Your name is probably the most personal thing you own.
It’s what others know you by. It’s what others associate with your entire personality.
Names are so powerful that they affect our perception of a person, even before we know anything about them.
Think about these. Chad. William. Candy. Margret.
I bet each of those conjured up very different images in your mind.
It’s no different when naming your business. Your brand name needs to give the right perception. It needs to give your audience an idea of everything your business is about.
Quite an ask, right?
Everything about your brand in a couple of words…
It’s not easy. If it were, then the world would be full of captivating brand names. But it’s not.
So I’m gonna take you through the 5 elements that make up all great brand names, to give you a better understanding of what works and why.
Most business owners spend all of 5 minutes coming up with their brand name. No rhyme or reason about it. Just because they like it. Just because they got bored and settled. Just because it was the only thing they could think of.
When a brand name is based on, quite literally, nothing, then the perception it gives to anyone that hears it will be a mess.
And there’s nothing quite like a disconnect between a business name and its personality to put people off.
It creates inconsistency right off the bat, causing confusion and lack of trust.
But there’s very little advice out there to help business owners in the first place. So that 5 minute naming struggle that happens time and time again isn’t a surprise.
Our personal names are given to us at birth. Our parents know nothing of who we are. What our personalities are like. What our values are. Our direction in life.
Yet we’re slapped with a name as the first step to defining who we are.
So we take this as a given. We name our children in this way, so why not name our businesses like this also? They’re pretty much like our child anyway aren’t they?
It’s very much an impracticality to not name a child until they start developing personality traits. Think of the paperwork! Think of those times that you need to get stern with them and pull out some middle name action also. Very frustrating.
But with your business, you have the golden opportunity to mould and shape everything about it before anyone even comes into contact with it. You get to decide its personality, values, goals, vision, tone, look and feel.
And then you can decide on a name that fits.
Then you can use everything that makes up the essence of your brand and distill it down into a truly befitting name.
If it then turns out that Chad still works…go for it.
I liked to be entertained when I hear a brand name. I like it to make me crack a little smile because it’s clever. I like it to take me somewhere in my mind. Those are the names I remember. Those are the names I share with others.
The purpose of your brand name is to describe the essence of your business as easily and universally as possible.
The entirety of your audience should get it. They should find affinity with it.
And this is how you do it…
You’re gonna have things that you do in your business. Services you offer. Products you sell.
But you’re also gonna have a vision. A purpose. And it’s this purpose that you want to get across in your brand name.
Don’t describe what you do. That’s a very quick way to bore people.
Try and be creative in evoking the essence of your vision.
Amazon have done this incredibly well. They started off selling books, but now sell pretty much everything under the sun. The word ‘Amazon’ gives the sense vastness. That everything and anything is there. Their name has allowed them to expand into one of the largest online stores in the world.
If they’d named themselves A-Z Books instead, think about where that would’ve left them. That, and how uninspiring it would be to their customers!
Think about what you’re ideally trying to achieve with your business, what it’s personality is. How do you want people to think about it and find words that suggest the same.
This is where knowing your audience comes in real handy again!
Are there any words, terms or phrases that your audience resonate with? Something they would instantly get? Teens have a completely different vocab than CEOs for example.
Think about the way your audience talk and use try to incorporate that in your naming.
Does it also have a positive association with your audience? If you’re all about transparency and honesty, then using words like ‘black’ and ‘dark’ won’t sit right.
If your name doesn’t mean anything to your audience, then they are much less likely to understand it and remember it.
Imagery helps massively.
If we can associate a picture with a concept such as a brand name, we’re much more inclined to remember it.
Jaguar is a great example. Sleek, sophisticated and strong. A powerful image representation of their cars.
Bedhead. Another great example, this time of a hair styling product.
Both of those instantly create an image in your mind, along with all the associated meanings.
The more a word works for you, the less you need to explain it.
Use people’s knowledge, understanding and preconceptions to your advantage.
Find an overall theme for your brand name to be part of.
Food. Nature. Circus. Adventure. Whatever.
It doesn’t actually matter what the theme is, as long as it appeals to your audience and matches your brand’s personality.
You can then use that theme to filter through into every other part of your business – all flowing through nicely from your brand name.
Your tagline. Your blog. Your products. Your services. Your newsletter. Everything can be based around a theme of your choosing.
This helps with consistency. A massive builder of trust and the perception of quality.
The ultimate goal is to make people feel something with every element of your brand, brand name included.
Almost all buying decisions are driven by emotion, so developing that emotional hook, that emotional connection, from the offset with your name is a great way to start.
Use words that make people FEEL something.
You want your audience to feel a certain way when they interact with your business. Inspired. Relaxed. Energised etc.
Do you want them to think of adventure? Do you want them to think of comfort? Do you want them to think of passion?
Find a way of evoking the emotions of your brand from your name alone.
If imagery aids memory, then feeling aids loyalty.
Your brand name is IMPORTANT!
It’s usually the first thing people see about your business (that, and the logo). And is the first hint to what you’re all about.
Scroll through the list of registered businesses in your country and I’ll bet the majority of them will lead you into a sleepy and painful kind of boredom.
That’s definitely not the initial impression you want to give right?
You want to spark their interest and curiosity. You want them to be driven to find out more about you. You want them to feel an affinity with everything your brand is, does and stands for.
Know yourself. Know your audience. And then create your brand name.
Your name should be the last thing you think about before getting to your brand design.
Your name is the summary of you.
And if you had the choice, wouldn’t you want to make that summary kick-you-in-the-face fantastic?
It’s a good thing then that you do…
How did you decide on your brand name? Are you still thinking about it? Have the ideas above helped you with your selection? Have a little stroll over to the Facebook Group and let me know!