The right name will get you remembered. David Robert Jones certainly thought so. When it comes to creating a new company or product name it shouldn’t just sound right but support your vision and generate genuine excitement.
So, what’s the thinking behind the naming process? Read the PowWow Creative Essential Guide to Brand Naming.
From Amazon to Zoopla…
Being original these days isn’t easy and naming a new company is no different. One of the frustrations is that more often than not URLs have been snapped up before you can even share the naming ideas. But in our experience this is part of the challenge. We get our kicks from coming up with ideas no one else has thought of before. So how do we do it?
I’m often in awe of musicians and composers who can come up with original music time after time. Well the same theory applies here. If you know your field, have gut intuition, an enquiring mind and belief in yourself (and your team) then you’ve got a formula for success.
If you want your new name to be distinctive and memorable it’s good to follow these seven golden rules:
1. Gain valuable customer insight – understand the company vision, mission and values first;
2. Don’t limit yourself – think outside the box, around the corners, underneath and anywhere in between;
3. Work as a team – involve everyone (even your father-in-law will have an opinion), although not all will have the right answer, they may spark a winning idea;
4. Rationalise everything – if it has meaning it has purpose;
5. Do your research – competition, trademark searches, linguistic barriers, legal checks and of course URL availability;
6. Go wordmanic! – the thesaurus is your best friend;
7. Dazzle – if you can’t be entirely original, be brilliant.
As you can see, there are many benefits for your business to use social media – from increased brand recognition to higher conversion rates – if strategized properly, your brand can potentially reap from these benefits, which in turn can help to increase your bottom line.
How we do it the PowWow way
Every journey has a beginning, middle and end. Naming a new company or product is no different. Here’s how PowWow Creative approach it.
1) Beginning – Research
Kick-off with a workshop to capture the vision of the company and what they do. It’s also an opportunity to establish brand personality by creating a persona.
Customer and competitor review
Identify your target market and customer. What benefit are you delivering? If you are re-inventing an existing brand or evolving for a merger and acquisition, it’s always wise to conduct brand research to make sure any existing equity is preserved or managed appropriately.
Conduct a competitor review and see how others are positioning themselves in your space. Do you want to stand shoulder to shoulder or stand out?
How will the new name be used and implemented? Plan your roll-out strategy with a timeline, who’s involved and cost.
Carry out an audit of any material that needs updating such as office signage, stationery, social media, or a website. Create an internal and external awareness campaign to share your news and tell the story. If customers and staff don’t understand the benefit change brings they will be indifferent and unhelpful.
2) Middle – The creative bit
To begin with no idea is a bad idea. To focus thought we find it easier to develop themes by listing brand characteristics, functional or emotional values and list benefits.
Generate lots of potential names – it could be mixed, randomly evolved, cut up or spelt differently. Here are some different naming conventions and examples:
Top tip: Stuck for ideas? Think about the visual characteristics that represent your company or product? If it were an animal, colour, shape, person, drink or place.
Initial checks remove the obviously unavailable names as soon as possible so we don’t disappoint you with ideas that cannot be used. Once you have a shortlist use a legal specialist who can advise on how ‘safe’ the name is, register it as a trademark and mediate and defend you if your name is challenged.
3) End – Choosing the right name
Sometimes it just sounds right or a creates a gut instinct. However, there is a more calculated way to choose a name from a shortlist. Grade each name from 1 to 10 using the following measures:
- Wow factor
Congratulations, you have a new name that has passed the checks. Now it’s time to bring it to life and turn the name into an identity. Watch with pleasure as your vision becomes a reality and remember, when the name is right you never look back.
Let PowWow Creative help you come up with your next brand or product name. We have experience in dealing with M&As, new products, re-invention, brand extensions and start-ups.
We don’t just come up with names either. We develop brand strategies, positioning, tone of voice, brand development and straplines.