How to Develop a Brilliant New Brand Name?

Great brand names are not created by luck. The right strategic framework, understanding the target audience and a creative flair for memorable names that connect these elements together combine to be a recipe for success.

The strongest brand names follow the same set of rules

Behind every brilliant brand name is a strategic process that includes; defining and understanding your core audience, translating the brand's differentiated value proposition into a naming framework, defining and applying the brand's personality, testing and checking for local and cultural translations as well as domain and trademark availability.

The golden rules of brand naming

Where to start your brand naming process

The world’s strongest brand names all start with absolute clarity on the brand’s audience. Whilst every business has a number of audiences important to the success of that business, every strong brand has absolute clarity on which is their core audience. This clarity comes from understanding who they are, what defines them relative to the category and the way in which the brand adds value to their lives.
Click here to learn about the European super market chain building their business around understanding their core customers.

The best way to avoid brand naming mistakes

As tempting as it may be to listen to family, friends and the general public, they are rarely the source of an effective brand name. Even when a suggestion that comes from these sources feels like it hits the mark, running it through the filter of a strategic brand naming process is always a good idea. The best insurance policy for avoiding brand naming disasters is to engage an experienced branding agency to develop the strategic framework to direct and drive the naming process. Whilst this brand strategy will not provide all the elements of a powerful brand name, it will eliminate much of the risk of launching with a stinker.
Click here to read about Kraft’s ‘iSnack2.0’ brand naming disaster.

How to get everyone to agree on a brand name

Of all the elements of branding, naming is the toughest to develop and sign-off. There’s something about a brand name that sits at the very heart of a business, is emotionally connected to stakeholders and can be very difficult to shift the thinking. The key to success is engaging all key stakeholders in the strategic process. With all the decision makers on the same page, the process of selecting a name revolves around the strategic framework and personal taste is removed from the equation. As a rule, if someone hasn’t been on the strategic journey, they should have no say in selecting the brand name.
Click here for an overview of the strategic process that underpins our brand naming.

How many options should we look at?

When it comes to brand naming, more is more, we throw the net out very wide initially for a couple of reasons. Firstly, once the strategic framework has been developed,  the strongest brand names can come from anywhere. We typically explore 10-12 themes that can throw forward more than a hundred name ideas at the first cut. The second reason for throwing the net wide is that often, many of the best name ideas are not available for trademark of domain registration. The more ideas on the long list, the more can get through as available for the short list.

How important is brand personality for your brand naming?

Defining your brand’s personality is a critical component to developing the hardest working brand names. Although you may have defined your audience, translated your strategic value proposition, and checked for availability, unless the personality of your brand name connects with your core audience, you’ll fall short. The strongest brands understand and confidently express their brand personality.
Click here to read about the art of crafting the right brand personality.

Why checking your brand name is so important

The road to market is littered with great brand names that turned into disasters due to a failure to check either availability, protectability or local, cultural suitability. Checking availability of domain name is a key, early checkpoint for brand naming. If a domain is not available, there are ways to work around it, but if there are similar domains in existence that may confuse a customer, the name idea should be discounted. Secondly, a brand name must also be checked to ensure it can be trademarked. You’ll be investing valuable time and budget into building brand value in your assets, you need to be able to protect that investment. Finally, when launching a brand outside your immediate location it’s critical to check for local suitability. What seems like a great name in your city or country might be a recipe for disaster in another market. Always have someone (or more) on the ground sense check a name idea before you lock it in.
Click here to read what happened when Nike failed to check their ‘Black and Tan’ brand name before launching it.

Some of our Brand Naming examples

See how our strategic process developed strong and effective names for these brands. Click for more detail.

Contact us today

To find out how we would work with you to develop an effective brand name for your business, product or service, give us a call or drop us an email. We’d be only too happy to work through your challenges, identify your opportunities and recommend the best way forward.

We believe

Not all brand names are born equal. Create an uneven playing field.

We believe

The most effective brand names have a powerful strategic intent.

We believe

Great brand names have the potential to introduce your business to the world.

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