So you finally made the decision to turn that brilliant idea into a legitimate business—congratulations! You’ve probably got a whole to-do list in your mind right now, including how to market your product, how to determine who your target market is, and how much capital you need to actually get things going.
Of course, all of these are important parts of your business plan, but have you already settled the most basic element of your brand?
Yes, we’re talking about your brand name—and if you’re having difficulty coming up with one, that’s perfectly normal.
Finding the right name for your brand
Coming up with the right name for your brand isn’t about fitting a certain ‘standard’. Every brand is unique – don’t pigeon-hole your brand because you think it has to fit an arbitrary standard of what other businesses are doing.
Consider your brand’s position, mission, and story as stepping stones that can lead you to a natural brand name fit. Going back to these basics is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, and might help you land on a few potential name candidates.
And if you need extra help, these 5 tips will help you pick out a brand name that your audience will remember.
1. Gather ideas and brainstorm
Before anything else, we recommend starting a brainstorming session. Gather your business partners (or friends and family if you’re a solopreneur) and just start throwing things on the page. Add in any words, phrases, or feelings that sound right – don’t worry about perfection at this stage.
The trick is to come up with as many names as possible, list them all down, and slowly tick away the bad ones until you are left with the best candidates.
2. Use clear, descriptive, easy-to-remember words
In our experience, the best brand names aren’t the super odd or out there ones, but the ones that are easy to remember (and spell when you’re looking them up online).
Try using words that can be easily connected back to your product or service, the mission your company stands for, and what customers can expect from your brand.
3. Make sure it’s unique
The last thing you want to deal with is a lawsuit, so before setting your heart on a brand name, make sure another brand isn’t already using it.
If you get an exact match, there might still be some wiggle room though. For example, is the business in the same industry or location? Even if it isn’t, we still recommended tweaking your brand name (adding initials or locality, for example) to avoid confusion.Another note here: As you’re considering brand names, check to see if the domain name is available. If your team has their heart set on a certain name, you may be able to purchase the rights to the domain from the owner, but you’ll definitely want to find out if that’s a possibility before making your final decision.
4. Skip the buzz words
Using trendy new words in your brand name is one way to make it memorable. It can even help you appeal to a younger target market. But at the end of the day, trends come and go.
If you want your brand to stick around, it needs to withstand the test of time – and that means picking a name that won’t lose its meaning (or won’t become cringy) in a few months time.
Save the trendy lingo for timely marketing campaigns instead!
5. Make sure the name can be carried over to your logo, slogans & taglines
Brand consistency is critical to growth, and it all starts with your brand name. Whatever name you choose should look and sound great alongside the rest of your branding: logos, taglines, slogans, etc.
For example, if your brand name is clever or humorous, you’ll want to follow that up with branding elements that match – not clash with – that more relaxed and friendly tone. Now that you’ve got a great brand name, it’s time to start putting it out there. Learn how to build a brand marketing strategy from the ground up here.