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How to pick a brand name

At m360, we believe that brand names are highly important because they serve as a way to identify and differentiate a company’s products or services from those of its competitors. A strong brand name can also help to build trust and credibility with customers. Words have meanings and connotations, therefore hold an immense amount of power towards the success of a brand.

Whilst writing this article, we discussed within our studio a similar analogy to the infamous chicken and egg ideology – What determines the success of a brand, its name or  marketing strategy? A challenging question, we know! It all comes down to the name attached to the marketing strategy. For example, you could have a great marketing department but a name that is a nightmare to pronounce!

Here are our important considerations and creative tips for naming a brand:

Keep it simple: A brand name should be easy to pronounce, spell, and remember. Nobody wants a brand name that is difficult to spell!

Make it unique: The name should be distinct and not easily confused with other brands. This will help improve your brand identity and establish a stronger position within the market.

Consider SEO: A brand name that includes keywords relevant to your industry can help with search engine optimisation. Note the ‘consider’ part to this tip – there are many successful brands using unrelated industry keywords such as Apple, who have led the way in the technology market for decades now. However, this example is for a global, large scale brand but for localised, small businesses considering SEO will have more of a positive impact on the success of the brand.

Make it memorable: A brand name that is catchy and memorable will be more likely to stick in the minds of potential customers. Sounds easy right? This is probably one of the hardest goals to achieve when choosing a brand name – which is why we recommend investing your time in the necessary research.

Think about the brand’s values and mission: The name should reflect the brand’s values and mission. For example, our brand name ‘m360’ reflects our full service offering within the mmarketing sector. Again, this isn’t always crucial to choosing a brand name but is definitely worth considering as an opportunity to create a cohesive brand identity. 

Try different languages or wordplay: Mixing languages or playing with words can give a unique touch to the brand name but be careful not to use words that might mean something different in other languages.

Test it: Before finalising a brand name, test it with a focus group to get feedback and make sure it resonates with your target audience. Testing is a crucial step before launching any brand due to the subjective nature of creative decision making. You will need to be sure that the reaction/response to the brand name is that of what you hoped for.

Check for trademarks: The all important ensuring the brand name is not already trademarked by another company. It’s also worth checking if the brand name is available on social media platforms and the desired domain name isn’t taken. In today’s world, every brand should have some form of digital/social media presence.

Did you know that there are 7 different types of names? They also serve as an alternative discovery exercise for developing a strong brand name.

    1. Eponymous (e.g. Disney, Adidas, Tesla)
    2. Descriptive (e.g. American Airlines, The Home Depot)
    3. Acronymic (e.g. GE, BP, KFC, HSBC)
    4. Suggestive (e.g. Uber, Slack, Facebook, Pinterest)
    5. Associative (e.g. SiriusXM, Red Bull)
    6. Non-English (e.g. Samsung, Lego, Hulu)
    7. Abstract (e.g. Rolex, Kodak)

Choosing the right name for your brand can feel overwhelming – if you are struggling on where to begin, why not join an m360 brand workshop where together we can discover what’s right for your brand.

Already got a brand name? Develop your brand story with us next.

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