What are some guidelines I should follow for naming a company?
Hello everyone! So I'm working on a rebrand for a client that has me compelled to also recommend a name change. After many attempts to figure out new names were botched by Google searches coming up with other locations, I've found myself a bit lost.
Keep in mind that I fully believe in trying to come up with a name that's as original and unique to the client's brand mission, but how original can a name be until it's slightly or too similar to other locations? Is there a guideline that I should follow with naming (i.e. If there's another state location, don't use that name altogether)? If anyone's had a background in brand strategy and naming, I'd love to hear from you!
Your name has to be memorable, but it also has to be available. This biggest challenge today is that your first choices for names are probably taken. There are domain checkers online that can tell you if the domain is still available. More common now is names with slight misspelling of the words to get the domain of your choice. (Example, like Tubmlr someone mentioned).
As you mentioned Company Name should be a unique one. It should be easy to remember and also related to your field. Don't try to go for other popular brands or companies. What ever you choose is upto you. But be unique and build your brand name wisely.
The quick 'n dirty method: Jump over to BustaName.com and start dropping relevant words into the first column. It'll start checking all the permutations to see which domain names are available. (I know that you're asking about naming and not specifically about domain name registration, but you can get a pretty good idea of whether the business name is being used already by checking to see if the domain is taken.)
After you've entered some relevant terms, try adding some other action-oriented terms like "get", "my", "go", etc. Sort by length or readability. That should get you off to a pretty good start.
company name reflect the business you are in ,i mean when people see the name of your company ,product name come in there mind like KFC
What is your customers purpose? What is his emotional business? Find out what your client intends to deliver emotionally to its clients, and create a mind-map with stuff associated with that. Then try different creative ways: try using synonyms, translating the word into an unusual language. I always make sure the resulting name is short and at least remotely relates back to the emotional benefit provided. Make sure the main product is never showcased in the name, only the emotional benefits.
The suggestions you have received are all good and cover the process very well. I would also recommend that you read the book "Positioning, The battle for your mind", by Al Reis and Jack Trout. before you go too far. It's been around awhile, but is still very important reading. There is also a sequel, "The New Positioning", by Jack Trout.
Make it a great one,
Build lists of words and combine the results to draft a concept. This will give you more flexibility to choose from a limited pool of alternatives.
List # 1: Why would anyone buy from you?
List # 2: What makes your customers unique? (Marketing is about them, not you)
List # 3: Terms associated with the location (for location based)
* Use Google trends and alerts to monitor your terms, context and search volume.
* Get feedback from your target customers to reduce their objections during development. Developing anything in a vacuum is a recipe for failure. http://ow.ly/zHZyZ
I would not use the word "The" in the beginning, Even though it may be what the client wants. It can become confusing. Also if you have a name that is very long, use an abbreviation in the domain name. ie... tncp.net. If I would have know how complicated the "The" was I would have left it out. However, you client must know that will original and unique branding he has to have his company on board. If not, let them go.
When I think about creating a name I try to pick words that describe the business in some way and then try to put the words together. It's also fun to use this as a starting point to create a new word. Kodak did that. They just made the word up and it is totally original and recognizable. It's of course really hard to come up with such a novel brand name but by combining words into new ones you may be able to create a new word that can be the company name. And if you use a process that can be explained to the client on how you came up with the word that can help explain the name and justify why they should use it, Which can help when you pitch it to them. This May or may not help but it could help you start the creative process. Hope this helps! And thank you for all your wonderful advice too.
Sometimes it's OK to have the same name and then add another word to make a difference. It's a real challenge to find a .com that ticks all the boxes without costing big dollars.
You could consider slight spelling changes like Tumblr.
Name of a company is driven by five key factors:
1. Conveys the USP or distinctive competitive advantages
2. Simply explains the business value or service to the client
3. Unique name based on the promoter name, location, business type, idea or a key word
4. Catchy, precise and simple
5. Last but not the least- the domain name, pronunciation or spelling should not confuse with an existing brand or product
1. Make sure the .com domain name is available for the company, along with any shortened versions of the name, or derivations.
For example, my "parent" company for my photography activities is Dijon Creative Solutions. The URL that I use is www.DijonCreative.com, but I also own www.DijonCreativeSolutions.com, and a few other variations. I prefer DijonCreative (without the Solutions) for the domain name because 1) It is shorter, and 2) I may drop the "Solutions" part from the name at some point.
