December 29, 2016
Coming up with a brand name is the first thing that you must do, create and give the moment you start out a business. In fact, you might have already name your future company before starting to build it itself just like how parents try to name their kids before the mother was even pregnant. It is the most important thing for people to recognize, identify and differentiate you from other companies. It is what gives your company the start of identity. Registrations and any other necessary legal preparations all require your brand name so that it could be applicable to the rightful owner.
Just like naming your own children, naming your company could be no easy task. It is something that requires not only motivation but inspiration. At times, researches are needed so that names wouldn’t clash, but that isn’t the consideration that you should only take. There are also a few other factors that you should take into account when trying to name your company.
If you have read one of the previous Insight articles here, you would have now known that people prefer shorter words. This is because not only it is simpler to remember, it is easier to pronounce as well when it is mentioned or spoken out. A company’s brand name is no different from a company’s title or a person’s name. When you name your company, consider how many syllables you want, though, it is recommended to have not more than three. Take big successful companies that we know in Malaysia for example: IKEA, Google, Samsung, Apple and Windows, they all have only two syllables, making them easy to remember. Long names with more syllabus like Mississippi Canteen or Ravenageous Machinas would require more than one visit to remember.
Using a word that is in everybody’s vocabulary or not should also be considered. A name from a common word refers to the name which uses word or words that are already commonly known by most people. A name from a novel word refers to the name which is newly coined that is unknown to most people and even dictionaries.
It is true that when you coin up a new name, you’ll look special and unique, but the downside is that you can be difficult to remember. Just like learning a new word, a person has to learn a new name from you. And a new name is like knowing a new person. It takes time to remember it especially when all you do is just buy and go. This means that people have to visit you or at least pass by your company often in order to get you in their head. A common word for a company name however, is easier to remember because the word can appear or be used daily in life. However, The downside is that, since it’s just a normal name, there’s nothing special about it. In addition, while it could be easier to remember, it could be hard to recall because they’re just too common to be in the head. Furthermore, common words like Apple, Orange or Booking are usually already taken by others, making it difficult to be registered.
Orthographic Neighbourhood for many is a new term. In fact, it is a jargon from the linguistic field. It refers to the set of words that can be formed by changing only any one letter of the original word. For example, the words bat, cat, rat, fat, and eat are all orthographic neighbours of the word mat. The ease of people recognizing words are also influenced by this factor where words that have more orthographic neighbours are more easily remembered. No matter if it’s a common name or a novel name, word with more orthographic neighbours also allows faster recognition than those with fewer.
This means that people are able to recognize and remember better because of the varieties of the neighbours that could help form the remembrance. If you’re still confused what it is, try this and you’ll figure.
A research from the West suggests that novel English brand names could benefit from making up new names using orthographic neighbourhood method. For instance, the company name, Poffee, could benefit from the existence of its neighbour word Coffee. Thus, making the company easy to recognize because it’s special, and at the same time, remember, because it’s similar to a common word.
Knowing these influencing factors get you the upper hand when naming your brand. A brand name could of course have other factors in deciding it as well, such as the story behind it, the purpose, perhaps the values you want to put in to promise or even the company’s vision, but at times, we do want to stand in the customers’ shoes. Being able to understand them creates the impression where we care of them. Although at most times unknowingly, but your company will at least know which way’s the best for them to remember you.
Each of the points discussed above has its pros and cons. In short, it is up to you whether you want it to be special or easily to remember. No matter which you’ll be choosing in that you think best suits your company, remember that this is just about how you want people to view you and is not about the successfulness of the company. Whether the company will succeed or not depends on how you’re gonna market your products or services.