Insights / Branding
Once upon a time, someone’s eyes lit up like lightbulbs as they said:
“I know! What do you guys think about Apple for our new company name?”
Well, something along those lines. Some weird looks might have been exchanged across the room, but ultimately, they decided to stick with the quirky name. Who would have known that a company with such an unorthodox name would eventually grow to become one of the most recognizable tech giants in the world? But some of you may feel like Steve Jobs did at that moment. You might be racking your brain, trying to figure out what to name your company.
While there are no hard and fast rules to adhere strictly to, there are some crucial factors that you need to consider in the process of brainstorming your new brand name. This article will take you through the general how-to’s in sparking creative and impactful name and tagline ideas.
How Should I Go About It?
1. Know Your Brand
First and foremost, you have to be clear about the nitty gritty of your brand.
- What does your brand stand for?
- What are your values?
- What is your mission and vision?
- What is your brand identity and brand voice?
Without having an answer to these questions, you would be shooting blind for words that might not even relate to your brand or bring it across in the best light. When brainstorming for a brand name, it is imperative to maintain the essence of your brand and capture that atmosphere with the words that you choose.
An example of this would be the popular sports brand Nike, whose name is derived from the Greek goddess of victory. The name perfectly encapsulates everything that their brand is about and aligns with how they want to present themselves in their particular industry.
2. Know Your Customers
To a certain extent, your brand name should also reflect what you want your customers to think about when they come across it. What kinds of emotions do you want to evoke in your customers at the mention of your brand? Consider words that could strike a cord with your customers and beckon them to learn more, engage with your brand or take specific actions.
3. Let The Words Flow
With those factors in the back of your mind, fling wide the gates and allow the words to flow! Note down all the words and phrases that come to mind without filtering through them and feel free to play around with keywords. You may even use the internet or dictionary to search around for related / similar terms that could represent your ideas.
Some might even find it helpful to use various methods to cultivate deeper thinking. One such method is to draw out a mindmap, in which single points branch out into more elaborated points. This would aid you in putting more thought into your brand name while allowing your ideas to be continuously refined along the way.
4. Shortlist & Refine
You now have a pool of awesome ideas, but sadly, you’ll have to let some of them go. Pick the ones that stand out to you the most and begin thinking about how user-friendly they are.
- Do those names roll off the tongue like butter?
- Are they easy to spell and read?
- Would creating visuals / a logo to depict the brand name be easy?
Then, you have to consider the remaining names for how future-proof they are.
- Is it presently popular slang that’s going to be outdated in a couple of years?
- Will it be able to represent what your brand will grow to become in later years?
To illustrate this, imagine you currently own a small boutique selling women’s dresses. If you plan to venture into selling men’s apparel in 5 years time, it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to call yourself “Dessie’s Delightful Dresses”.
Finally, run a quick crosscheck on the internet to ensure that whatever name you’ve chosen isn’t weird or contradictory in any way that you might not have noticed. Does it mean something else in another language? Could it be used as something offensive in terms of slang? Just be sure that your final name selection is exactly what you intend it to be!
5. Ask For Feedback
Get honest opinions from reliable third parties on the final contending name options. After working on something for a while, it may become difficult for us to look at it from other viewpoints. Something might make sense to us because we created it, but will it connect for someone who’s looking at it for the first time? Hence, it's always helpful to be able to see things from an outside perspective.
6. Double Check Availability
At this point, you’ve found the one. You’re convinced that this is the name that will channel your brand’s identity to its fullest potential. The only question left to ask is whether or not it's been used before. In this world of vast ideas, it's not uncommon that some of them may coincide.
Check to see if the domain (www.[companyname].com) has been taken. If not, great! But if you discover that it’s been used before, don’t worry. You can work around this by adding a word to your domain name, with common options being: the, hello, app, and so on.
The next thing you’ll have to check is whether your name has been used on the social media platforms you plan to set up for your brand. Search through the handles and make minor adjustments to your own if you have to.
7. Implement It!
Congrats on finding your new brand name! Now, all you have to do is to make sure it’s plastered on every non-living surface in your office. Put it on your products, packaging, brand collaterals, ads, website, and let it shine proudly. Accompany it with a killer logo and tagline, and you’re all set!
In a similar vein, you may use the same steps to come up with a tagline to complement your brand name. Just remember to keep it short and sweet for easier memorability and to also come up with one that flows with your brand’s name, mission & vision, and values. Give thought to the meaning behind your tagline and allow it to reflect what your brand is about while also telling of what your customers will feel when using it.
The process of coming up with a brand name and tagline can be daunting, but as long as you keep these few pointers in mind, you’ll be able to craft a solid set that you’ll be proud of! If you need extra guidance in coming up with a brand identity, engage with a branding agency and get started right away.