In an era when speed to market is everything, the value and importance of brand naming can often be overlooked. But why are brand names so important? A September, 2016 Huffington Post article stated “brand names give businesses the opportunity to put a meaning behind their name with completely positive connotations. If somebody automatically associates your brand name with positive emotions, you’ve earned yourself a customer for life.” A customer for life might be a stretch, but the concept that a name can impact the value of a brand is quite sound.
Because of this possibly significant impact, brand naming should be looked at as a critical component of the overall branding strategy. Additionally, naming can be a complex undertaking given the specific situation.
So how does one go about choosing or creating a brand name? Over its 20-year history, CMG Partners has led and teamed with clients and agencies on many naming initiatives and has developed the following best practices.
1. Define the leading brand or product attributes
2. Define the brand promise
3. Define the product category in which the brand will compete and identify top competitors
4. Begin to brainstorm names and run them through a filter that considers the brand attributes and brand promise
5. Evaluate the name against some important naming considerations:
6. Narrow down the list and begin the service mark and trademark search process
7. If time and budget allows, conduct qualitative and quantitative research among the target market.
Naming a company, product, or service can certainly be a daunting task – especially because brand names often have long lifespans. But following a rigorous approach, being true to your brand promise, and getting direct customer feedback can fundamentally improve the chance of the name’s longevity and success.