When you’re getting ready to launch a brand you want to make sure that everyone is going to notice you and what you represent. You want them to know that your brand stands for and all of that comes from having a great business name.
Of course, for many people, coming up with the perfect name feels like an impossible task. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be. With just three simple steps you can actually start narrowing down what you’re looking for and create the ideal name.
What is Your Brand?
First up, you want to open a blank document that you’re going to use as your notes page. This page is going to help you all the way through the process of creating your name. For now, write down everything you can think of when it comes to your brand. What are you actually doing? What do you value? You need to showcase just how passionate you actually care about your brand or no one is going to come looking for you.
At this point, you can even start writing down some ideas of names that are already out there that you really like. What is it about them that gives you such a great feeling? Is that the same feeling that you’re looking for?
You’ve got some ideas about your brand, now start thinking about your favorite business names. You don’t even have to like the business, just the name. What is it about that name that you like so much? Write down whatever comes to mind when it comes to names (or check out our creative business name generator) and then jots down a few points about each of the names that say why you like it.
Who is Your Audience?
Next up, we have to look at the audience that you’re trying to target. If you want to run a clothing brand for middle-aged, professional women you’re definitely going to need a different style than a clothing brand for hip, college-aged students. What that means is you can’t just name your brand anything you want (as much as you might want to) you need it to be targeted to the people that are going to buy your products or services.
Think about this one, Robinhood is one of the names that people really like and what does it make you think about? The first thing we think about is the legendary bandit, Robin Hood who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. It’s a story that we’ve all heard, right? And the company capitalizes on that. That’s because their brand is all about a free investment process that anyone can join. It appeals to just who they’re targeting, young and fun people who want convenience and also fairness.
Know What’s Coming
What’s your plan for your brand in the next five or ten years? Keep in mind that your brand may not be exactly the same somewhere down the line and if your name is too specific you could find yourself stuck. After all, Supersocks sounds fun when you’re only selling socks, but what about if later on, you want to start selling other accessories? It just doesn’t work as well anymore. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the possibilities when you’re getting started.
The Absolute Necessities
Okay, we’ve gone over a few of the basic steps and now you’ve got a page of notes and thoughts, right? Now it’s time to get down to the idea portion of the process.
Let’s start at the top. The first and most important thing about a name is that it should be easy to say, spell and hear. If someone came up to you and said ‘I know this great brand, but I can’t really pronounce it or spell it,’ would you go to the website? You probably wouldn’t be able to find it.
List It Out
You’re going to work on creating your own name now, and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. Your first act is going to be a brain dump. Just write down absolutely anything you can think of that even remotely matches your brand. Write down anything that comes to mind, whether you actually like it or not. You’re not even thinking about that right now.
Write things that are broad, that are super detailed, that are descriptive or abstract or emotional. Create your own words by merging a couple together or use multiple words for the brand name. Just dump everything you can onto your page so you can get on to the next step with a whole lot of options.
Slim it Down
Okay, now it’s time to take a look back at that list. Start looking at each name individually and cross out the ones that you absolutely don’t like. Keep going back through and narrowing it down again and again until you get a total of 5 or so. Now is when you’re going to need some help.
Start reaching out to friends and ask them ‘Which of these brands would you be most interested in getting to know?’
Set Up Your Domain
You’re going to want a domain to go along with your brand, right? After all, in this day and age there’s not much you can do without a website. So get a name and a domain that matches as closely as possible.
You can also run a trademark test to make sure no one else is using the name you want, especially if they’re in the same business as you. If you have a name that’s similar to someone else you could run into some legal trouble and that is definitely not something you want to deal with.
Creating a name is complicated. After all, your name is going to be a major factor in helping someone decide if they want to find out more about you or not. Maybe you’re thinking that the best names are ones that someone else already has, but with a little effort, you can definitely find something.
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