Samsung, Apple, Amazon, YouTube, Netflix, Google and many more.
Every day, we wake up and go to sleep with these brand names at the top of our mind. What’s more interesting is that some of these brand names have found a way to enter our everyday lingo. Facebooking, a word that didn’t even exist two decades ago is now listed in the Cambridge Dictionary.The expression “Netflix and Chill” has become so common now it is being used by everybody.
Any successful entrepreneur with an even more so successful business will tell you that building a brand takes a lot of planning and strategizing. How you brand your business is a double edged sword: it can be the reason that your company build an empire, or, alternatively lead you to doom!
HOW DOES A BRAND NAME WORK?
There is a whole psychology behind why the best brand names stick. It is not simply a word or a few letters put together, a brand name is rather the ‘face’ of your business, it is what evokes a feeling, a sense of trust, an opinion, a feeling or a value to your audience.
When a brand name is created, it’s new, it’s fresh, it’s like a new born baby. A new born baby has no qualities attached to it, but by the time it reaches the age of 5, you start associating certain characteristics to it. For example, every time you pass by a baby, they smell of soft baby powder and roses. So every time someone mentions this baby’s name, your mind quickly races to the remembrance of baby powder and roses.
That’s how a brand name works. At first, we have no predetermined dispositions about them, but as they grow, we find a way to link either positive or negative opinions about them. These opinions are built on how we associate the brand’s name with the services/products offered by this particular business and the values they promote.
“If somebody automatically associates your brand name with positive emotions, you’ve earned yourself a customer for life.”
– Michael Rader, the founder of Brandroot, a marketplace for .com domain names
4 KEY BENEFITS OF HAVING A STRONG BRAND NAME
1. Customer loyalty
People often like to purchase items that they are familiar with. If your brand has left a strong impression on them, they are highly unlikely to switch to another brand so easily.
The sweeter part to this equation is that customer loyalty usually trickles down to forthcoming generations as well.
2. Brand recognition
Having a strong brand rubs off on customers. Even though many may not know much about your product at the time of purchase, they will stand at a higher chance of picking your brand because the name is familiar and largely known in the market.
3. Easier product introduction
If you already have a well-established consumer base, then it will be easier for you to push a new product in the market. Your audience is highly likely to try this new product because they have already had a positive experience with your previous products.
4. Competitive edge
This is your differentiation strategy. When customers start banking and backing your brand, a resonating brand name provides a competitive edge to your company.
Customer is king – your brand is nothing without them. They are the ones who will help you build your empire. This will uplift your brand and keep you a step ahead of other similar products in the market.
THAT BEING SAID, HOW CAN YOU COME UP WITH AN UNFORGETTABLE BRAND NAME?
Here are five steps you can follow while coming up with a brand name to ensure your business stands out:
1. Create your brand prototype
This is the process of painting your brand’s blank canvas.
What is the goal of your business? What values do you want to communicate or send across to your customers? How do you want to emotionally connect your audience to you brand?
Take the example of “Dove”. A dove is generally associated with qualities such as gentleness, purity and beauty, which are the core values that a brand like Dove promotes. Hence picking this as a name for toiletries brand is suitable and ideal.
2. Start generating brand names
The first name you think of should not necessarily be your brand name. This is the process where you start getting your creative juices flowing. Look for inspiration, brainstorm with your colleagues, link words to other words.
Keep the words simple. Long words complicate it all – from domain selection to product packaging. Avoid picking names that have two or more words in them.
Be creative, come up with new inventions such as Twitter, Facebook, Google.
Be careful when picking an exotic name. These could me mispronounced or have underlying meanings. Amazon was earlier known as Cadabra, however a lawyer misheard it as ‘cadaver’, which actually means corpse.
3. Check availability
The last thing you want to do is have the same name as someone else. Have a domain search done so that you can see whether your suggestion has already been taken up. Websites like GoDaddy and .com can help you find the perfect domain.
You can also run your brand name through theTrademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to see whether there are any registered companies under that name.
Lastly, run through social media pages such asInstagram or Facebook to see whether any of the pages have names that resemble your chosen suggestions.
4. Test the brand name you have chosen
Before completely deciding on the name you want to stick with, take a test run.
Use online surveys to see how people react to your suggested brand name. If you have an already existing customer base, ask them for their opinion. Be sure to note what their initial reactions are.
If by any chance they think that you are selling curtains, whereas you are actually selling shoes, then know that there is something wrong.
5. Consider future growth
While you may be selling only one product now, your brand name should not be scaled down to that item only. This could actually seriously hinder any future expansion plans of the company.
For example, let’s have a look at a scenario where a company started selling acrylic paints. It goes ahead and picks a brandname such as “AcrylicPaints”. If by any chance they want to add more art products later on such as easels, sculpture and modelling tools etc., they will have a problem. People will not have an easy time associating them with these other products. It would have been better to keep the name open, use a brandname such as “Art Factory” perhaps.