Before diving into the subject, it should be understood that a clever company name is nothing without a clever product. The success of your name is relative to what you set your company to be inside and out.
The reason for having a name for a business or a product is to give people a way of communicating and identifying your brand. From then on, everything identifiable to your brand – colour, product, philosophy – will be triggered in their mind when they hear that particular name.
One good approach is to choose common words to compose a name. This allows you to access the pre-established mind patterns in order to trigger the images you want to associate with your brand.
Non-exclusive examples: Fisher-Price, Sharp, Panasonic
There are ways to create and evaluate how your company name can deliver a message to a subconscious mind. Phono-semantics is one of those ways and it’s the science of symbolism in sound and meaning – something to dig into.
In order to communicate effectively and to avoid confusion, a great company name should be relatively unique. To come up with a great name for a hand made shoes’s e-store, and then realize that 15 other businesses run with the same name is-no-good.
A unique name allows you space for growth, prevents conflicts and increases it’s potential psychological footprint. A unique name is an open canvas for branding, since it has (almost) no predefined meaning, it’s up to the holder to establish it’s meaning.
Non-exclusive examples: Glaxo, Casio, Hasbro
Most individuals read a word while speaking in their mind. If the person reading your company name and cannot speak it inside him, most often that not will the person forget it. Opting for an easy, catchy name is a good idea, but it all depends on the industry you’re into.
If Morgan-Stanley was first named Yahoo! … well, you get the point.
Foreign pronunciations are a good way to get catchy with a name. People fancy foreign languages and accents, some for better reasons than others. Then why not give them something to chew on and name your company something like: Swarovski.
- I feel fancy already.
One of the most important aspect in choosing a brand name is its relevance to the industry. Getting back to my Yahoo! and Morgan-Stanley example, these are stereotypes of what a good name can be in the web world and the financial world. There’s no way to get lost here, it’s just a matter of established trend that one has to look at in order to decide whether to choose a hip name or a traditionally composed one.
Speaking of tradition…
History makes excellency. People react to storytelling and this has been a marketing technique for ages. Having a name that is born from a story saves you allot of time and money in branding and marketing research.
One good example is Dom Pérignon, the champagne named after a monk of St-Benedict who was a pioneer in producing quality champagne. This screams quality, tradition, luxury … and that’s the result the parent company was looking for.
Last but never the least, it is important to research the availability of the name for legal registration. It is important to keep in mind a prospective vision of the brand, if planning to expand overseas to make sure you can register under the same name over there if wanted.
Availability (Domain Names)
I would love to cover this subject but I’ll end up duplicating information that is already meticulously written and detailed by Christopher Johnson, a naming and verbal branding consultant from Seattle. Follow this link!
Choosing a name is a process that should be given it’s true value. Brain storming sessions, research, testing and analysis are what truly compose a name that best suits a brand and it’s target market. On a side note, there are that can help you get the good work done.