29 Mar Brand and Product Naming… Five Things to Consider.
Shakespeare was right to ask the question, “What’s in a name?”
While he may not have been referring to the commercial sphere, we know that asking this question in relation to brands and products is crucial for drumming up potential business.
As the first point of contact with your target audience, it should make a lasting impression. The right name can accelerate you forward whilst the wrong name will leave you forgotten, misunderstood, or even disliked. First impressions are everything, and the naming of a brand or product is a huge, crucial decision no matter what sort of business you are.
With this in mind, here are five things to consider when coming up with the perfect name for a product or brand:
Is it easy to spell?
Rule one is a simple one. Take into account spelling, punctuation and length.
If the name alone is difficult to spell or pronounce, then it’s not going to be memorable. You could be shutting down potential business before the consumer even gets an idea of what your company can offer. It’s far more difficult to network and share aspects of a business when the public are consistently misspelling or mispronouncing your name.
Is it too long?
This one goes for slogans or tag lines too. Longer names for your business or product aren’t necessarily negative, but they certainly can be. The longer the name, the more likely it is to be mistyped into online search engines and this means that consumers, clients, as well as potential business partners, could stumble across your competitors before they find you. Not ideal.
Shorter names are generally catchier, and as a result, more memorable. Take the American global courier FedEx for example. The company began with the name Federal Express Corporation in 1971 but consumers soon shortened this to FedEx. In 1994, the company decided to make their unofficial moniker their official one. This decision was ultimately the right one; two syllables are much easier to say than five and the brand is now recognised globally.
Does it look pretty?
Names are made even more memorable by their visual treatment. Enter logos. Aspects such as shape, colour and font will affect the emotional reaction of your target audience and influence their ability to recall your brand in certain situations. The Apple logo is probably one of the best examples of how to link a product name to memorable visuals.
Does it form a positive brand connection?
During the naming of a brand or product, consider carefully the vocabulary you use. Depending on the context, different words have different connotations for different people. Forming a positive connection with your target audience right from the get-go can go a long way. Think about where you intend to take your brand in the future, the products you currently produce, and what markets you would like to explore.
A brand, service or product’s name is a promise that doesn’t even have to make logical sense to become meaningful and relevant to the user. It contributes to an inexplicable, intangible gut feeling the consumer has. If we say Starbucks do you think of stars and dollars? It’s more likely that ‘Coffee’ was the first word to pop into your head. Right?
Is there a suitable domain for your brand name?
Unfortunately, if there isn’t a viable, relevant domain name, then it’s back to the drawing board. While both the domain and business names don’t have to match up perfectly, if the two are completely unrelated then you’re shunning potential business because you simply can’t be found online.
Once your brand or product has a well-established online presence, you can begin to connect with consumers and business partners alike.
With the ever-increasing popularity of social media platforms, it’s also probably a good idea to make sure that any preferred usernames or vanity urls are available to you. Twitter has become a fantastic tool for promoting and sharing not only aspects of our personal lives, but business personalities as well.
The main thing to remember is that your brand or product name is the front man. He’s a huge part of your reputation. We’ve explained why names should be memorable, appealing and easily communicable but the list doesn’t end there.
Feel free to get in touch if you want guidance on what name best captures your ideas, your business.