How to Choose a Great Brand Name
When you first start a business, you don’t initially think that the hardest part will be choosing a company name. However, I bet it doesn’t take long before you realize that it is in fact, the most challenging aspect. Your name is an extension of your brand. It tells people who you are before they even meet you and it can reinforce the value you provide or distance you from it.
Here, at Octagon Media, we have heard numerous times from our clients that most people get ‘stuck’ at this phase. They don’t know how to find the perfect word or words to encompass everything they have to offer. It’s important to set time aside in your busy schedule to ‘brainstorm’ for a name. You will want to think about what makes you unique and come up with a name that will remain relevant in years to come.
When you’re developing a name for a business, product or a service, there are a number of ways to home in on the perfect one.
First, develop a strategy to choose a great brand name. It should looks something like this:
Determine what your name needs to accomplish
Decide how it will work with existing product or service names
Determine what kind of name you want it to be - descriptive, founder's name, invented, etc.
The next step is developing criteria to evaluate the names you generated. A few good questions to ask yourself are:
Is it available?
This is very important. You will want to make sure that your name is available on various social media accounts as well as on a domain search, like Go Daddy’s Domain Name Search. You don’t want to choose a name that is over saturated in the market. You want your website to be direct so it’s easy for people to find you. If your business name was Apple, you would want your website to be apple.com and your username to be @apple. You wouldn’t want it to be apple8736.com or @apple8736.
Does it have meaning?
A great way to brand yourself, is to choose a name that has meaning unique to your company. For example, you might want to use your name, a memory, or a descriptive word that is personal to you.
That is what our founder, Maranda, did.
One of the meanings of ‘octagon’ is, a symbol of regeneration, rebirth, transition, new beginnings. When she started this business, it was a time of transition and new beginnings for her. She wanted her business to reflect that and that is how she decided on Octagon Media.
While this is a great way to find names that fits you and your brand, it’s not the only way. There are plenty of brands out there that choose names based on how it looks or sounds. Don’t feel like there is only one right way to pick a name. Get creative and have fun with it!
Is it easy to say and spell?
Have you ever heard of a cool brand that you wanted to go home and look up later but couldn’t find them online because well, you couldn’t spell it? We have all been there and trust me you do not want this to be your brand! You want people to be able to find you with ease. A good rule of thumb is, if you have a hard time with it, then it is likely that your audience will too. If you can give people a name that will stick with them and stand out when they go to call your or find your website, then you are helping out yourself and your audience.
Get others involved. Speaking from experience, when picking out names for brands, it’s always good to go around and ask other people words they would use to describe you. This will help spark ideas for names that you haven’t even thought of before. After finding the perfect name, go back and ask the same people what the brand name makes them think of or what emotions come to mind. This will help gauge what your audience will think about your brand name as well.
I hope these tips are helpful as you start your process of naming your brand or business. And remember, be creative, stay true to who you are and have fun with it!
Octagon Media is a full service Advertising and Marketing agency. We would love to help you through your branding process and develop a strategy that is sure to get you the results you want! Contact us today to set up an appointment.