Selecting a name for a new company or rebranding an existing company can be a very complex task. The name not only has to stand out in your market, it also has to be free and clear from a trademark standpoint and it has to pass the URL and social media availability test. It’s not easy. Can people pronounce it? Can people spell it? Does it resonate? Can you own and protect it? Most importantly, will it stand the test of time?
Naming services, products or programs can be equally challenging. In some cases, you don’t have the URL and trademark challenges, but there are several other considerations to make. How does the new service name play into existing service naming structures? Will the name of a product or program contain the company brand name or exist as a separate brand of the company?
The Five Typical Naming Approaches
There are five typical naming approaches that we know of. Not every approach is right for every circumstance, company, or market. While the Heritage approach (owners’ last names) is commonly used in company naming strategy, it may not be the best option for a new product or for an entrepreneur that intends to sell the business down the road. Expressive (word taken out of context) or Invented (made up word or spelling) names if done correctly can be enormously powerful whether naming a company or a service, but it may have financial implications. Often these types of names are more expensive because it takes larger budgets to create brand awareness in a market. Companies that are in a position to rebrand often go this route versus new companies just starting out.
Descriptive (literally what it is) and Experiential (benefit oriented) names can be really great choices as long as you don’t get too narrow in the selection. Companies, programs, products and services all change and evolve. If you limit yourself in a too specific name, you may need to rebrand later.
Creating great brand names
While the naming types are limited, the actual list of possible brand names is endless. If you haven’t yet realized this, you will when you get to the brainstorming phase. Whatever brand name type you end up using, it’s important to remember the lasting truism of naming: A good name can’t make a lousy product great, but a great product can make even the strangest name unforgettable. Leveraging your company brand name in conjunction with a service line or program is often used with Descriptive, Experiential, Invented or Expressive names. This naming tactic also strengthens the power of the main brand instead of starting from scratch with a new product brand. Your company’s naming strategy is the basis of your brand and must be carefully planned and selected with purpose. Take note of these naming approaches and objectives. A great name can help your company, product or service stand out in a crowded market. It can help people connect with a program launch. It can position you as a leader, convey your culture and even explain what you do in a word or two. Make sure you’ve taken the time and consideration it takes to test it in your market, protect it legally, and give it the visual expression that moves your audience to act.
Feel free call Milestone if you require great naming for your brand.