When it comes to marketing and building a brand- A LOT rides on the name.
Naming your business is not a matter of fancy- but a careful decision.
Today, we will look at how the names of some popular companies serve them; and draw some inspiration from them to find the perfect brand name for your business.
If it seems like a daunting task, our team of branding experts can help you find the perfect name for your business.
If you want to do it yourself, we have some brand name ideas to help you with.
Coming up with Unique Brand Name Ideas: Necessary factors to consider
For unique business name ideas, you need to pay attention to THREE THINGS.
1. Your Target Audience
Because everything begins and ends with your target audience.
Branding is all about communicating with the target audience- so you must choose a new brand name that is appealing, memorable, and relevant to your target audience.
For example, the name “Twitter” will appeal to people who love to chirp around like a flock of birds.
2. Your Brand Archetype
Archetypes are models or typical representations of anything. In the context of branding, it refers to the personality & nature of brands. Brands that exhibit similar characteristics and personalities belong in a certain archetype.
Every brand falls under one (or a mixture) of two personality archetypes.
Legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung said that every person could show the dominant characteristics of one of the 12 archetypes.
If your brand is a person, what would they be like?
How would they interact with others, what values will they associate with, and what would they desire most?
Understanding what archetype your brand falls under is crucial in deciding your brand name and overall communication strategy.
Let us take a closer look at the archetypes.
2.1 Innocent (Safety)
These brands want to inspire a feeling of wholesomeness, security, and optimism. They are about finding moments of happiness in everyday lives. Examples: Dove, Coca-Cola.
2.2 Sage (Wisdom)
If a brand acts and reminds you of Yoda- it falls in the sage archetype. Sage brands are trusted sources of wisdom and knowledge and promise to provide their audiences with answers. Examples: Google, Harvard University.
2.3 Explorer (Freedom)
Explorers are all about independence, craving adventures, and discovering new worlds. They talk about experiencing an authentic life and freedom on your terms. Examples: Timberland, National Geographic.
2.4 Outlaw (Liberation)
Non-conformity, rebelliousness, and a strong desire to forge its own path- these are the marks of an outlaw band. These brands are all about expressing individuality and not caring about conventions. Example: Harley Davidson, MTV.
2.5 Magician (Power)
A magician will make your dreams come true because they can make things happen. Magician brands are defined by charisma and promise to transform your world and yourself. Example: Disney, MAC Cosmetics.
2.6 Hero (Mastery)
Heroes empower the people they serve and improve the world. They are masters at their craft and characterized by bravery, strength, performance, and the determination to keep advancing. Example- Nike, Gatorade.
2.7 Lover (Intimacy)
Think of sensuousness & connections- and you have the lover archetype. Brands that fall in this are all about desirability, indulgence, and forging intimate relationships. Example- Chanel, Haagen Dazs.
2.8 Jester (Pleasure)
Irreverence and a fun-loving spirit are the marks of a jester. They are here to break the monotony and take the duty of making you see the lighter side of life very seriously. Example: Zomato, Old Spice.
2.9 Everyman (Belonging)
These brands are all about uncomplicating life and a feeling of community. They stand for collaboration, empathy, and equality. Example: Salesforce, IKEA.
2.10 Caregiver (Service)
Your brand is a caregiver if you are all for a grounded attitude and realism. Caregivers have a strong desire to help and make the world a better place, and they don’t shy away from reality. Example: Unicef, Johnson & Johnson.
2.11 Ruler (Control)
Rulers bring order to chaos and help you organize your life. They are straightforward, polished, responsible, and act like natural leaders. Example: Rolex, Microsoft.
2.12 Creator (Innovation)
Think innovation and high-quality offerings- think of the creator. They are creative, bold, and always think out of the box. Example: Apple, Crayola.
Choosing a name becomes much easier when you figure out what archetype your brand falls under.
If you want to decide on the right archetype for your brand- connect with us.
3. What is it that your brand offers?
A brand name stands for two things- what your audience thinks and what you want to communicate. To avoid any miscommunication, you must be clear about what your brand offers. This also helps you manage audience perceptions better.
We are not merely talking about the product or services you offer- but what your brand stands for: the values, the personality, the attitude, etc. Understand the brand’s essence that you want to communicate- that will help you shape audience expectations.
Let us take the example of “Dove”. The name conjures the image of a gentle, spotless white bird. In this case, the brand stands for gentleness, purity, and serenity.
Another example can be “Jaguar”. Named after a big cat, the car brand immediately conveys its rebellious, untamed nature and a sense of power, speed, and energy.
Now that you have done your homework, it is time to name your brand. Let’s get started.
Tips for Creating Unique Brand Names – with some famous brand name examples
Here are some tips for creating a good brand name
1. The best brand names keep it simple & easy to remember.
What if we tell you that Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler is one of the most well-known brands in the world?
We bet you will keep scratching your head.
Here’s a secret: that’s the full name for KPMG– the global accounting giant and one of the Big Four.
Keeping your name simple makes it easy to remember. Human psychology is such that we gravitate towards things we find more approachable and shun the unknown.
If your brand name is too long, intimidating, exotic, or difficult to pronounce- you will have a hard time connecting with your customers.
2. Use word association to create a brand name
Think of the emotions you want to invoke in your audience- and use word association to come up with a brand name to put them in that head space.
