What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot when it comes to defining your brand. Which is why big companies often go to great lengths to protect their name, and any infringements usually end up in the courts. It’s also why big companies never create new brands without using expert naming consultants.

What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot when it comes to defining your brand. Which is why big companies often go to great lengths to protect their name, and any infringements us

Brands define your company and your products. They create trust that you will deliver a certain level of service and quality of products. It’s easy to see this degree of trust in action by thinking about well-known brands and comparing them. If you buy a Ford you expect a certain type of car, while if you buy a Porsche you’re buying into a totally different automotive experience.

What name should I choose?

There are no hard and fast rules about what makes a good brand name. Ford Motor Company is simply named after its founder – Henry Ford, as is Porsche (Ferdinand Porsche). On the other hand, Steve Jobs claimed the name Apple was chosen after a visit to a commercial orchard (back in 1976) because it was “fun, spirited and not intimidating”.

In this respect Jobs was right. He saw that a brand name needs to quickly convey an image of what the company stands for. In an era when most computers took up whole rooms or needed the owner to get handy with a soldering iron, he wanted his company to stand apart. It might have taken 40 years but it’s fair to say that the Apple brand identity is still very strongly associated with those original ideals.

How do I know what will make a good name?

Generally, you don’t know what names will sum up the right blend of ideals. You need to decide what your brand is going to offer your customers, and you need to turn that into a fairly short and memorable name.

As you can imagine, coming up with a fitting brand name is not an easy process. You could just pick something out of the air and hope for the best. However, it costs time, effort, and quite a large chunk of your marketing budget to establish a brand and it’s not something that you can easily change. Analysis of your market, and research into what will appeal to your ideal demographic is needed to try out new ideas without the need to fund a full market launch. And when you’ve found the ideal name you need to check that it’s going to be possible to use it, and to what extent you’ll be able to protect it in the future.

Naming Consultants

A naming consultant lives and breathes brand names. They understand how to create strong names that appeal to different types of customer. When to use a single word, when to make a pun or play on words, and when to go for a more traditional vibe.

Consultants start by performing a detailed analysis not just of your company and your product, but also of your competitors. They look at the marketplace and your current offerings both now and historically in order to predict what sort of names will be best to champion your business.

The next step is to research available names that can legally be used as brand names and are distinctive enough to make your company stand out. These will also need cross-referencing internationally if you have any plans for global expansion. They also create logos, colour schemes and other brand-building identifiers to enable you to market your brand most effectively.

With years of experience in brand building and marketplace information at their fingertips, a naming consultant is the cost-effective and low-risk way to launch a new brand.