How to name a brand: 5 options. Choose the best
One of the first decisions that the owner of any business has to make is what will our brand be called? At the same time, a lot of factors have to be considered. Will it be a catchy “double word” in the spirit of Facebook and JetBlue? Should I come up with an absolute neologism, a la Skype and Pepsi? Or is it necessary to formulate directly and essentially, say Free Conference Call or It Works? Here is a selection of examples: here are the brands of the most common types and explanations of which option will be most suitable for your business.
Translated to Alconost
There is no need to explain what “invented brands” are. These are neologisms, for example, Twitter or Geico , which you will not find in the dictionary.
Pros: The main advantage of invented brands is that, from a linguistic point of view, this is a "clean sheet". After all, these are artificial words, and it is up to you to a large extent which association will arise with the audience of your brand (preferably positive).
Using neologism as a brand name is convenient in terms of domain name selection. When buying a domain for well-known words, you sometimes have to pay a six-figure or seven-figure sum, but it is unlikely that you will require an exorbitant amount for a domain with a mention of neologism.
Minuses:The aforementioned “blank slate” effect is a double-edged sword. Considering that you yourself came up with the name of your brand, customers will not grasp its meaning as easily as you.
Thus, invented names require active promotion in order for people to find out what the essence of this brand is, to associate it with some advantages and to remember the brand firmly.
Is this an option for my business? Michael Raider, CEO of Brandroot , the .com domain name market, recommends coming up with a brand if you are willing to invest a lot of time and effort in promoting it.
“When dealing with invented brands, we have to organize massive branding so that the audience begins to recognize the new brand and associate it with certain merits,” Reider explains. But if this task can be solved, then you can get an eternal unforgettable brand (examples: Pepsi, Xerox, or Audi ).
“The name-neologism allows you to create a new culture around a service or product,” adds Raider.
In contrast to neologism brands, obvious brands, such as the Free Credit Report , consist of common words and very literally describe the essence of your business.
Pros: It is difficult to deny that the obvious names are easily interpreted: customers immediately understand what is offered in the Free Credit Report company.
Cons: The lack of the effect of "blank sheet" inherent in neologisms. Obvious names consist of words that we have heard hundreds of times. Therefore, it is difficult for an obvious brand to form its own identity, because it is due to associations that have long been rooted in our minds.
Is this an option for my business?Be careful. Many of the famous dotcom era failed projects - for example, pets.com and toys.com - are just obvious names. And a domain name with a popular common word can be expensive. In addition, the obvious names take on a “spamy” hue - after all, in our time trash cans are growing faster every day.
3. Compound words
Compound names, such as MasterCard or FitBit, combine the properties of neologisms and obvious names. On the one hand, they consist of the most common words (like obvious names), but the pair presentation of these words looks innovative, thanks to which the brand acquires a unique identity.
Pros: Usually, the brand’s meaning is partially understandable at first glance: it’s immediately clear that MasterCard is some kind of cards, and FitBit, for example, should be connected with fitness. However, since the words "master" and "card" were rarely used in combination with each other before the appearance of MasterCard, they benefit from the effect of "blank sheet", characteristic of coined names.
Minuses:compound words are difficult to further word formation. For example, if MasterCard decided to trade wallets, then it would have an unequal marketing battle (and the name MasterWallet is simply not catchy).
Is this brand right for me? From the Raider’s point of view, it all comes down to how confident you are in your business plan. “If you have absolutely no doubt that your business will not begin to develop along unexpected paths, then compound words are a great option,” said Raider.
But if you decide to change the focus of your company or diversify the assortment, you will be shackled by the original brand, which may turn out to be an insurmountable obstacle to expansion.
4. Spelling experiments / Pun
This category includes brands whose names contain intentionally distorted words (for example, Froot Loops and Dribbble ), as well as names with prefixes, suffixes and other modifications of common words, for example, Flickr or Todoist.
Pros: Modified combinations of words with spelling errors or changes are instantly recognized, moreover, such tactics do not spoil the brand identity. For example, combining the phrase “to-do” with the suffix “ist”, we immediately understand why the Todoist resource is needed . It is convenient to keep to-do lists on it; and here we are creating a completely unique brand.
Minuses:The word can simply be misinterpreted! Yes, Dribbble lost significant traffic due to visitors who “incorrectly” remembered this word with two “bs” - and all these visitors were sent to a non-existent address dribble.com.
Is this a good fit for my business? If your brand correlates very well with a particular spelling option (for example, Flickr is easily associated with film and camera), then a spelling experiment or a pun can give a good brand. “Just keep in mind that you might lose some of the traffic, because someone will incorrectly reproduce your spelling,” Raider warns.
Arbitrary names for Apple brands are made from ordinary words used in an atypical context. We will be a bit misleading if we call them absolutely arbitrary - it is no coincidence that the company is called Apple ("Apple"), and not, say, "Prunes" or "Broccoli." Often "arbitrary" allude to some qualities that should be associated with the brand (for example, Jaguar cars - a symbol of power).
Pros: Arbitrary brand names are easy to remember and can instantly saturate your brand with certain properties that you hoped to emphasize (for example, apples are useful and many like).
Minuses:Serious brand promotion will be required to break the original association (i.e., so that Apple computers stop reminding about fruit). Let's say more: it is incredibly difficult to find a similar domain name that would not be worth fabulous money.
Is this strategy right for my business? According to Raider, arbitrary brand names are unattractive precisely because it is almost impossible to find such a domain at an affordable price.
Let's say you have a marketing company called "Orange" ("Orange"). Even if you manage to get the domain name orangemarketing.com (which was still free at the time of publication of the original article), you will still confuse many customers who mistakenly try to find you at orange.com (this is an Internet provider operating in Europe and Africa )
So, choosing a domain name is not just a matter of taste. This is a serious business decision that can seriously affect the success of the entire enterprise - both positively and negatively. Choose carefully - a good brand name may someday put you on a par with Twitter, MasterCard or Flickr.
About the translator
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