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How Do You Choose a Brand Name?

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Pulkit Bhola

Specialist Content Marketing @ Shiprocket

August 30, 2022

5 min read

“When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable.”

-Meg Whitman

If you’re facing trouble naming your brand, you’re not the only one. It might come across as one of the most basic elements of your brand, but settling it might not really be a piece of cake.

As they say, what’s in a name? Well, a lot. Your brand is essentially a story that unfolds at different customer touchpoints. It’s nothing but your brand name that holds different phases of this story together.

Choosing a brand name

When it comes to creating a lasting first impression, how you name your brand is definitely going to matter, of course. But there’s a lot more to it than that. A strong name would stick in your customers’ minds so much so that they’d eventually recognise, resonate, memorise, and trust your brand right through it.

Did you know? Almost 77% of consumers make purchases just based on a brand name. If one’s looking at an adhesive, they’d naturally ask for Fevicol. If one wants a photocopy, they never say photocopy. What they say is Xerox.

It’s so fascinating how Velcro, the inventor of hook-and-loop fasteners, had to request people not to use their brand name as a noun or a verb. Here’s why:

But how to choose a brand name that is so distinctive, authentic and memorable? Let’s understand.

Picking the Perfect Brand Name

When it comes to naming your brand, there’s no one standard method of doing it. The kind of name your business needs totally depends on what approach you want to take, followed by some ideal practices along the way. If you’re looking to name your new brand, here are some suggestions.

Choose Your Path

Do you need a descriptive brand name that states what your company does or describes any other related experience? Or would you like your brand to be named after your founder? Do you know you could also make up your own word, just like Google?

There are a plethora of options out there. To arrive at the best approach for deciding your brand name, keep your unique needs & positioning at the forefront of your attention. While having a descriptive name would save you time & resources in portraying what you do, a rather offbeat one would attract more customers.

Hunt for Ideas

What’s the best way to get good ideas? It’s getting loads of ideas and dropping off the bad ones. Gather all the key stakeholders of your business, sit down and brainstorm together. 

Throw in anything that comes to your mind, any words or phrases that could eventually form your brand’s name. The idea is to come up with as many names as possible, jot them all down, and thoughtfully tick away the bad ones until you are left with the best ones.

Make It Crystal Clear

Always use words that can be easily connected to who you are. Your brand name should, in one way or another, relate to your product or service, your mission and vision, and your customers’ expectations.

Say no to using any bizarre words only to gain attention. Be it sending mixed messages or sending a wrong message altogether, you don’t want either of the two.

Be Absolutely Unique

Before you go ahead and lock a name for your brand, take out some time and research whether other brands are already using the same. After all, you’d never want a trademark suit to be filed against you.

Even if you end up with an exact match, tweaking your name a little would really help. For example, if your business operates in a different industry or location, you can add those details to your name itself to avoid confusion.

It’s Not Just a Brand Name

A brand name is much more than it literally sounds to be. It extends all the way to your logos, taglines, slogans and the like. Therefore, it must be consistent enough and must never look out of place when put alongside any of these.

For instance, Apple is such a non-tech name. However, when combined with their tagline Think different, it truly reflects what it stands for. Whenever we come across Apple: Think different as a brand identity, what we perceive is an innovative tech company that differentiates itself from other brands in every way, including its unconventional name.

Protecting Your Brand Name

Once you’ve arrived at the right brand name for your business, it becomes critical to protect it as much as possible. Make sure to get it registered as your company’s trademark. Once it becomes your intellectual property, your investment is safeguarded.

This means if another company, let’s say your competitor, chooses a name that infringes on yours, you could send a cease-and-desist letter, and they will have to go to court and/or change the name.

Your brand’s story, personality, messaging, everything stands on the foundation of your brand identity. Your brand name is what makes your brand identity stand out and impacts the way your customers think about your business. Therefore, choose it wisely and protect it vigilantly.

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