How to Name Your Brand – an Essential Brand Naming Checklist

Last Updated on June 23rd, 2020

Jane Doe or John Doe?

Nobody likes to hear that.

We are living in a paperless world, not in the nameless world…

If you don’t want to fall into the category of John Doe, it’s imperative to name yourself something that steals the light.

The easier it seems, the harder it is. Well, naming a brand is as tricky as ordering food in a restaurant where you are exposed to multiple choices.

The best part amid all is, “We are surrounded by good for nothing suggestion givers.” Even if they don’t know the tidbits of naming a brand, they just don’t stop poking their nose.

Naming a brand and naming your pet are two different things. So yeah, if you are good with the latter, avoid trying to unlock stuff with the wrong key.

This reminds me of my quick conversation with a friend Mohammad.

“He called me and said, hey, you know I have finally decided the name for my brand.”

In reply, I congratulated him….but…

The main twist came when he was done with almost everything. Alas! The Instagram handle was already taken. Phew!

This is why I say it is crucial to research a particular thing rather than diving right into it.

If you don’t want to witness the same thing what happened with Mohammad, Mate! Read this blog as it is full of substance.

Call it your golden key to unlocking your brand name.

Let’s dive right into it.

1. You need to have a well-thought-out brief

I want you to pick up a pen and paper and prepare a brief. Please don’t fall into the trap of random brainstorming sessions.

To get to the brand name, you first have to discover your voice. But how will you do it?

Discover Your Voice

Answer the following questions:

  • What is this brand all about?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is the personality of this brand?
  • What’s special am I offering?
  • What feeling do I want to communicate to my audience?

Once you have answers to the following questions, the road will look pretty clear from there.

2. Do proper research

Your competitor loves you! It’s just that you fail to see it.

Do proper research

Stop rolling your eyes and read between the lines. There is so much you can discover by digging deeper into your competitor’s land.

See the names they have given to their brands. Analyze what’s so special about the name? Perhaps it’s a mix and match of names that is attracting a customer?

Perhaps your competitor has chosen the name to attract a specific geographical location?

Once you do your research, things will start falling right into the place.

3. Make a thought cloud

Your research will pave the way for your brainstorming session. I want you to make a thought cloud and surround it with all the adjectives that best describe your brand.

Make a thought cloud

It is more like building an association set. When you know the best adjectives that define your brand, it gets a bit easier to choose a name.

4. Break down the set

You must be wondering why I am asking you to break down that association set?

Well, you’ll discover it in the coming paragraph. For now, omit all the adjectives that look vague. Keep those that are the accurate representation of your brand.

Once you are done with this part, come up with visuals for those adjectives.

For instance: You want to launch a shampoo brand that offers silky hair and yet makes your hair healthier.

Now, let’s simplify it

What makes your hair stronger?

Vitamins.

What texture a customer can expect from your shampoo?

Silky.

Now if you combine these two:

Vitamin + Silk

And yet you want to come up with something that describes the quality, however, is short. I’d say it can be Vilk

Vitamin + Silk = Vilk

Similarly, if you are a brand that sells a pen, how would you name one?

Mainstream names do no good to you. I can share one more example here.

What does pen a do? See the association set I have made for your understanding.

Amid all, what makes sense to me is Love for words and Victory. I feel like it defines my brand perfectly.

Break down the set

What I did next, I took the help of Mr. Google and came up with words for these adjectives.

So, I found out a word for victory, “Sia.”

And for love for words, I found “Amo.”

I thought of combining the two. So I made “Siamo.”

Siamo – the name that represents love for victory.

I hope this truly cleared your confusion now.

5. Select your preferred name

This is the most critical part. After all, here you have to decide a name. But…

How will you know that it is the correct name for you or not?

It’s easy:

  • If the name aligns with your mission, then it’s for you.
  • If the name evokes positive vibes, then it’s the right choice.
  • If the name is easily pronounceable, just keep it.
  • If the name is memorable, don’t wander, just choose it.

Ho ho ho! The talk isn’t over yet. You can’t miss the real essence of this blog. Just stay where you are and keep on reading.

Things you need to take into account while naming a brand

A few things you can’t overshadow while naming a brand are:

  • Simplicity

Fancy is good, but when it comes to a brand name, you just can’t go the Italian way.

Make sure you come up with simple name suggestions and choose one that speaks for simplicity.

  • Interesting

Millennials and Gen Z don’t approve of mainstream things or brands. To impress them, your brand name should be interesting enough.

  • Get help

Ask those for help who have worked on a similar thing. Come up with your options, take the expert suggestions, and then choose.

  • Target audience

Your target audience is the primary buyer of your product. Anything that they don’t approve of just doesn’t work. While thinking of names, ask yourself, is it going to impress your target audience?

If the answer is “No,” then my friend, you already know which way to go.

  • Online poll

One thing I like about social media is that it has simplified so many things for us. What used to be an overwhelming task doesn’t seem like a great deal of time now.

If you love playing Tweet Tweet, I am sure you have seen the poll option. Conduct a poll on Twitter and ask people what they think about the name.

If you don’t want to use Twitter, Facebook is there to help. Conduct an online poll there and get the suggestions.

Facebook Poll

I’m sure; this practice will help you.

Things you should avoid while choosing a name

Before we conclude, read out some things you have to avoid while naming a brand.

  • Difficult names

Don’t be so short-sighted. You are not choosing a brand name for yourself but the audience. So omit the difficult ones and stick to simple names.

  • Names that are understood by a few

As long as you target a specific location, it’s good. But when you say the word “Think Globally,” it’s a big NO to choose a name that resonates with a few.

If you stick to obscure names, then the chances are that you will offer your market share to your competitors. Do you want to?

Well, I am not too generous, nor are you. Therefore, keep the notion of “Think Globally” in check.

  • Already taken names

I was a victim of it, so yeah, I can relate to it. This point reminds me of what happened to brother Mohammad a few days ago.

 

He chose a name, but the Instagram handle was already taken. So please, you don’t repeat the same mistake.

First of all, make sure that the URL is available. Now comes the part of social media handles. Check on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if the name is available to avoid the possible heart-break.

Mate, you can’t stay with 2 different identities on social media platforms. They need to be in sync. Therefore, keep your eye on one only, and be on every social media platform with that one identity.

  • Dull names

Playing too safe ends you up in a loss. What’s the point of choosing a name that doesn’t excite your target audience?

Here do the various brainstorming sessions; moreover, ask your peers how the brand name makes them feel like. If it doesn’t excite them, I am sorry, it is not going to excite your target audience.

Final thoughts

Feeling light?

I am sure, and the task doesn’t look daunting now. After all, you got hold of all the needed things.

I repeat, don’t fall into the trap of random brainstorming sessions. You need to have a brief before you move to the next step. You can’t expect to jump from 1 to 5 directly, can you?

The outcome is always positive when you follow a defined process. I hope this guide will help you come up with exotic names.

And yes, don’t forget to share your brand names with me. I’d love to know how this guide helped you.

I wish you good luck!

  • A Picture of Waqas D.

    Waqas D.

Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.

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