Coming up with a business/brand name isn’t the easiest thing, with so many businesses globally it’s becoming harder to stand out. Through my six-year experience in the creative industry, there have been 3 steps I’ve always used to come up with something memorable and competitive. Before coming up with a name, you first have to figure out what type of name you want, there are about 7 types of categories.
This is pretty much self-explanatory, they tell you exactly what the company does or what services they offer. They’re sometimes a bit long and also not the easiest to protect.
Short, simple & sweet, these are shortened versions of descriptive names. Many of the worlds biggest brands go this route. They’re also strategic; for example, Kentucky Fried Chicken got stick and had to switch to just “KFC” because fried chicken didn’t sound healthy.
Abstract or Invented
These names are made up, they don’t have any meaning but they’re intuitive and powerful. This category is tricky because it needs to be catchy and most probably need a good strategy and marketing angle to get people to remember it.
These names are built upon a feeling or an experience a brand aims to achieve or give, they’re also the most powerful brand names, in the market place they easily communicate an “expectation” of what it will be like to choose them.
The hurdle with experiential brand names is you need to connect meaning to the brand, have a deep understanding of your business and what you want it to stand for, if these two are not in sync then you easily lose impact.
So you’ve decided what type of name you want, you need to decide on what you want the name to say, great names have an emotional impact. NIKE is about winning while Apple is about simplicity and usability. These brands connect and their names support the companies vision.
Now that you’ve figured out the type of name and what it should say, the last step is to verify if the name you’ve created or chosen is available, you want to do this because the name might be taken, mean something negative or embarrassing in another country or language.