There may come a time in your life when you think it’s time to start up your own business and you will need to name your brand, and this my friend is not a task to be taken lightly. A brand name represents a promise to your customers and makes your brand different and offers something unique from other people doing the same thing as you.
The most important thing for me is that you remember to take yourself out of the brand naming entirely because it doesn’t matter if your brand name makes sense to you. It really only matters if your brand name means something to your customers, that’s right home slice the people buying your shit.
What’s Your Brand Strategy?
You should definitely not try naming your brand until you realise your brand strategy. How can you know if you’re choosing the right brand name if you don’t know what your brands personality, brand promise, and direction are?
What’s Already Out There?
You need to fully understand your market before you can create a kick ass brand name. Do your research and learn what brand names your competitors are using and how consumers FEEEEEEEEEL about those brand names. Show somebody you think would buy what your offering your competitors social accounts and ask them “What Do you Think and Feel when you look at this”.
Then Identify that something missing from these and you can develop a brand name that makes you different from what you just learnt.
What You Sayin?
Once you understand what is already out there you can start to refine your brand position to make your shit unique. Use that position along with your brand promise to develop a few brand name ideas. Identify your brand’s unique personality it could be quirky, perfectionist or quintessentially British and start to scribble some adjectives and words that you think match.
Think Tank Time
Gather some peeps together and start thinking laterally! There are no bad ideas this early in the process, so go for shit loads. Even the most left field idea should be accepted and not judged. One of our latest clients Extreme Bean came out of somebody shouting it out, sure I can remember somebody saying shut up you dickhead and then somebody said I love it, let’s call it that, now it’s a household name. You never know what crazy shit could spawn the perfect idea! Look at your brand from all angles; focus on each thing; consider all audiences; and make that list as long as you can. Be sure to include potential customers and third parties and defo not your family and friends because they are generally biased and are overly critical in your brainstorming process.
Use that brainstorming list to put down some possible brand names, and narrow that list of possible brand names down to about 5. Make sure the short list of brand names you create includes names that can last through market changes, brand extensions, location expansions, trends, fads, blah, blah, blah. You should create a brand name that can stand the test of time, because you never know where the world, the market, consumers, competitors, and you could go in years to come.
Search Trademark and Domain Name Availability
Research the availability of each of the brand names on your short list for trademarking. You don’t want to launch a brand and receive a cease and desist letter a few months (or years) later telling you that someone else already owns that trademark so you have to stop using it. Also, check for domain name availability and companies house to see if there are any businesses registered with that name. While it’s very possible that the exact domain name for your brand name won’t be available, you need to know early if there are no acceptable alternatives available.
Choose the Name
Based on your trademark and domain name research, you’ve decided and chosen your brand name, CONGRATULATIONS!
Do Some Mock-ups
Create a logo, ad, business card, and package mockups using your brand name. Make sure the brand name looks good visually and sounds good when spoken out loud. A brand name might sound great on a list on your desk, but when you put it in a radio ad or on a package design, or more importantly when you answer the phone saying the brand it might not work at all.
When you’ve got your brand marketing mock-ups ready, test it through customer research. Find out what people think and test it against your competitors to find out what your target audience thinks about both to see which they’d prefer to buy from. Through this testing, you should be able to determine if you are getting the reaction you want and if it needs tweaking. It’s also possible that the testing phase will teach you that you need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a completely different brand name.
Roll it Out
Once you’ve settle on a brand name, launch it and use it consistently across all customer touch points i.e Facebook, Twitter. Be sure to conduct ongoing research and monitoring to ensure your brand name is well-received. We always say that this is the bit where your baby starts to walk and you need to nurture him or her along the path as he grows, maybe he needs a website but that's a story for another time.
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