Tips for creating a memorable brand name for your new business
WD-40 got its name after the fortieth attempt in the lab to create a water displacing spray, while a colleague of Richard Branson made the comment that ‘we’re complete virgins at business’ and a global movement was born. If you’re wishing for a ‘aha’ moment to happen, takes some cues from these five tips for creating and claiming a memorable brand name.
1. A lot of memorable brand names are inspired by people and place
Adidas, Audi, Hasbro, H&R Block, Mattel, Taco Bell, Ikea, Bridgestone, Wrigley and Garmin are all inspired by their founders, while Coca Cola was named for the coca leaves and kola nuts that were originally used in the flavouring.
2. Great brand names should be universal in what they represent
Having a logo that identifies your brand without the words too is smart – think Red Cross and Apple; while another clever attribute is being able to translate internationally as seen by Japanese founded ‘Unique Clothing Warehouse’ who became Uniqlo with a bilingual logo.
3. Consider a compound and create something new
Combining two words relevant to your business or service to make a new word extends your options and can be rather catchy like SnapChat and FitBit. One of our favourite newer ones A Plus, the digital media company co-founded by Ashton Kutcher that promises to deliver positive news to effect meaningful social change.
4. Be wary of evocative names that inspire success – they’re not unique
We’re all looking to motivate and inspire, but this presents challenges when there are only limited words in the dictionary. For example, Explorer and Safari are both cars and web browsers.
5. If you’re going global be sure to not get lost (or laughed at) in translation
With the ease of online shopping and social media marketing, the world is your oyster, but make sure your name translates. Colgate launched ‘Cue’ toothpaste in France, which was unfortunately also the name of a local pornographic magazine; and along the same vein, the Nokia smartphone ‘Lumia’ translates in Spanish slang to prostitute, a problem that Peugeot also encountered in southern China. It goes for your tagline too—even the classics get caught out—KFC’s famous ‘finger lickin’ good’ translates to the Chinese as ‘eat your fingers off’.
Making memorable brand names is in our DNA, so talk with us. We do the research and can work with you to create a name that will resonate and take you global for all the right reasons.