Okay, so you have a great idea and want to launch a brand. You’ve got plenty of inspiration in every other aspect. But, when it comes to giving it a brand name, the well is just plain dry. So, you’re looking for various ideas to give you some direction. Well, one thing is for sure, it’s got to resonate with people. Or, does it? Now that’s a scary thought. However, it’s a necessary thought-experiment.
Differences between a Company Name and a Brand Name
Let’s first look at what we’re actually talking about. If you’re going into a trade or profession, it’s customary and wise to go with tradition. In other words, if you’re going to open a specialty bakery, it’s perfectly okay to go with something like “Little Miss Muffin.” People will get it. Although, you might toy with the prospect of giving it a more eccentric name. Just be aware, doing so is a big gamble.
Throughout the entire life cycle of your business one thing is constant – your business name. And this means getting it right, the first time. Why? Consider this – assuming you optimize your Web site, post your business on local online listings, develop a social media strategy, and deliver a great service, your business name and all that it represents will go viral (and hopefully in a good way).
—Small Business Trends
That’s really the difference between a company name and a brand name. Think about it this way. If you were approached in 2005 and asked “What is Facebook?” Or, “What is Twitter?” Could you answer? Nope. The reason why is obvious, neither existed back then. But today, they are household names. Even though their names do not describe what they are or what they offer.
Tips for Choosing a Brand Name
Let’s put it another way, when you choose a brand name, you’re giving your entity a brand or an identity. Now, it makes sense to name it after yourself or to take off from an existing brand. But, doing so creates some problems. So, here are some helpful tips on how to choose a brand name:
- Conduct several web searches. Dropbox. Twitch. YouTube. Though familiar to nearly everyone now, at one time, these were unknowns. A good place to start is simply by searching the web to learn if there’s already a spot-on or similarly named company out there.
- Compare and contrast what’s out there. Speaking of out there, once you begin to identify organizations, take the time to compare and contrast what’s similar and dissimilar. It’s definitely worthwhile because you’ll learn important lessons.
- Find something that will set your brand apart. Of course, you’ve got to pick a brand name that will set you apart from the competition. But, don’t go too far out or you might confound anyone who encounters it.
- Don’t rely on incumbent brands because it’s a mistake. One the other side of the coin, some organizations take an approach of building off another entity. For instance, publications like “Android Police and Mac Rumors.” While these make sense for the present, they could well look outdated in the future. After all, Google might rebrand its mobile platform or Apple could very well come out with a new line of computers.
What other suggestions do you have for choosing a brand name? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting!
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