So you’re ready to launch that brand new company, product or service, eh? Good for you! Before you hit the “go” button, make sure you nail your name. Read on to learn five attributes of an unforgettable brand name.
1) It showcases your brand promise
For example, there’s no room for speculation when you hear the name QuickBooks. The name itself tells you the software helps you quickly manage your books—something that’s very important to business owners that are spinning thousands of different plates at any one given time. Also consider how Hertz created a GPS offering called “NeverLost.” When you’re traveling in a new city, getting lost is a big concern. Hertz squashed that concern immediately with the NeverLost upgrade.
2) It’s got personality
Google. Yahoo. Zappos. SizzleForce. (Pardon me for the shameless plug—I couldn’t help it.) Fun names set a tone that implies customers will have an enjoyable experience when they do business with one of these brands. And if there’s anything you want when all is said and done, it’s happy customers.
3) It’s short, sweet and easy to pronounce
Apple. Gap. Burger King. There’s no guessing when it comes to how to pronounce these names and they’re so simple, anyone can remember them. On the contrary, yogurt brand Fage is pronounced “fa-yay,” footwear brand Saucony is pronounced “sock-a-nee,” and if anyone has ever blown it in the U.S. market it would be Boehringer Ingelheim. Just try to say that out loud. I dare you. The correct pronunciation is bear-ring-her ing-ell-hime. But who would have ever known? You don’t want people butchering your brand name every time they say it.
4) It’s evergreen
Nothing kills a name faster than centering it around a trend that you didn’t create. Does anything scream mid 90’s or early 2000’s more than X Games, eHarmony, or iAnything? If you’re building a company around a trend that you didn’t create with no intention whatsoever of carrying it into the next decade, then go ahead and name it around a trend. If you’re naming something that you want to last, avoid trends like the plague. Note: Apple created the iPhone, iPad, etc. trend—it’s theirs and everyone knows it. That’s the only reason they can use it successfully now.
5) It’s indestructible when translated into different languages
There’s an Iranian company that manufactures a washing machine detergent called “snow” in Farsi. The problem is that when you translate it into English, it means barf. That’s right. Barf. Need I say more? (Many thanks to AdWeek for bringing this fabulous bit of information to my attention way back in 2009. I’m still laughing.)
There’s a whole lot more that goes into creating a brand name that sells, but this should be enough to get you going in the right direction. Your brand name is going to follow you wherever you go. Be intentional when choosing it.
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