Brand naming

Brand naming is critical

Your brand name often delivers the first impression of your business. People see it on signage and collateral. They hear it and use it in conversation. They touch it on screens. Your brand name is enduring - so it's critical to get it right.

A company or product’s name is one of its most important attributes:

  • It is the main way of identifying the company or brand and differentiating it from
  • others.The name, with the logo, is the shortest way a company/product may be represented.

The types of brand name you use can make it easy or difficult for customers to identify you – so take the opportunity to reflect your brand essence, and make a real impact on your target customers.

There are three different types of brand names: descriptive, associative and abstract.

Descriptive

These names are more literal, specific and self-explanatory. The attributes or benefits of the product or service are inherent in the name. Descriptive names generally need less support, however they may not be as distinctive. Examples of descriptive brand names include Just Jeans and Australia Post.

Associative

These names allude to a benefit or attribute, but are more obtuse. They are sometimes compound names where two attributes or benefits are brought together. Examples of associative brand names include Jetstar and Origin Energy.

Abstract

These names are generally more unique and distinctive. However, because they are abstract, they need more explanation, communication and support for people to make the connection between the brand name and what it represents. Examples of abstract brand names include Apple, Google and Virgin.

Keep in mind that you can use suffixes to provide further explanation to your brand name. Suffixes can allow to embrace more abstract names while adding sense and context to your brand name. For example, compare the names “Koala” and “Koala Financial Services”. Suffixes can also provide a practical benefit in that they increase domain availability, something that can prove quite challenging. For example, you may be able to secure koalafinancialservices.com.au but not koala.com.au.

Creating the right brand name requires brand insights, a proven process and imagination. Our team is experienced in writing strong, clear naming briefs, generating long lists and applying filters, screens and preliminary searches to derive a recommended short list. We have created many new brand names for our clients - talk to us to learn more.

BrandMatters uses a proprietary, 13-point checklist to evaluate the brand names that we generate. Amongst the most important criteria, are:

  • The name aligns to company strategy and brand values, positioning and personality
  • The name is distinctive and differentiated from competition
  • The name evokes positive associations
  • The name is legally protectable
  • Think about your positioning and the intent of the business – at least five years out – and take this into account when selecting a name for your brand. Your brand positioning adds further meaning to your brand name.
  • When you see your new brand name for the first time, it will be naked, with no meaning. Keep an open mind, and give the name oxygen and room to grow. Imagine how stakeholders felt when they saw the name “Apple” for the first time for a computer company – there would have been a lot of doubt!!
  • Logo creation builds out a brand name dramatically and adds meaning. It can take a conservative name and give it the “wow” factor or take an abstract name and make it feel more familiar. Your logo can use imagery and symbolism to add relevance and meaning to the brand name, and your unique visual identity or look and feel, will add further context.
  • Always obtain expert legal advice, trade mark checks and other legal checks! Nothing can substitute for this. We recommend giving your top three brand name choices to your lawyer up front, so if your top one or two choices turn out to be unavailable or unadvisable, you have a fall-back position and haven’t lost any time!
  • Following legal advice, secure your business name, trade mark and URL without delay.

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