Brand identity in the digital age - Part 2
The brand name
Great b(r)and names
Finding a good brand name is important. The name brand not only identifies your venture - ideally it should be unique to it. You want people to easily remember the name wherever and whenever. It should be a timeless name. Remember that famous long-lasting brand names even survived the original inventors.
So the brand name should become the all-time favourite of your target group - similar to a favourite band name. They should identify with the brand through the name. To prepare for future loyal fans choose the name wisely.
A few more things to consider:
If you can not find a good name yourself then check one of the many online name generators. They generate random names you may like.
Make sure that the final name
- is not to short
- is not too long
- is easy to remember
is easy to spell
For (business) brands choose a single term - this allows you to later combine the brand name with service and products. Look at famous brands like Microsoft or Amazon combining their brand name with product and service names to form additional (sub)brands like "Microsoft Office" or "Amazon Prime".
Brandname Product Brandname Service
One can also combine two words into one - like Facebook and Microsoft did.
YourBrand Product YourBrand Service
Some business brands go with abbreviating letters like IBM, SAP, VW or BMW - but this might limit in available combinations:
Finding a good and unique name is not easy - but once you have one you should double check where it is already used. Just google the favourite name .
Even when the name might already appear you might want to keep it. But then check if the usage is still positive and not contrary to your brand personality.
Check digital availability
Before declaring the brand name fixed it is always good to double check:
- if global domains like yourbrand.com is available
- if reginal or country specifc domains are still available (yourbrand.eu, yourbrand.co.uk, ...)
- if the name is not violating an existing trademark name
All research can be done online by checking Domain providers and checking Brand and Trademark databases for availability.
So even when the branding definition is not complete in any detail one should prioritize the registration of the top level domain(s) already. This avoids surprises in case someone reserved by another one.
A catchy name also needs to sound good. Speak it slowly and speak it fast. Does it sound better when spoken by a male or female voice? Whisper it to someone to find out about the clarity of the name.
There were some studies published showing that top brand names have different sound patterns than general brand names. Sounds more frequent among top brand names have potentially brand enhancing properties, while sounds less frequent may have the opposite effect.
Check your brand names sound symbolism: the linguistic science providing the link between sound and meaning.
In a globally accessible digital world the name has to fit with several languages. Over time you may want to expand into different countries. So you should check the meaning of your brand name in various spoken languages right in the beginning.
You do not want to have abusive wording in your brand name. While "Merde" might sound like a nice english name it will never fit as a brand name in the french market.
Translation services like Google can assist here. Just let the service recognize the language automatically and check
Also do a visual double check. Use the image search of your favourite search engine like Google or Bing. You can quickly check existing images using the following URL and your seach term :
Think about the writing style of the textual representation. No, I do not yet speak about choosing a nice font.
What abot the casing of your brand name. Will it be all uppercase
or all lowercase
or camel-cased :
You can also mix the style in various ways to find a good visual pattern for the letters:
YOURBrand YourBRAND yourBrand
Remember that this might appear later also in combination with products or services. So there is a difference in
YourBrand Product YOURBRAND PRODUCT YOURBRAND Product YourBrand PRODUCT
As you see finding a good name is not easy - but it will pay off to invest here as well. We will continue with our thoughts on branding in our next blog post, so stay tuned.