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How To Choose A Brand Name

How To Choose A Brand Name
All the planning, all the organizing, and all the managing have produced a compelling business plan that you expect to launch your company into years of delivering incredible products and services. There is just one problem with your business plan. You need to choose the most compelling and effective brand name. A memorable brand name does much more than making your business card look cool. As branding expert Marty Neumier writes in his book The Brand Gap, “The need for good brand names originates with customers, and customers will always want convenient ways of identifying, remembering, discussing, and comparing brands. The right name can be a brand’s most valuable asset, driving differentiation, and speeding acceptance.” Selecting the right brand name might seem to be a difficult job. However, once you get your brand name right, you can expect to reap several benefits.

Benefits of Choosing the Right Brand Name

If you created a list of factors that generates revenue for your business, at the heart of the list would be brand recognition. What is the most important factor in developing brand recognition? It’s called your brand name. Here’s why creating the right brand name matters:
    • Enhances recognition for your business
    • Creates trust among potential customers
    • Complements marketing strategies
    • Increases financial value for your business
    • Motivates employees
    • Attracts new customers

How to Decide on the Right Brand Name

The co-founder of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal, says his marketing team took more than six months to review around 2,000 options for a brand name before deciding on the right choice. Although your marketing team can utilize a service that makes it relatively easy to select a brand name, there is not a substitute for old school brainstorming to narrow your choices down to the best brand name. How do you complete a successful brand naming project? The promotional product specialists at GoPromotional work with hundreds of vendors, all of which underwent some form of a brand naming process.

Understand the Heart of Your Brand

Before you entertain ideas for a brand name, you and the marketing team need to answer the following questions about your company.
  • Purpose
  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Values
Understanding how the four principles influence the way your company does business goes a long way towards helping you decide on a brand name.

What Makes Your Company Special?

If you ask one question on the journey to find a brand name, it should be this question: What makes your company stand out from the competition? You are not simply trying to choose the right brand name. Your goal is to select a brand name that defines your business. Is your customer service team the primary difference between you and the competition? Is there a product that makes your company unique in the industry where you operate? Determine at least one difference that sets your business apart from the rest of the field, and you can start brainstorming brand name ideas.


After you and your team put on brainstorming caps, keep the following factors in mind when choosing the right brand name.
  • Memorable
  • Easy to pronounce
  • Carries a clear meaning
  • Does not mean anything negative in other languages
  • Fits the mission of your company
The brainstorming sessions should include writing down every descriptive adjective that describes your company. You want to determine how your customers feel when they use one of your products or services. Finally, try a word association session that creates a chain-link effect of several possible brand names.

Narrow Your Choices

Brainstorming is actually a two-step process. Getting to the second step requires you and your marketing team to prune the large list of brand name candidates down to a list consisting of no more than 10 options. Not only do you have to make a difficult decision on a brand name, but you also need to check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to ensure the name you have selected is not already in use by another company. This means working with a patent and trademark attorney who can legally vet your proposed brand name.

Test Your Proposed Brand Name

After legally vetting your proposed brand name, the time has come to give it a test drive. Asking your team members what they think about the proposed brand name is a good start. However, you want to collect quantifiable data that confirms the choice to be a powerful brand name that achieves recognition for your company. You should make the shortlist of brand name candidates and use each name on the same landing page. Then you measure the number of hits each landing page receives for different brand name candidates. Running a narrowly targeted Facebook ad that targets customers using the proposed brand name gives you a clear idea about the popularity of the name. Finally, determine which brand name generates the most customer conversions.

The Bottom Line

You can possess every marketing skill, and still fall short of promoting your business if your brand name does not resonate with your company’s target audience. Take the time required to choose the best brand name, and watch your business start to soar.
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