What To Think About When Naming Your New Brand

What is in a name? Possibly everything. A brand name should be the result of a calculated, well-researched effort. The name, itself, should be a product of your efforts to create . . . a product . . . that is appealing to the world, suited for the digital sphere and . . . legal to use! After all, your success means that your brand name will be spoken and displayed in cities as far away or as close to home as you distribute your product or service. On the web, it will travel swiftly and to the smallest town and largest city. It’s a bit of a big deal. It can be hard. It can be easy. We’ve come up a list of things to consider when getting you started.

Will your name appeal to a global audience?

In our time of hyper-connectivity, anyone from almost anywhere, can find your business online (you do - or will - have a website, right?). How does your brand communicate to audiences outside of your home culture? How does your brand name resonate across cultures? It’s worth investigating - there is no point alienating other markets. Think about the following questions:

  • Does your brand name sound good to your target audience?

  • Is it globally and socially acceptable?

  • Does it pass a radio test? (meaning, how does it sound read aloud)

  • There isn’t another company with a similar name is there?

Is it Internet-friendly?

This is a must. Your brand is going to have a digital presence - whether that means you keep a minimally updated Facebook page, or you robustly take advantage of all that social media has to offer. (Don’t forget you will have a website!) On top of what you put out, your clients are going to mention you. They’re going to make unboxing videos with your products on YouTube, rate your brand on Facebook, and Instagram the joy of owning/receiving your product or service. You want your brand’s name to be one that reads, sounds and looks great online. Things to ponder are:

  • Is your brand name available as a domain name?

  • Is your brand name - or functional similarities - available on social media?

  • How will your name come up in search results?

Is it legal?

Of all the things we’ve told you today, this is the most pragmatic. Your name has to be legal. It can’t be used by someone else and it can’t be so similar to another brand’s name as to give them cause to seek legal action. Believe it or not, we’ve seen some startups have to change their name because they didn’t properly research the availability of their potential brand name. A dispute over your brand’s name would be devastating. This is something to tackle head first, from the start. Think of things like this:

  • Is your brand name already registered with a trademark?

  • Is there already a company with a similar name?

  • Is your brand name available for registration in your state?

It’s a lot to take in, no? We have even more thoughts on what to avoid when naming your brand. This is an exciting, if sometimes tedious, process. Get it done right the first time and it’ll be a strong investment in your brand.

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