Starting a new business or got a new product on the boil? One of the hardest challenges for a new business venture is coming up with a great name. The following are some of the tips we share with clients when we start working with them on the launch of a brand identity project. We hope you find them useful and if you have tips of your own, then please do share in the comments.
Define your customer
Try and create as close as possible a profile of your target customer. It may be that you have several products or services appealing to different customers in which case define a profile for each. Define their interests, buying power etc. Dependent upon whether it's Business to Business or Business to Consumer you may want to look at the other consumer brands they buy, for instance, which fashion labels they wear - are they an Armani or a Fat Face wearer? Or which mobile do they use - iPhone or Blackberry?
Look at your offering
Create an elevator pitch, a 30 second summary of what your product is and why I should buy it from you. What difference will it make to your customer's life?
Look at your competitors
See what they are branding themselves as. If you have the time, create a collage of their logos, colour schemes etc. How can you stand out from the rest?
Define the feeling
What's the feeling associated with your product or service? Fun and sexy? Safe and secure? Traditional? Warm and fuzzy? It's very important that your name and logo design match with what you're trying to sell. If I were to create a traditional product, a lime green colour scheme and a name like 'Squik!' (Yes, a complete invention!) is unlikely to connect well with my target customer.
Look at your complementary brands
Look at brands that complement the market space that you are entering. For example, if you are launching a new gardening product then the logos and packaging of garden centres, seed manufacturers, garden furniture and watering cans should be examined. Of course, you still have the same decision in a similar way to competitor analysis of whether you want to follow the crowd or stand out.
Descriptive or Abstract?
A final thought can be deciding whether your name (and your logo) should be descriptive of your product or abstract. An abstract name allows greater freedom of direction in your company's future, while a descriptive name can help your customer to best understand the product. However, this is often best considered after your initial brainstorm so you don't narrow your thinking too early.
If you can get a group together to brainstorm, then so much the better. Start with some basic descriptive words, colour names and feeling words, have a dictionary and thesaurus to hand and don't rule out anything at this stage.
Read through the elements mentioned above and write down as many ideas as possible. Then review what you've come up with and repeat the process.
Once you have a selection, test them out on people matching your target audience. How do they respond? Does it spark interest, incite suspicion, turn people off?
This should refine your list further, with which you then need to do the following:
- Google it to see if it's in use
- Check the urban dictionary for possible "questionable" meanings
- Check the name for available domain names (including potential misspellings)
- Check for available social media names eg. Facebook Page, Twitter ID
- Check that it's not a registered trademark
- Check that it's not a registered company name at Companies House
- Check for meanings in other languages
Note that if the above come back with names already matching, it's not insurmountable but care needs to be taken and thought given to how it could affect you in the future.
Once all that has been done you've carried out all of those steps you've probably narrowed down a shortlist, do a bit more testing on customer response if possible but at the end of the day, it's time to make a decision!
At Real Point we can help with all of the steps involved in name creation, logo design and brand creation, give us a call and arrange a meet up over a coffee.