You may have seen the TV ad where father-to-be Mr Murray is considering naming his newborn son – Callum – that’s right Callum Murray. Yeah-nah!
Thankfully most parents spend a considerable amount of time researching, checking, debating, writing, spelling, saying, abbreviating and generally test-driving many, many different monikers well before their child is born. If only that much time and effort was used in naming a business. Sadly, so much of that instinctive naming process we go through for our offspring falls by the wayside when naming a business venture.
Developing a brand name is often a lengthy and intensive creative process – and at the centre of that process Axiom employs 4 techniques to help guide us in our decision making.
1. Linguistics – Language and its structure plays an important role in understanding the meaning and aesthetic effect a word-form is likely to have in the marketplace.
Choosing or creating words from different languages allows us to invent new and unique names in a crowded marketplace – but always mindful of unintentional meaning or linguistic problems.
2. Symbolism – How a word sounds or is pronounced creates an image or an association in a person’s mind. Therefore getting the right balance of letters in a word is important and will influence and effect how the name and brand is perceived in the market place. Consonants play a particular importance and come in 2 forms – obstruents which sound harder and sharper and sonorants which sound softer and smoother. The trick is to get the right combination.
3. Anatomy – A name is the sum of its different parts – words, letters, sounds and shapes. Names with 2 or 3 syllables generally have more cut through and are easier to remember. A consonant followed by a vowel is the very basis of language (mama, papa, dada). And a word that begins and ends with the same letter is easier to recognise – think Kodak.
4. Value – From a potential list we then determine each name’s value by asking:
- Does it have Impact? – grabs attention, creates interest
- Does it have Meaning? – can the name deliver energy to the marketplace, is there more to the name, is there a story; and
- What is its Structure? – does the name look and sound the part, is it positive or negative, bold or subtle, serious or fun.
Successfully combine all three criteria and you not only create name value – but also brand value.
Great brand names stick in the mind.
In its simplest form a brand name should be representative of your business and / or service offering. It should also work across multiple media platforms and be easy to search – yet distinctive within the context of the online social and business environments.
But a great brand name is much more than just ticking a few boxes to meet functional and regulatory needs. The name you choose needs to be believable and reflect a desired brand personality. Great brand names are emotional, they have character and depth, and most importantly – they stick in the mind.
It's just the beginning.
In reality there is a lot more to creating a great brand name than just the techniques in this article – the complete process can be exhaustive but – it pays off in the long run.
Getting the right name and the name right for your business, product or service is a crucial first step in creating a memorable brand. A brand name is more than a bunch of letters – it is often the first and last encounter someone has with your business, it is the cornerstone of your brand and the beginning of a conversation.
How can we help?
For over 25 years Axiom has worked with a variety of businesses in developing memorable brand names – from vetting and advising through to complete brand name research, strategy and creation.