Here’s a quick guide to help you select a killer name for your product or brand.
The basics: a regret minimisation framework
You may want to meet these 3 criteria when evaluating potential names.
Firstly, we would recommend you choose a name that you can get longevity out of; find that balance between having a name that allows you to “stay current” but also won’t be outdated in a few years’ time. Also, try to pick a name that won’t be limiting as your business grows. For example, if you choose a name that can be used in other markets (avoiding negative cultural connotations) you will make it easier for yourself if you decide to expand overseas.
Secondly, choose a name that is available. This may seem obvious, but often people register a trading name with ASIC not realising that registering a business or company name is completely separate to registering a trade mark or buying a domain name. By doing your home work (e.g. searches such as a trade mark availability search) as early as possible, you can avoid a lot of heartache and potentially save money.
Lastly, make sure your brand is protectable. The investment involved in building your brand’s profile is significant, so it is wise to speak with a brand protection expert early on to ensure it can be safeguarded for the long term.
If you follow these suggestions, you will be well on your way to having a name that is essentially future proof.
So, what’s next?
Who are you trying to attract
Does your name capture the attention of your target market?
Think about the characteristics you want your name and brand to project. Does your name reflect the identity of the business AND the price point of your product or services? Is it appealing to the kind of people you want purchasing your product or services?
|High end/ Luxury/ prestige|
|Conservative or traditional|
How are you going to stand out?
With that done, you may want to consider different categories of names to narrow your focus further.
Do you see your brand having a name that evokes certain emotions? Emotive words and evocative phrases are popular choices for businesses selling food and beverages, clothing, medi or day spas and baby care.
Or perhaps you could go with a suggestive name, something that suggests a benefit your product has, how it is used or what it does. For example, SnapChat or Netflix give an indication of what they do (without being descriptive).
Another simple but effective option is to use a person’s name, e.g. Ralph Lauren, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, or follow the lead of one of the owners of a now globally successful South African chicken restaurant, who renamed their business after their first born son (Fernando Duarte Jnr).
Here are some categories you might like to choose from (this is not an exhaustive list):
|Portmanteau (two words together)|
|A real word with a made-up spelling|
|A real word with an unrelated meaning|
(Bayerische Motorenwerke or Bavarian Motor Works )
Another strategy for coming up with a powerful name is to create a totally made up word that is not too long or complicated. Invented words are often successful because they are very distinctive and unique. Think Xerox, Tanqueray or Makarlu.
Try to pick a name that differentiates your brand from that of your competitors. You want a name that is memorable and defines what your brand is all about.
As mentioned earlier, once you’ve come up with a shortlist of possible names it is wise to check the availability of your best brand name ideas. This will mean doing a general Google search, searching domain names and social media handles and looking on ATMOSS to make sure someone else isn’t already using your preferred name.
Preliminary searches will ensure that you have a name that you can actually use so you can be confident of your investment rather than putting time and money into a name only to find out you are infringing someone else’s trade mark.
Choosing a name can be a difficult process but it can also be exciting. Get inspired and start brainstorming - then contact us firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance to bring your brand to life and protect it.