Branding. It gives your business a face, a personality, something someone can look at and know what you offer.

Getting your brand right is an important part of the process. If you are launching a product or service, first impressions matter. Giving it the right name, the look, colors, etc. Branding says a lot about your business through subtleties that are often subconscious to the observer. Pink naturally relaxes us, green makes us think of money, and blue represents trustworthiness.

Naming your company or your products/services isn’t an easy task. Even if you have chosen some great names, odds are, the domain has been taken already. Instead of doing a major name searching or generating a name online, understand the psychology behind branding. This is far more valuable than finding the name that best suits your brand.

Aspiration Naming
By giving your company name something that is aspirational, you’re speaking right to the consumer’s heart. You are highlighting their desires. This gets them thinking past what your product is and creates an association with memorable moments in their life that make them feel good. Like a fairytale their mom would read them before bed.

Let’s look to Volkswagen (a German word), which when translated to English means the “people’s car.” It still means something today but it was brilliant marketing move at a time when there were a lot of poor people in Germany and gas was expensive. If you’re a small business, it may be hard to pull off this style of brand naming. This is because if you’re going to create a name based on a feeling, you will have to deliver that feeling to your customers. This can take a large budget to meet the expectations of your customers. If you disappoint them, your business will quickly deteriorate. Starbucks has created a brand of bringing everyone together through coffee. They spend a lot of money creating an environment where people feel safe and want to come together. They effectively represent their brand. Will you be able to?

Think Practicality
By branding in a practical way, you are giving your potential clients a sense of security. You also sound authoritative so people are going to put trust in you. If it is natural for you, cutting out the fluff and being transparent and quite literal in your naming can work for you. Facebook is a good example. Simple word that is basically letting you know when you go to the site, there will be a bunch of people’s faces in an index style. This kind of naming leaves nobody surprised, which builds immediate trust.

The downside to this style of brand naming is it could become irrelevant. If your business changes, your name might not make sense anymore. Facebook doesn’t really make any sense based on the site it’s become now. It did in the beginning as it was literally a book of faces online. Consider how this situation might backfire with your own business later on down the road. It could cease to make sense and create an inconsistency with what your product or service is.

The Comic Touch
Sometimes you can get away with giving people something to laugh about in your brand name. If you can conjure up a positive emotion in people, they will remember your brand in fondness. You may capture people’s attention and they may assume that you, as the owner have a sense of humor. This could really resonate with people when you are trying to get out in front of the crowds. You give your business some character, a personality of it’s own.

You have to be careful with humor though. You can potentially insult someone and do the opposite for your business that you’re aspiring for. Yahoo did it right. They actually stand for:
Y – yet
A – another
H – Hierarchical
O – Officious
O – Oracle

It’s a bit cheeky but funny as well with a dose of healthy sarcasm. It has a lot of character right? As a side note, consider how they’re branding looks. It is literally bursting with personality. Here’s the thing, you’ll want to have the kind of company with a big personality you can showcase. You want to be true to your name so this might not be a good option if you’re not a silly kind of company.

A few tips to leave you with that can help you come up with a name:

Think About What Your Business Would Be If It Had a Personality
This might seem slightly challenging but if you can figure out your business’ character, the name for it will come easily. It will be an effective name that will represent the type of product or service you offer.

Imagine that your business is a real person. How would it talk? You could actually have fun with this. Maybe it’s a surfer dude or a high brow British diplomat. Maybe it’s from Louisiana. You get the point. What would your business want to talk about at social events? What would be the key phrases it would speak about? Think about what your business sounds like to get a glimpse on what it should be called.

Think About the Creative Things
This should be quite a fun exercise. Visualize what colors your business should have to best represent it. Check out all the many different fonts to see which one would be perfect for your business image. This also helps you figure out what the name should be. It might conjure up emotions in you to look at these other aspects and then the name will come.

Once you’ve found the brand name you’re sure will fit, Google it, check the trademark in your area. If you are going global, consider whether the name is going to make sense in other languages when translated.

A strong, memorable name isn’t easy to find but it is so incredibly important so don’t settle for something because it’s available. Just keep brainstorming and following the above practices. This is the first impression of your business. Make it count.

Need help with marketing? Branding? Let’s connect.