One of the hardest things to do when you are starting a business is to come up with the name! You want it to be memorable, mean something, easy to say, easy to Google, eventually become a household name and make you some money! That is a lot to ask from a brand name!
The process of coming up with a brand name is one of the most important steps in establishing your company’s identity and creating a lasting impression with your consumers. An amazing brand name can evoke emotions, communicate the company’s values, and differentiate you from your competitors. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a brand name, there are certain strategies that we use at D2 Branding in Tulsa that can guide you through the process. I am going to share with you five ways to come up with a brand name and give you five examples of how companies successfully developed their brand names.
- Define your brand: Before diving into the name creation process, you need to have a clear understanding of your brand, target audience, values, and X-Factor. What makes you different from your competitors?
- If you can, it is always a great idea to conduct market research and identify your brand’s positioning in the market. This groundwork will help you generate a name that aligns with your brand identity. If you don’t have a budget to do this, do your own market research by asking family and friends who fit your demographic what they think and have them try out your product or service for free to get valuable feedback.
- Brainstorming: Start the creative process by brainstorming a wide range of name ideas. Encourage creativity and free thinking, allowing for both serious and playful suggestions. Consider using mind mapping techniques, word association, or simply listing out relevant keywords and concepts. Aim for a large pool of ideas before narrowing down the options. I always like to Google the meaning of words and synonyms for key words. I also like to think about things the owner loves or maybe even do a play off their name. D2 Branding came from my initials DD, for Deedra Determan. I didn’t want it to be obvious but wanted it to have meaning and also be something that is easy to Google.
- Focus on brand messaging: A brand name should effectively convey your company’s core message or value proposition which I like to call “X-Factor” of your company. Think about the emotions, images, or concepts you want people to think of when they think of your brand!. Whether it’s through direct representation or subtle suggestion, a well-branded name can instantly communicate what your brand stands for.
- Keep it simple and memorable: A memorable name is crucial for brand recognition. Avoid complex or convoluted names that may confuse your audience. Look for simplicity and clarity, while also making sure that the name stands out in the market. Consider the length of the name – a logo doesn’t look good with a long name and the URL is hard to type in, also think of the pronunciation – can it be said several ways confusing your market? Also look at the spelling of the name – can it be spelled several ways causing confusion?
- Consider future scalability: While it’s important to focus on your current brand positioning, it’s also wise to consider future growth and expansion. Will the name still be relevant if you decide to diversify your product line or expand into different markets? Avoid names that are too specific or limit your brand’s potential for evolution.
Now let’s explore five examples of how companies successfully developed their brand names:
- Google: The name “Google” originated from the word “googol,” which refers to the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. The name symbolizes the company’s mission to organize the vast amount of information available on the internet. It also represents their ambition to provide users with limitless access to knowledge.
- Nike: The athletic apparel giant took its name from the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. By choosing a name associated with triumph and excellence, Nike aligned itself with the aspirations and ambitions of athletes and sports enthusiasts worldwide.
- Apple: Apple’s name was a departure from the traditional naming conventions of the technology industry. Co-founder Steve Jobs chose the name “Apple” to evoke simplicity, friendliness, and approachability. Additionally, it helped the company secure a spot ahead of their competitor, Atari, in the phonebook. Kind of funny people used to think of that!
- Spotify: Spotify, the popular music streaming service, combines the words “spot” and “identify.” The name reflects the platform’s ability to quickly identify and play any song or artist users are searching for, essentially allowing them to spot the music they desire instantly.
- Airbnb: Originally named Airbed & Breakfast, the founders of Airbnb started by renting out air mattresses in their apartment during a conference. The name evolved to Airbnb, which emphasizes the core offerings of the platform: providing accommodations and a sense of belonging anywhere in the world.
Coming up with a brand name requires careful consideration of how you want your brand to look and feel to your audience as well as your company values, and X-Factor that will separate you from your competitors!