2. When it comes to "branding", be sure to leave room for future expansion into other business areas, and into other geographic areas (unless you know with 100% certainty that such expansion will never happen).
I'm sure that there are many other excellent suggestions from others, but I only skimmed over them, and just wanted to emphasize a couple of things.
Today when business is global my best tips are only three:
1.This is a classic tip. Make the name easy to remember. Make it short, connected to your business and unique.
2. Test the name over the phone line. If you can say the name AND url without the need to spell it for the recipient that is great! You will gain so immensely by abiding by this!
3. If your business is international make sure your name doesn't mean anything bad in another language - test at least English, Spanish, German, French, Chinese and Japanese. I have seen so many bad exampels of this lately.
Good luck in finding your name!
name should signify the activities of the company and original
small and catchy name should also reflect the radar of business geography
The following are some of the most crucial aspects which you should bear in mind while narrowing down onto a name/brand:
From LEGAL Perspective:
1) Conduct a thorough trademark search to avoid identical and similar names in the same class of goods and services.
2) Avoid names that are similar or identical to famous names having high brand value (even in different class of goods and services). This is meant to bypass 'dilution' charges/allegations.
3) Avoid names identical or similar to the names that have huge trans-boundary popularity and appeal and can be considered 'well-known' trademarks.
4) Trademark is a matter of territorial jurisdiction. However, there are many other concepts that have genesis in the Competition Law and you might want to avoid them. One of them is : free-ride on the investments of others.
5) Avoid those names that will attract the application of common law doctrine of passing-off.
6) Avoid names that are 'surnames' of individuals because it might turn out to be difficult if those people start using your trademark which is their surname as well, in the course of trade.
7) Never use a descriptive name for a product and service. The name has to be distinctive.
From COMMERCIAL Perspective:
1) Unique: The name should be unique, The more unique a name is, the more chances exists for its acceptance on a larger scale.
2) Small: The name should be as small as possible.
3) Phonetically easy to pronounce. This is, especially, specific to those products and services which have a tendency to be advertised by 'word of mouth'.
in those cases, where the product and services are likely to be advertised vide visual aid, the trade-dress and trademark becomes more important than trade-name.
4) If your products and services have sensory aspect attached to it, the name should correspond and, rather, enhance the characteristics of your products and services.
5) Western/Eastern: If your products and services are to be sold in the developing countries, the name ought to have a western appeal attached to it.
There are many other considerations that will apply keeping in view the type of your business, products and services you are dealing in and various other factors. Feel free to contact us.
I hope this rebrand is a last resort as there is likely a considerable investment in the original.
When it comes to names I always try to create something which in some way describes the core product(s) of the company. This way the name never stops selling.
Also, since you are wanting to develop an emotional attachment, do your very best to create a name which will accomplish just that with your potential customers.
The basic guidelines are
It should be aligned with the product/ service offering
It should be easy to remember
It should not violate proprietary rights
It should be catchy
I will mostly repeat what many has already said, however i wanted to emphasize the legal importance. Descriptive marks might be a better match if you want to define company activities and thus create a customer awareness of product/ service that company provides. ActiveGym SuperGym etc could be such examples. However distinctive marks get stronger legal protection and might become an invaluable source of a legal branding strategy (CocaCola, Nike, Lego). Legal protection becomes more important if company wants to go global, set its business on franchise etc but this is definitely not "one size fits all" rule. You might want to define company's mission, core values, vision along with customers' reaction to a name change.
We do a lot of naming work and the first step is to create the committee or team in charge, identify who else should be involved in the process and then set the criteria. Here are some examples of possible criteria:
-has versatility (works in multiple ways from course name to concept to book)
-can be sustainable over time (longevity)
-sounds good when spoken
-contains playful element
-beginning of alphabet if possible
Once these are confirmed then you can start the process. We have many exercises to help generate names and a process to pare them down and test for a winner. It is a lot of fun and harder than it looks, hope that helps. Good luck!
this is the million dollar question kind. Naming is one of the most challenging project when it comes to Branding.
I try to stick to the concept, the name must sound as the brand's essence and must be short. That's a long, back and fourth process anyway. You have to be patient and persistent. Usually I end up with 5, sometimes 10 naming lists.
You have to have some alternative names also, because there are huge chances that the name you create has already been caught by another company.
The rule is: don't expect it to be fast. It has to be really good because Brand names has to last long.
I wish you good luck and hope I have helped you somewhat.