Steps on how to think of a Brand Name

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

image source:@freepik

A trade name or a brand name is a name that is applied by an organization or a manufacturer to a specific service or product. Brand names are significant marketing tools used for fostering brand loyalty and establishing consumer awareness. A brand name may also be the name of its founder, for example, Johnson & Johnson.

Two main purposes of a brand name are verification (authenticating the genuineness of a service or product) and identification (differentiating a service or product from others). Brand names are capitalized or bi capitalized names such as iPod or eBay and can be protected as trademarks.

In this article, we will cover...

Types of Brand Names

Features of Brand Names

Steps to think of a brand name

Tools to create catchy brand names

Types of Brand Names

Brand names may be the names of people who developed a product or service (Bajaj Auto, Baskin-Robbins, Calvin Klein etc.) or a name that gives consumers the idea of how a product is expected to perform or a product’s/service’s purpose.

A brand’s name can reinforce the value it provides as the brand name is the extension of the brand. There are a number of alternatives to choose from when you are developing a name for your service, product, or business. You may:

--> Take a word out of context like Google.

--> Use the inventor’s or founder’s name like Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

--> Describe an image or experience like Nike.

--> Make up a word like Häagen-Dazs.

--> Describe what you do like Mr. Clean.

Do not forget to consider what your brand name should represent and mean. An appropriate brand name can position you as a true leader and can create a buzz.

To get an idea of how to think of a brand name, one can follow Landor’s brand name taxonomy.

According to Landor, a brand name should be:

Descriptive: Describes function literally, for example Indian Airlines

Suggestive: Suggestive of a function or benefit, for example Fair & Lovely

Compounds: Combination of two or more words, for example Firefox

Classical: Based on Latin, Sanskrit, or Greek, for example Atlas

Arbitrary: Real words that have no direct connection with the company, for example Apple

Fanciful: Coined words with no obvious meaning, for example Pepsi

Besides Landor’s taxonomy, the other popular types of brand names are:

Evocative: They bring to mind the powerful experience or the positioning of the mind, for example Nike

Invented: They are used for naming a product that is introduced for the first time, for example Printful

Lexical: They rely on wordplay. They are combination of foreign words, spellings, and compound words, for example Burger King

Acronym: They are mostly the acronyms of the names of companies that are difficult to pronounce, for example H&M

Geographical: The brand name may include the territory or geography in which the brand operates or originated, for example American Express

Founder: These names are associated with the names of their founders, example Ford

Experience: These names gives a hint of what one may feel when he or she uses the brand, for example Whizz

A great brand should ideally communicate something to customers. According to branding pro Marty Neuemier, as stated in The Brand Gap, “...The right brand name can be a brand’s most valuable asset, driving differentiation, and speeding acceptance.”

According to a 2010 University of Alberta study, brand names with repetitive structures, i,e, Jelly Belly, Kit Kat, Coca-Cola, elicit a more positive reaction from customers than other brand names.

Features of Brand Names You Must Pay Attention to When Choosing Your Brand Name

f you want your brand names to be easily remembered by target customers, ideally, choose a brand name that is:

Distinctive: It stands out from your competitors by being memorable and unique.

Protectable: You should be able to own it, can trademark it, and get the domain, both in the general consciousness and legally.

Visual: You must be able to communicate and translate it through icons, colours, designs, and logos.

Meanignful: It should convey a positive emotional connection, communicate your brand’s essence, and conjure an image.

Accessible: One should be able to easily Google it, spell it, interpret it, or say it.

Future-proof: It can be adapted for different products and brand extensions. It should be relevant in the long run and can grow with your company.

Tools to Generate Catchy Brand Names

Some tools that can be put to use to generate catchy brand names are:

· Wordoid

· Namelix

· NameStation

· Bustaname

· Impossibility!

· Domainr

· Domain Hole

· Dot-o-mator

· Oberlo’s business name generator

· Shopify’s business name generator

Steps to Think of a Brand Name

1) Make a list of words to describe what you are trying to convey

Making a list of words, whether they will prove to be good brand names or not, will ensure that you start thinking creatively. This is an easy starting point.

Research what names are already out there in the market to avoid legal hassle later on.

2) Stop thinking complicated names

Avoid confusing, long winded, messy, and forgettable brand names. A good brand name should be simple to pass on and easy to remember. Avoid overthinking and overdoing.

Do not be afraid to think out of the box.

Also, never drop a name or an idea considering it to be weird. Consider bad ideas as well to inspire yourself.

3) Seek help from your peers

Rather than asking everybody under the sun, get together with a selected group of people to brainstorm ideas. Those selected people maybe your friends, family, or peers. is of great help to generate potential brand names.

4) Ponder over the selected name for a few days

Sometimes you can come up with a brand in a matter of seconds, whereas at other times you may require more time. Avoid being rash. Set a deadline to come up with a name and try to stick to it.

Organize and revise the ideas. Categorize your ideas based on theme or organize them using word banks.

5) Test your selected names or ideas

Ask family and friends, survey local shops and shoppers, as well as potential target customers to check which of your brand names is liked by them.

Last, but not the least, always follow your instincts before finalizing any brand name. Respect your own creative ideas and believe in them.

Believe in your selected brand name the same way as you believe in your brand.