“Brand naming is the process of giving a name to a brand, whether it’s a company, a service, or a product. Choosing a good name is crucial for marketing. It should be memorable and create positive feelings to make it easy to sell.
This task is not easy and doesn’t have strict rules since it involves creative writing. However, we can outline some general guidelines to help in the creative process and save time.”
In the early days of marketing, brands usually had the same name as their founder (like Ferrari, Ferrero, Armani, Disney). However, as competition grew, and the market became more diverse, people realized that having a unique name could make a product or service stand out and sell better.
Nowadays, many marketing experts agree that the key to success in business often starts with choosing the right name. This is a big part of how a product or service is introduced and is a crucial aspect of creating a brand’s identity.
How Brand Naming Research is Carried Out
As explained earlier, there are various methods to come up with a brand name. It’s a task that combines different fields and mixes them together in unique ways until the right name is found.
Things like signs and symbols, language, and understanding how the mind works are involved. Also, everyday things like movies, books, TV shows, places on the map, and more can all play a part in creating a name. All these elements can contribute to finding the perfect name for a brand.
The first phase of the work is dedicated to analysis: what are the branding objectives? What do you want to communicate? What is the Unique Selling Proposition? What is the target audience addressed?
Usually in the agency we have the client fill out a questionnaire, more or less elaborate depending on the case, with questions that help us to delimit the field of work< a i=2>, and create an area within which to start thinking and designing.
Next, we examine the competition in the market, check the latest trends in the industry, and gather as much information as possible about our product or service. It’s important to understand all the aspects connected to what we offer.
There are various types of names:
Descriptive Names: These names directly describe the product or its features and are easy for consumers to understand.
Symbolic Names: These names are connected to the product in a more indirect way, like through sound or characteristics.
Emotional Names: These names are based on words or phrases that evoke specific emotions or sensations related to the product.
Made-Up Names: These are imaginary names that didn’t exist before.
Acronyms: These names use the initials of other words.
Personal Names: As mentioned earlier, these names are the same as the founder’s name.
Now comes the really creative part of the process, where each creator uses their own method developed through time and experience. Still, there are some important rules to keep in mind, which I always follow.
A brand name usually needs to have these qualities:
Shortness: It should be brief.
Pronounceability: People should be able to say it easily.
Comprehensibility: It needs to be easily understood.
Memorability: It should be easy to remember.
Originality: It should be unique and not like other names.
Creativity: It should show some creative flair.
Translatability: If applicable, it should work well when translated into other languages.
Quite a list, isn’t it?
Next, I start creating mind maps. This means jotting down on paper the key words related to the product or service, which usually come from the questionnaire. I connect these words, add more, and include any other ideas or inspirations.
This process can take a while, sometimes even days, because finding the simplest and most effective connections is challenging. It’s like sculptors slowly chipping away at marble to reveal a figure.
To achieve my goal, I explore how words fit together in terms of sound, structure, and meaning. Specifically, I look at:
Assonance: This involves changing a well-known phrase or word from popular culture. It needs to be something that the majority of people can easily understand.
Metaphor: This is something we use in daily language without realizing it. For naming, I identify the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and compare it to something else. For example, if the USP is simplicity, our product might be compared to something known for its simplicity.
I also play around with letters: combining words, breaking them apart and putting them back together, changing vowels or consonants, and adding prefixes or suffixes.
Finding the right name is often like making scientific discoveries—it happens unexpectedly while you’re looking for something else.
Check If the Domain is Free
Once I have a list of names to suggest to the client, I make sure they are available. Sometimes, the online domain for the chosen name might already be in use. To check this, I use tools like Register.it or Whois.it.
If, unfortunately, the domain is already taken, I rethink the chosen name. It’s important not to get disheartened; this happens to everyone in the copywriting business!
As you can see, coming up with a brand name is a complicated process that takes a while. Also, the client might not always like the suggestions from the agency, so there could be some changes needed to address their concerns. It’s a bit of a challenge, and a bit of luck can help too, I won’t deny that.
To sum it up, here are the steps:
- Understand who the product is for and what makes it unique.
- Check out the competition and understand the market.
- Pick a style of communication that suits the brand.
- Let creativity flow.
- Generate ideas.
- Make sure the chosen name is available.
- Test the name.
- Decide on the names to present to the client.
If you’re launching something new and need a great name, we’re here to help!