Deciding on Your Brand Name

Expert Advice
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A name is for life and it can be really hard to change your brand name later, so it is important that you make the right decision at the start. People may say “It doesn’t matter it’s just a name” but it is never just a name, the success of your brand could rest on it.

It may be that you are considering using your own or family name, or have come up with something creative and you love it. You personally think it is communicates everything you want to say about your brand, but what about everyone else? Your brand name may make sense to you or be simple to say but to your customer it may not make any sense at all. Can your customer say it? Does it translate well in other countries and languages? Are there any negative connotations or does it evoke a negative emotion or memory?

Before you finally decide on your name you will need to do some research. This should include:

  • Is your name available as a domain name and also that no one else has registered or trademarked your name. You can check registration and trademarks on sites such as United States Patent and Trademark office www.uspto.gov or on the UK government site www.gov.uk.

  • The next stage is to Google the name – is there anyone out there already with the same name or something similar? You don’t want to pick a name where there is already a lot of competition, as it would make it harder for your customer to find you. Also, what type of companies are the ones that have similar names? Make sure there are no negative connotations that could have an impact on the perception of your brand.

  • Check in the dictionary for all the meanings of your name and associated words. Consider what your name means in other languages, as names don’t always translate well. You also need to consider if international customers can say the name, as some words and names are much harder to say or understand in different cultures and languages.

  • Think of the emotional value of your name, as it is important to think what it will mean to your customer, and consider what type of products will they imagine. Could there be any negative associations or emotions with your name. The more luxury your brand the more important that your brand name reflects a luxury image.