Don’t make it personal

This is a tricky one, as most business owners, and especially start-ups, feel they should have the right to christen their own business, or should I say, baby. Often, though, when done from this mindset, something that is personal to the business owner, a name of their actual child, a favourite place for a holiday, a name of long lost sister, all come to be played out when a brand name is chosen. Which, while it makes a business owner feel all warm on the inside, does very little in the communication battle that a consumer will go through when faced with many similar products and services from multiple companies.

A name paints a picture

Good brand names cut the communication battle, are emotive, memorable and, most importantly, serve a purpose in unpacking what it is that they are about. Take for example Innocent, the smoothie company. A great brand. The name helps it massively in its communication battle as it alludes to what it does and does so in such a short sharp hit. Remember, the brand name will be the most repeated piece of communication that you create, so it better be good. In this instance, if you didn’t know what or who Innocent was, and I said to you, do you fancy an Innocent drink, the association of the word ‘innocent’, is already making you think it is healthy, natural, good for you etc.

Driven by values

A good name will help cut the communication battle. A good name also serves a purpose. It is derived not from what you feel is right, but can only be one of a few words that make sense. In our process, we first define the brand values. From these values, we’ll notice there is a pattern of similarity within the values themselves which create themes. From these themes, brand names can be formed. There is a funnelling process going on here, and the brand name fulfils that purpose, where only a few words can impart the values and the thinking that we have deliberately gone through and formed. For example, again, when the guys behind Innocent were doing this exercise, there was only a handful of other names that would have worked to explain their concept, e.g. Harmony, or Pure etc. These words fulfil a reason, they are not chosen by chance, and they do not represent a deeper meaning that then requires a whole level of other communication for a person to understand.