Getting cut-through in an increasingly crowded and dynamic marketplace requires a strong brand that clearly demonstrates what sets you apart from the competition.
Getting it right has the potential to make or break a business. Or does it?
In most cases, too much weight is given to the naming process. In reality, it’s not the major decision many people think it is.
That’s because it’s what you do with your name that matters.
Perceptions are made of impressions. Your brand is a result of all of these impressions coming together to shape what people think of you. What your business becomes known for. Your name plays a part in forming the perception you want to create but so do many other aspects of your business.
I can’t help but use personification when talking about brand names. Many of us were not able to choose our own names. However, we have embodied them and made them our own through the impressions we create. How we speak and act, how we dress, what we do and how we do it. Everything sums up to create our identity. It’s how we create our own personal brand and it’s something we control.
In reality it’s just a marker, a label to refer to. It’s actually easier to describe ourselves and others without referring to their name. Does the name Chris really describe the outlandish barista at your local coffee shop? Instead you’d probably describe his features, the type of coffee he makes and the way he interacts with customers.
It’s the same with great brands. Think of the great brands you know. Can you describe them without using their name? Probably. When you think about it like that, how important is your name really?
When it comes to branding, the ability to identify a business or product clearly, constantly and succinctly is the ultimate outcome. Getting there doesn’t begin with choosing a really great name. It’s a matter of laying down a solid foundation by focusing on brand.
However, if getting to a great name is the objective, here’s the process to follow.
Defining your brand is the most important step you can take in the naming process. Not only does it provide inspiration for naming but a framework for all business activity. Great brands are created to help organisations to achieve the business objectives. Ultimately, they are what the organisation becomes known for.
Creating a brand starts with knowing your objectives. From this you can build a brand model that include the right attributes, personality and values that enable your business to reach your aspirations. The brand model informs how your business gets communicated at every level – including nomenclature.
With a clearly defined brand you now have a solid starting point for naming. The different elements of the brand provide a framework for the types of words and names you could use.
When brainstorming its best not to have any restrictions. Let the ideas flow – then assess them against a clear set of criteria to get to your mid-list. Questions to ask yourself when deciding a mid-list include:
Once you have a mid-list it’s good to check your names against web domains and any IP databases you have access to. This will help reduce your names down to a shortlist.
With the name decided, it’s now time to ensure your organisation is able to deliver on your brand. Remember everything communicates – not just your name. Therefore, ensure every touch point is aligned to create a memorable brand experience.
By thinking beyond naming and taking the time to define your brand, you will give yourself the tools to create the right perceptions of your organisation. Remember, everything communicates. Your name plays a part in creating the right impression but brand encompasses it all.
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