Previously on ‘What’s my name again?'
In our last blog we ran through all the considerations you have to take when developing your brand name, to make sure it is the best it can be. In this blog we are going to take you through our own process when helping clients name their business, and I think you will be surprised how simple it sounds.
Step 1 - Experience
This is one of the most vital and missed steps in the naming process that a lot of companies take. I know it can be more exciting to just get involved and start throwing names around and seeing what sticks, but before you can even think about your own name, you need to take a step back and look at every other brand name out there.
So this step comprises of acting like customers, going into shops, researching online and experiencing different brands and exploring their names and what categories they fall into. Once we have this information we can identify any gaps in the market and how we can differentiate.
Step 2 - Strategy
Next is to develop a brand strategy. You need to find out who you are, who your customers are and what your product does.
Make sure to answer these questions as a beginning to your strategy:
What’s the offer?
How will it evolve?
What are your values?
How should it make your customers feel?
What’s the history?
These answers will be used later on to score each name and give it an objective rating. There is of course more that goes into a brand strategy, but this is a great start and something that can be built on later.
Step 3 - Lots and lots of ideas
Now we have a general direction we want to take from the previous two steps, we go ahead and create a lot of different ideas. This may sound strange because we have a strategy after all, but going wide with your ideas can help you make sure you have the right name in the end, let yourself explore opportunities at this point.
Some good jumping off points would be:
Outcomes that relate to your products end goal
Tools that link to the use of your product
Actions that users will take
Moments that relate to your product
Numbers that can link to your brand story
One great tip for this exercise is to get ideas from everyone and anyone. Bring people in who have no context of your brand or product and get them to offer up ideas - just get as many ideas down as possible.
Step 4 - Filter time
Now is the time to take your long list, and make it a short list. You do this through two different ways.
First you need to do the availability check - is the name actually available to register either as a URL or as a company? If not, then we don’t want to waste time getting attached to a name we can’t have in the end.
Next up, run all your names past your strategy filter - does it fulfill the criteria you have set out before hand. If it does it passes onto the next round, if not then put it the scrap.
Mega tip! - Don’t fall into the ‘genericide’ trap.
When creating a brand name, your brand may be so successful that it becomes a word or description in it’s own right. This can be great if you have an amazing and interesting name, but if your name is fairly generic it can be your downfall. Think about ‘hoovering’, ‘thermos’ and ‘frisbee’ - these are all brands, but have become descriptions with people forgetting that they are a brand in the first place.
Step 5 - Present
Now is the time to get your team, friends and family together and present all of the shortlist ideas for feedback. We try and present them in an impactful and interesting way to give them context in the real world - think about how each name could work in an advert or how it could influence the language used for the brand.
Step 6 - Choose
The hardest step - this is when you make that big and FINAL decision. Which name shall we use?!
At this point, you have gone through a lot of steps to weed out anything that won’t work, so go with your gut feeling. What works for you and what would you be happy in showing off to everyone you meet?
Step 7 - Expand
You now have your name and you will have registered it with all the appropriate offices to make sure that name is protected - so now you need to expand that name into everything you do.
This is what we call creating a ‘brand world’ and really starts to flesh out the brand and it’s tone of voice and marketing work. But congratulations, after all this, you should have a killer brand name that helps you push your company further and keep it front of mind for your users.
In this toolkit you will be guided through the steps to start building out a brand strategy for your business or yourself. This is going to help you fine tune your marketing efforts to make sure your brand is memorable and engaging for your ideal customers.
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