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More than just a name

Naming your brand can be more difficult than naming your firstborn! The name you choose will impact your brand’s identity and potentially its future success, so it’s a decision that can’t be made lightly!

If you get it wrong, a weak brand name could hold your business back and limit its opportunities, and rebranding with a new name later down the line could be a very expensive process. So, it’s important to do your research and think strategically when choosing your brand name to get it right the first time!

At Create8, we’ve worked with countless brands in an eclectic range of industries and niches to create memorable and creative brand names that break the mould and help them stand out.

With our years of experience in naming brands, we’ve got our brand naming process down to a T. And now we’re ready to share it with you. We’ve broken it down into eight simple steps, which we hope will show you how much thought we put into naming brands. 

Perhaps it will even inspire and enable you to develop an exciting name for your brand. One that differentiates your business from competitors and showcases what makes your business or products unique.

What makes a good brand name?

Ok, so before we let you in on our secret recipe for cooking up a winning brand name, you need to know what key ingredients you’ll need.

What makes a ‘good’ brand name for one business might not be appropriate for another. So, a big part of the process is knowing your business, your target audience, and the type of identity you want to convey. However, a few qualities apply to all good brand names.

  • Unique – Your brand name should be unique and distinctive to differentiate you from competitors. 
  • Concise – Coming up with a creative and funny brand name is great, but if it’s too long, it won’t work. Your brand name should be short, concise, and punchy.
  • Aligned – Consistency is key in branding. Your brand name should align with your brand’s mission, values, identity, voice, and visual branding.
  • Memorable – You want your brand name to stick in people’s minds. Therefore, it should be engaging and simple to pronounce and spell.
  • Sounds good – Some of the most memorable brand names have a certain ring; they feel good to say or roll off the tongue pleasantly.
  • Evocative – An evocative brand name conjures images or feelings within its audience to help align your brand name with your brand identity and engage your audience.

Now that we know roughly what ingredients we’re throwing into the mixing pot, let’s learn how to name a brand step-by-step.

Building with a "Your Name Here" signOur 8-step brand naming process

Whether you’re naming a brand-new business or renaming a business as part of a rebrand, you can follow the same eight steps to develop a brand name that reflects your brand’s identity and objectives.

Step 1: Brand workshop

At Create8, when developing a brand name, we first sit down with our client and ask questions about the business. This fact-finding session helps us learn more about the business and its objectives from the people who know it best. This step is extremely important as the information gathered here will lay the foundations for the brand name.

Some important questions to ask at this initial stage include:

  • What are your business’s mission, vision, and brand values?
  • What is your business’s story?
  • What are its USPs (unique selling points)?
  • What challenges does it face?
  • How does your brand communicate?
  • What emotions would you like your brand to trigger?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Who are its competitors?

The questions we ask at this stage are extensive, and the answers we receive help us to build a clear picture of the brand in front of us. This stands us in good stead for developing a brand name that aligns with your business and everything it stands for. Cohesion and consistency are crucial when developing a powerful brand name and identity.

Step 2: Competitor evaluation

In the previous step, we asked who your competitors were – now it’s time to really examine them in depth, learning from what they’re doing well and where they’re falling behind. Identify which of your competitors are at the top of their game and analyse their brand names – are they light-hearted, evocative, unique, trendy, or descriptive? Do they use play-on-words, acronyms, rhyming, or alliteration? Are they geographical, benefit-focused, or target audience-centric? Identify which brand naming strategies are most effective within your industry or niche.

Think about what makes each of your competitors unique, identify their marketing strategies, and look for any gaps in the market that you could fill.

The importance of competitor analysis in branding cannot be overstated. It can help you identify the most strategic direction to take with your brand name to help you stand out from your competitors.

Step 3: Naming strategies

Coming up with a brand name can seem like an impossible task with infinite possibilities. One way to give the process more direction is to narrow down the options by settling on one or two potential naming strategies. Consider which naming strategies align best with your business, product or service, and target audience.

