Branding: What’s in a Name?

Brand Naming

Naming a new company, product, or service is always a challenge. Brand naming is a very intimate exercise.

The business owners we work with are smart, savvy, and able to articulate the most excruciating detail concerning their brand and the needs it fulfills for their consumer.

But it can be difficult for them to step back far enough to distill this minutia into the perfect name.

So, we step in and we work with business owners, navigating them through the methodical process of ideation and refinement to arrive at a name that effectively captures the essence of who they are as a company.

It’s not unlike the process of naming a child, except more difficult. Because unlike naming a child, it’s advantageous that a business has a unique brand name.

I know a lot of Matthews, but only one Microsoft.

The Time for Conversation

Having recently worked through these steps once again, it occurred to me that no matter what we present – the best work ever, a bullet-proof backstory, concise and memorable intonation – the clients still have the final say concerning whether that name fits with their vision for their business.

It is their business baby, after all. The response here, though, doesn’t need to be “back to the drawing board.”

This is the time for conversation.

Through conversation, you can find out what they like, what they don’t like, address concerns, and rework the idea to the point where both parties feel good about the solution. There are a lot of things to take into consideration when choosing a name for a company.

  • Does this exude the right tone?
  • Are there trademark conflicts?
  • Is the URL available?
  • Are there cultural conflicts?
  • How do consumers view the name?
  • Does it resonate?
  • Can the consumer spell it well enough to type it into a search bar?

Today’s Marketplace

Today’s marketplace is as competitive as ever. Most of the names in your first brainstorming session are probably in use.

URLs that have any semblance of language have been pretty much gobbled up.

If you create a business that manufactures tiny pillows with soft microfibers, sorry, but Microsoft.com isn’t an option for you. This leaves the “unexpected” as a viable option. And, it takes time to absorb the unexpected.

Mull over it for some time. Take a pause to reaffirm your recommendation by remembering what makes the name choice viable – it’s concise, it’s memorable, it’s short, has a URL, and is legally unassociated with any category conflicts.

And, when you finally settle on the perfect name, you’re well on your way towards building a strong brand name and a successful business.