperative to research and identify the characteristics of the ideal customer for the products and services by your brand.
Market and consumer research is an exact science, and you need to define the target consumer for creating business and marketing strategies as well. So it’s well worth the research about the target for branding purposes. Don’t define the brand name right away before plotting the details.
The internet can be your friend for researching the target market. Web assistant tools like Alexa can provide for demographic information including age, gender, location, ethnicity, and education. Brand investors can even gather “soft” intelligence using the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the customer base.
The brand archetype
According to various branding strategists, there are 12 major brand archetypes that include the Hero, the Outlaw and the Innocent. The brand archetypes are named so depending on the emotional attachment and feeling a brand name invokes. The non-verbal meanings and emotional association you want for your venture or brand need careful consideration. The key is in the details and adhering to a fixed set of branding guidelines for all future endeavors is the way to go! It ensures the consistency, effectiveness, and cohesiveness of the various aspects of branding.
To present a clearer picture, it can be generalized that though the avatar is the personification of the customer and the target market, the brand archetype is the personification of the company including the services and products on offer. Puns, wordplay or luxury; what is the thought on your mind? Does the name convey the brand value or appropriate imagery that describes the build of your business? The choices are plenty.
Brainstorm to generate name ideas
Finally, we have arrived at the actual branding bit. Well, to start, an important pointer to keep in mind at all times is there are no hard and fast rules to it. No grammar edits except the obvious ones and you can even use foreign words along with made up ones. But make sure the name represents the brand archetype as well as is appealing to the brand avatar.
Keeping the brand name simple is the best way to ensure consumers remember it! Ideally, a two syllable name is easier to remember. Words that describe a brand precisely are always welcome. There is a specific reason as to why the golf shoemaker is named “Footjoy” and not Footjoy Golf shoes!
Word associations are the hallmark of a great brainstorming session. In the ideal situation, you would want to work with a team of professionals or your friends and family. Inventing new words, using a different language which is not native to your country and researching a number of alternate spellings, synonyms and noting down as many as words possible that you can associate with your brand are some of the methods you need to incorporate while you are brainstorming. Flipping through a dictionary helps as well.
Exercise a bit of caution while researching foreign words. It is essential to self educate about possible slangs, double meanings, and discriminatory names. A simple social media or web search will bring you up to speed with banned words and mitigate legal risks. You can also use online tools like the Name Mesh to grow the brand name list. The possibilities are endless if you want to invest time in the process of branding.
Checking the availability
Check the shortlisted names for their availability. Names and brands are trademarked, if already in use by another company or organization and can levy criminal charges should you choose to use one anyway. A domain name search filtered by industry choice is a wise idea. Google, Facebook and Twitter search will also provide you with additional information regarding a name or domain in use. The patent office in the country of your residence will also provide you with information regarding a registered name/domain.
Lastly, you can use a social media poll, or your immediate family and friends to vet and test your brand/domain name. It is a great way to see if you have made the correct selection or not. Once you have ensured all the steps, get in the game and capture all the relevant domains. Good luck!