Some of the most popular naming strategies include:

  • Descriptive – Reflects the products or services being offered.
  • Evocative – Connects emotionally with consumers using words that evoke strong emotions or imagery.
  • Geographical – References a geographical location in the name, ideal for local businesses.
  • Invented – A unique, made-up name that can help distinguish a brand from its competitors.
  • Acronyms – Uses the initials of a longer name or phrase to create a shorter, more memorable name.
  • Founder – Incorporates the name of the individual(s) who established the business.

Step 4: Ideation

Once we’ve chosen a handful of appropriate naming strategies, we begin brainstorming brand names and generating lots of ideas. We could generate up to 100 possible brand name ideas at this stage as we get creative and explore different creative avenues.

Now that plenty of ideas are on the table, it’s time to begin refining and narrowing them down. To do this, we use a traffic light system that helps us determine which names align best with the brand.

At this point, we also ask ourselves how our favourite brand name ideas would work in real-life scenarios. We pit them against each other to decide which is easier to pronounce or spell, which is more memorable, and which aligns best with the brand’s mission and vision statements, and values. We also consider whether any ideas inspire catchy phrases or messaging and how they would look as a logo. All these considerations and more help us to narrow the list down to our favourite few.

Step 5: Domain availability

Next, it’s time to check which of our name ideas are available as domains. Your domain name is the unique address used to access your website, e.g. Create8.co.uk. Your domain name must align with your brand name to present a consistent brand image. 

When your domain name matches your brand name, it boosts brand recognition and helps to build trust and credibility. It is also simple for users to remember if they wish to return to your website. Aligning your domain and brand name can also positively impact SEO, helping boost your brand’s visibility online and increase traffic to your website.

We also consider which domain name extension is most appropriate for the brand. Should it be .co.uk, .com, or something different? The .co.uk extension is perfect for businesses that trade mostly or exclusively in the UK. However, if a significant portion of your sales comes from international customers, a .com extension may be more appropriate.

Domain name and extension availability may seal the deal on one brand name over the other.

Step 6: Trademark checks

We’ve usually narrowed it down to our favourite few names by this stage. We may even have our winner unofficially picked. So now it’s time to ensure the name(s) hasn’t already been taken – fingers crossed! 

The primary legal considerations in brand naming relate to trademarks. Many businesses trademark their brand name to gain legal protection against someone using the same name. Performing a brand name trademark check at this point is very important for a couple of key reasons:

Prevent infringement – If you register a brand name that another business has already taken, you infringe on their intellectual property rights and could be sued. Performing a trademark search during the brand naming process protects you from potential fines, legal battles, and reputational damage.

Avoid rebranding – Performing a trademark search will alert you to any similar brand names that have been trademarked. This could save you the hassle and expense of being forced to rebrand later down the line.

You can search for a trademark on the government website. 

Step 7: Market research

Market research is a vital step in the brand naming process, which helps you gauge your target audience’s perception of your chosen name. At Create8, we enlist the help of a trusted partner who specialises in market analysis to complete this step.

Your target audience is asked for feedback on one or more potential brand names during this market research. They may be asked to provide feedback on metrics like appeal, ease of pronouncing, relevance to identity, memorability, and impact.

Step 8: Launch

The final step is to let your new brand name loose in the wide world.

This should be done using a strategic rollout plan. If you are renaming an existing brand, you must update all marketing materials to reflect the new brand name and communicate the changes consistently across various channels and touchpoints to ensure a smooth transition to the new name.

Partner with Create8 to develop a memorable brand name

Struggling to come up with an impactful name for your brand? Don’t make do with a weak brand name – partner with Create8 to develop a unique name that aligns with your brand’s mission, values, and identity and resonates with your target audience. 

Whether you’re a startup stepping into the market or an established brand in need of a fresh new name, we can help you choose a name that will set your brand apart from its competitors and put it on the road to success.

Your perfect brand name is a phone call away; just pick up the phone and contact the team at Create8.