Episode #26: How to Choose a Brand Name

7 Pro Tips to Naming Your Brand

In this episode of Building The Brands, I am going to explain the 7 steps to choosing the best name for your business, or the individual products or services that you offer.
In previous episodes of building the brands, I have explained what makes the perfect brand name, and the 7 types of brand names to choose from.

Now I am going to reveal the 7 step process that you should follow to name or rename your brand.

Step 1: Articulate Your Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Values.

If you have not already defined these 4 pillars of your brand foundation, then be sure to go back and review each of these previous Building The Brand episodes before you proceed.

I will link each of those episodes in the description below. Then be sure they are articulated in your name choices.

Step 2: Differentiate

Carving out your spot in the marketplace relies heavily on how you differentiate yourself from the competition.

Understanding what makes you unique is a critical component in finding your name.

Remember, you’re looking for a great name that represents your specific brand, not just a good name.

So be sure to look at the names of your competitors and choose a name that makes you stand out.

Step 3: Brainstorm

This is the fun part!

Gather up your team and start throwing out some ideas.

This should be a free, open, and creative environment.

Remember, in this process there are no bad ideas.

However, you should put some criteria in place to keep the brainstorming session on track.

Be sure that you and your team are suggesting names based on your brand purpose, vision, and core values.

Always keep your audience in mind. What do you want your customers to think and feel when they use your products or services?

Aim for you and your team to come up with 15-20 name ideas.

Step 4: Vet

Next is the most disappointing and frustrating part of brainstorming name ideas.

Just when you think you have found a name that describes your brand perfectly, connects with your audience, and represents your core values ….. You do a quick google or trademark search and discover that it has already been taken.

But it’s always better to find this out now rather than later.

So be sure that with every name idea you come up with, you do a simple google search, a search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database, as well as social media sites.

Step 5: Refinement

Hopefully after the vetting stage you still have about 10-15 names to choose from.

Now it’s time to trim the fat by further analyzing each name.

Once again, review your brand purpose, vision, mission, and values to confirm that each of these names supports them.

Which names connect best with the needs of the customer?
How does the name sound when spoken?
Will it look good on a business card or website?

Try to narrow your list down to your top 5.

Step 6: Testing

Let’s see how all these final names actually look when applied to designs

Create some basic logo mockups.
Place the name on a landing page.
See how it looks in an email subject line.
Design a quick business card with each name.

Don’t worry about colors and typography at this point, we’ll address those later when we design your visual identity.

Right now you should only be concerned with how the name looks and feels on its own, without any embellishments to distract you.

You may be surprised at how some of the names you thought were your top choices don’t look quite right visually.

Step 7: Choose

It’s now time to make your final selection.

Which can be a very difficult decision to make.

After all, your name has the potential to either make or break your brand.

But if you have done everything I’ve suggested, you should be able to make an intuitive and educated decision based on the name that best aligns with everything your business represents.

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