5 Steps to Choosing an Engaging Brand Name

There’s a popular idiom that goes, “The first step is the hardest.” In terms of building a brand, deciding on a name can be a challenging start because it can greatly influence how the business will perform.

In fact, consumer purchase behaviour is said to be heavily related to branding. A study published in the international research journal found that consumer “attitude and purchase intention towards a brand” not just reflects their impression of that specific business.

It’s also tied to their perception of other brands in the same niche. 70% of the respondents admitted that brand influences their buying decision.

In other words, a brand that stands out – figuratively and literally – often leads the competition. And a brand name is a critical factor in achieving this goal.

With this in mind, the first question that usually follows is, “Where to start?” This article will give you a step-by-step approach to choosing an engaging brand name.

Engaging Brand Name

Step 1: Determine Your Messaging

Finding your brand’s messaging has a lot to do with the core values as well as the short and long-term direction of your business. For instance, another TechMediaToday post discussed how animal names and visual likeness impact a brand.

The American football team Carolina Panthers and automobile maker Jaguar chose wild cats to convey traits such as grace and strength. The popular media franchise Hello Kitty, meanwhile, has a name commonly associated with a domestic cat, which evokes qualities like playfulness and curiosity.

Your messaging will be a fundamental part of important business aspects including customer communications and advertising. Establish messaging early on so when you make your list of brand name options, you can see which ones can be associated best with your business values.

Step 2: Research and Brainstorm

Next is to do market research to better understand your customers, competitors, and the industry in general. A good strategy mentioned on the business insight platform is to identify gaps on the market. Try to think of names that can meet those needs.

One example is the fintech giant PayPal. It’s a simple, yet effective name that expresses their mission – make sending payments more user-friendly and with less hassle.

After doing research, brainstorm with your team or business partners. A guide on lists some questions that can be useful for your sessions, such as:

  • Is the name going to limit the ability to scale in the future?
  • Is this name too similar to the name of another company that is already doing well in the industry?
  • Is this a catchy name for social media?

These considerations can assist you in creating a preliminary list of names.

Step 3: Check Wording and Spelling

Next is to consider wording and spelling. A report on notes that branding experts recommend having only two to four syllables in a brand name.

A short name means it’s relatively easier to pronounce. Its spelling should also be simple so people can easily find it, whether asking around for a physical shop or searching on the web.

Adding a bit of personality to the name may be considered as well. Take Yahoo! for example. The exclamation point communicates a lively and easygoing nature. It helps with their presence in the web services sector that’s usually seen as serious and complex.

Step 4: Test Recall Factor

Talk to people you know – business partners, family, friends – and run some of your options by them. See which ones are easy to recall.

Also, ask what emotions or ideas come to mind when they think about the name. This part provides other perspectives in assessing names that match your business vision and should help you narrow down your list even further.

Step 5: Evaluate Design Potential

Last, but not least, evaluate how a name plays out with designs, whether for a logo, product label, web content or promotional material. When you have a shortlist of names, you can create mock-ups and experiment with designs.

Scott Smith previously discussed design software like Canva and Crello, all of which can be useful for this process.

The non-profit explains that this phase is to see how you can bring your name to life. For instance, the finance brand Egg used sample credit cards and bank statements, which were a crucial part of why they ended up with that name.

Remember that a brand name is not just a reflection of the business, but also the people behind it. At the end of the day, customers will support a brand that encapsulates good qualities, and your name should be a shining example. The steps above can point you in the right direction.

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