What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?_5ee33d88a3cbd.jpeg

You might have noticed something a little different about us. No, we didn’t change our hair, but we did have a little rebrand. We thought this was a great opportunity to offer an insight into the best way to choose your brands name and what kind of research and thought process should go into a rebrand or initial brand development.

Who will you be?

As an extension of your brand, your name needs to resonate with your audience, be memorable and represent everything that you are or want to be. There are a number of ways to develop your brand’s name, offering endless options.

  • Be the founders: It could be a first name, surname or a nickname but one option is the name your business after the founding members e.g. Bang & Olufsen
  • Describe the service: A simple approach is to simply explain what you do, making this the company title e.g. British Airways
  • Randomise it: Whether it’s a random word or an action description, this can set you apart from the crowd and ensure you’re memorable e.g. Yahoo (“Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”) or Starbucks
  • Make it up: If in doubt, you can make up a word, it’s worked for some of the most famous brands in the world e.g. Google (which stems from the mathematical term “googol”)

Stand out from the crowd

Making your brand name memorable and unique is important as it ensures that customers are more likely to remember it over your competitors. It’s the first impression most of your customers will have of the brand, so it needs to have a lasting impact.

Ensuring the first impression is impactful is crucial, but it’s also important to ensure there’s no one else in your field using the name. Once you have shortlisted your preferred brand names, you should conduct research online to ensure you can get the URL you want and you won’t be competing with anyone else for visibility in your sector.

For example, if you’re a technology company and you find that there is another company operating under the same name, but they operate in a polar opposite sector, on the other side of the world, this probably won’t cause too much of a problem.

However, if you find another technology company, particularly in your region, operating under the name you want to use, it’s a good idea to steer clear and find an alternative. This offers you a better chance of being found organically, without any other similar companies competing for branded terms.

Why rebrand?

A brand name will ultimately shape your corporate identity, so you should ensure that everyone is on board with the new name and feels that it accurately represents the business.

Whether your brand is in its infancy or you’re updating your brand strategy and a rename feels appropriate, you should ensure that you conduct extensive research into how this will affect your current operations, position in the industry and online visibility.

The benefit of renaming your company is that it allows you to gain new attention, by telling the story of how your business has evolved. A deliberate introduction is often needed, whether this is through new service offerings, a refreshed image or an operational strategic shift.

However, it’s naive to think that a new name can eliminate a wealth of poor press or negative association if this is the case, it’s best to face the music and save the rename for a later date.

How to choose a new brand name?

When deciding on a new brand name, it’s worth identifying what you’re trying to achieve through this rebrand, how it works within your industry (does it require inside knowledge to be effective?) and what is the objective criteria of a good name?

Once you’ve gathered a list of potential names, including suggested URL’s (which should be checked for availability), you should gather your internal teams and discuss their collective feelings towards each of them and how they feel these names add or detract from the brand experience.

Evaluating the list against the given criteria is an important step as you need to ensure that it has the desired effect on your customers.

You should test it out; say it out loud, does it roll off the tongue? How is it spelt; can it easily be misspelt? Is it confusing or misleading; could customers easily mistake it for a different kind of business? Does it convey a brand personality; does it instantly conjure up the image you want to be associated with the brand?

Need help?

It can be a tough job rebranding, whether you’re a global company or an SME, it’s important to have the right support when developing a branding strategy. If your company is looking to develop a rebranding strategy but you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with us today!

Also published on Medium.


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