Building a Brand: The Business Name

2021.05.26.

Though having a brand and a logo that goes with it will help distinguish you in a crowded marketplace, there is not the be-all and end-all of the branding process. In the same way that people can also be brands in themselves, so a business can have its own way of communicating, its favourite colours, special font and a voice that shows off its personality. Combined together, they make up a complete entity and are responsible for how the business is perceived by third parties.

Today we're going to look at how to choose the name of your brand. But to begin, we will need to have an idea of what our main focus is as well as how we wish our business "personality" to be perceived. This will set the "tone" of your brand. Probably the very first thing to think about is your "positioning statement". This is a couple of lines of text which illustrate what you're all about. It may not be something you'd put on your business card, but it's the foundation upon which we will build your brand.

Normally, a positioning statement will include the following elements:

"We offer (Product/Services) for (a Target Market) to (Value Proposition). Unlike (the Competition), we (the Key Differentiator)."

An example of this in action would be: "We offer makeup products for women with dry skin, to help them look younger. Unlike other makeup brands, we give free bottled water with every product sold to keep your skin hydrated."

Remember that the thing you're competing with is your unique value proposition. This is one of the essential building blocks of your brand. If your brand revolves around a cause, then you'll be needing to write a mission statement, and this will form a promise to your customers.  

Words do Matter

A good way of looking at your brand is to see it as a person. Decide on what their personality would be like. What personality traits would they have that made them attractive to your customers. This will be a huge help when it comes to formulating a consistent voice for all your advertising, and social media presence. Imagine that you brand is a person, then choose 3 - 5 words from the list below that best describe them.

A List of Positive Adjectives

Affectionate

Agreeable

Amiable

Bright

Charming

Creative

Determined

Energetic

Friendly

Funny

Generous

Imaginative

Polite

Likable

Gregarious

Diplomatic

Sincere

Helpful

Giving

Kind

Hardworking

Diligent

Patient

Dynamic

Loyal

Brave

Self-confident

Sensible

Sincere

Thoughtful

Warmhearted

Willing

Proficient

Romantic

Powerful

Persistent

Passionate

Loving

Faithful

Nice

Optimistic

Plucky

Philosophical

Humorous

Frank

Fearless

Considerate

Courageous

Marvelous

Capable

Accomplished

Knowledgeable

Awesome

Blithesome

Excellent

Fabulous

Fantastic

Favourable

Fortuitous

Gorgeous

Incredible

Unique

Mirthful

Outstanding

Perfect

Propitious

Remarkable

Rousing

Spectacular

Splendid

Stellar

Stupendous

Super

Upbeat

Stunning

Wondrous

Ample

Bountiful

Glistening

Dazzling

Twinkling

Lustrous

Vivid

Vibrant

Vivacious

Glowing

Gleaming

Sparkling

Shimmering

Glimmering

Glittering

Brilliant

Elegant

Sleek

Alluring

Enchanting

Ravishing

Magnificent

Captivating

Lovely

Glowing

Flexible

Independent

Insightful

Open-minded

Productive

Adventurous

Articulate

Charismatic

Competitive

Confident

Devoted

Educated

Inquisitive

Organized

Relaxed

Responsible

Technological

Resourceful

Ambitious

Approachable

Qualified

Focused

Honest

Efficient

Personable

 

Now Choose a Metaphor

Choosing a metaphor to describe your brand will make it easier for your customers to identify and identify with. This can be a form of transportation, an animal, a celebrity, in fact anything that embodies the qualities that you wish your brand to espouse. In some ways this will give your brand a certain “vibe” and be instantly connectable with those who share the same outlook. It’s important that your choice is understood by everyone. For example, you might consider a pig to be benevolent and kind, but others might see it as a dirty farmyard animal.

Choosing the Business Name

In some respects the name is of paramount importance. It will stop your brand being confused with other similar ones. But there’s another school of thinking that postulates that it’s the brand that matters, and the significance of the name is only of secondary importance. But we shouldn't put the cart efore the horse. It’s the personality and the reputation of the brand that will give meaning to the name. 

Use a Name Generator

You’ll need to choose a name that expresses the values of your brand, but without confusing it with other players within your marketplace. The name will be unique and one that’s hard to imitate. It’s always better to think in broad terms, in case you want to broaden or expand your brand to new products or directions. A quick Google search will bring up lots of name generators. These are great tools for brainstorming. Here are 10 of the best: 

  1. Shopify: https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator?itcat=blog&itterm=4660242

  2. Oberlo: https://www.oberlo.com/tools/business-name-generator

  3. Freshbooks: https://www.freshbooks.com/business-name-generator

  4. Anadea: https://anadea.info/tools/online-business-name-generator  

  5. Name Mesh: https://www.namemesh.com/   

  6. Hipster Business Name: http://www.hipsterbusiness.name/ 

  7. Getsocio: https://getsocio.com/tools/business-name-generator

  8. Businessnamegenerator: https://businessnamegenerator.com/

  9. Namesmith: https://namesmith.io/

  10. Namelix: https://namelix.com/

 

Keep it Short and Simple

The most memorable names are those that are short and snappy. An added bonus is if they are easy to pronounce. Whatever you do, don't be tempted to play on words or be too clever. You might be disappointed as to how few people share your humor. On the whole, there are seven naming strategies to follow in creating a new name.

  1. A made up word (like Pepsi)

  2. An unrelated word reframed (like Apple)

  3. A metaphor or suggestive word (like Buffer)

  4. Literal description (The Shirt Company)

  5. Remove letters, add letters from words (Tumblr, Fiverr)

  6. Acronyms of loner names (HBO)

  7. Two word combination (Snapple, Pinterest)

 

Think About Your Online Presence

When thinking of your brand name, please make sure that you check the domain/URL availability. It’s a horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach when you discover all too late that your chosen brand name already has a web site dedicated to another business. Once again, there are domain name generators online that can help speed up the process. We suggest that you stick with a .com, as this is the most popular top level domain. It’s a good idea to do some SEO research to ensure that there’s not too much competition that’ll block your chosen domain from reaching the top of the first page of Google search. Make sure you go through all social media to ensure you’re not taking a name that is already associated with another brand. 

 

Be Original and Creative

Coming up with something new and yet striking is a very difficult process. But the important point here, is that it is a process. You will start off in one place and end up in a completely different one. You want something catchy, and yet targeted to your specific audience. It needs to stand out from the thousands of brand names we see every day. Here are some starting points:

  1. Try mashing together different words

  2. Take every day things and brainstorm around them

  3. Take inspiration from history or literature

  4. Make use of foreign words

  5. Use your own name

  6. Make acronyms

 

Once you come up with something you think has legs, then make sure you test it out on all your friends and family. Be open to their responses. Yes, it will seem like a daunting task. But getting it right from the get-go will give your business a huge advantage in whatever marketplace you’re entering. And all new businesses need all the help they can get.

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