For example, the name “Patagonia” makes us think of the wilds and the outdoors. It makes us think of explored territories and nature in its majestic glory. It makes us want to go out and discover new things.
3. Use online tools to come up with a new business name
Of course, you can use online name generators help to develop a good brand name. The Shopify name generator is a popular tool; if you do a Google search, you can find more options.
4. Go beyond English
People often forget that English is not the only language in the world. You can find words from other languages and cultures that fit your brand to the T.
Nike is a great example. One of the most well-known brands in the world takes its name from the Greek goddess of victory. As a brand that always motivates people to overcome obstacles- it chose the perfect name.
5. Test out different types of names with a survey
Finally, you should look at how well your brand name is going over with your audience.
You may think that your brand name is great, but your audience may perceive it in a completely different way.
This is more so for brands with names that take on a different meaning in a different culture.
Swiss beverage brand Schweppes learned this the hard way when they launched their Tonic Water in Italy. It became a laughingstock among Italians.
The reason? The name translated into “Schweppes Toilet Water.”
The moral of the story here is that it is always best to test your name out with your target audiences.
It is great to do a survey and hire focus groups, or you can simply conduct online surveys.
However, be objective when evaluating, and interview as many people as possible before making a decision.
Let us look at exactly how you can choose a good brand name. Popular brand names can be divided into 6 main categories.
Different types of brand names: Examples of some good brand names
Here are some popular methods of naming a brand
1. After the founder
It is pretty common for businesses to be named after their founders.
Most family-owned businesses, law, media, accounting, and advertising firms follow this route.
Some good brand names here are Warner Brothers, Turner Broadcasting Corporation, and Tata Group.
2. A metaphor – how to name a brand using them
By choosing a strong metaphor for themselves, brands can effectively convey their essence.
Brands often name themselves after historical or mythical figures or even abstract virtues.
A great example of the former is Apple.
The fruit associated with wisdom – the falling of which that led to the discovery of the law of gravity is a great metaphor for a high-brow brand that is a technological pathbreaker.
Another example is the former Reliance Group before the split. Despite being a family business, they chose a name for trustworthiness.
3. Acronyms- great for new brand name ideas
If your brand’s name is too big or complicated- simplify it with an acronym.
IKEA did that by using the first letters from “Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.”
Many government or international agencies take the same route, too.
Some good examples are- HBO(Home Box Office) and IBM(International Business Machines).
4. Real words – useful inspiration for brand name selection
You can always look around you for inspiration for naming your brand. Think of names like Diesel, Arrow, Boss, and Liberty.
Many brands go for descriptive names. Such names give you an idea about what services they offer. Some good examples include Toys R Us, Pizza Hut, and General Electric.
6. Made up word
And here we come to truly creative names.
Often, brands use a combination of two names to make a new name.
These amalgamated names convey some meaning- or in some cases, choose completely abstract representations.
Think of brands like Microsoft (microcomputer + software) or Pepsi (derived from digestive enzyme Pepsin).
Now that you have an idea of what you CAN DO to name your brand- let us look at what you SHOULDN’T DO when naming your brand.
What to avoid when choosing a brand name
Here is what you should avoid when choosing a brand name. You should never be
1. Hyper trend-specific
If your brand name is named after something trending now- it can lose its significance later. Corporate history is full of disasters that mistook short-term hype as permanent value- like the clunky ESPN flip phone or U2 iPods.
2. Too narrow
Your brand name should not be too specific or too narrow.
For example, if you have a jean brand called “High Denim,” you can sell as many jean products under it.
But if you want a footwear line, your audience will find it difficult to associate “denim” with leather-made shoes. So, keep your brand name open to make room for evolution.
3. Too exotic
If your brand name is too foreign-sounding, it may be DOA. This is why MNCs often change the names of their products when launching in new territories.
4. Closely resembling another brand.
The most important part of naming a brand is ensuring it does not sound similar to another brand.
For one, it can land you in legal trouble. Two- people will think you are a cheap knock-off and avoid you.
Three- the older brand is already established; your audience won’t find your brand name memorable.
E.g., Jarvis was an AI writing tool that ran into trouble because it shared its name with Iron Man’s cyber assistant. They had to change their name to Jasper.
Now it’s time to take the plunge.
What to do after the basics: How to choose a brand name
Gone through the above, now is the time to choose a Brand name:
1. Generate names
Now is the time for actually choosing a name. Brainstorm and write down all the ideas. You can do it alone or with your team.
Think of your brand’s values, offerings, personality, and target audience. Think of the feelings you want to inspire in your target audience and the action you want them to take.
Shortlist your favorites before proceeding.
We will look at how you can come up with names later in this article.
2. Check for availability
If you cannot register your name, it is as good as dead.
Check whether your names of choice are taken. Stick to only those that are available- start with a simple Google search, and then check if the names can be legally registered or not.
Make sure you are not infringing on any copyrights.
The next step is to see if you can get a web domain. Try for a name that can get you a .com domain.
3. Register & protect
If your choice of brand name is available- register it pronto. Get in touch with a lawyer to ensure you have it ironclad. Simultaneously, book your web domain and be vigilant about not letting it expire.
If you want to know more about naming your brand- we have a blog just for you.