In the last few months we’ve talked about image in branding, and what makes a great logo. In this article we take a small step backwards to discuss “what’s in a name” — the trials of naming a brand, company, or product at its inception.
We (FiG) have been responsible for quite a few company names throughout our years of providing brand naming services. More recently we were hired to re-name “Colorado Insurance Depot”, which is now called (after much research and multiple brainstorming sessions) “Trailstone Insurance Group”. Also, earlier this year we named the up-and-coming business consulting firm “Portocol Business Strategies”, which has a multi-tiered meaning we won’t go into detail about. These are some great new brands that are excited about their new names and we’re happy to have helped them realize their identity.
Now, we can’t go into great detail as to how we come up with names for our clients, otherwise you wouldn’t hire professionals like us to help you understand all the important elements of brand naming. Believe us when we say: you need professionals for this process, as it is definitely not easy. As brand identity specialists, we spend a ton of time doing the pertinent research — from market exploration, to consumer surveys, focus groups, competitive audits, company/staff interviews, brainstorming sessions, and much, much more.
In this article we’re simply going to discuss some of the basic fundamentals in brand naming that you should consider in preparation for naming your new company. Below are 3 key things you should have in mind as you prepare to name your new company, and before you (hopefully) entertain a meeting with FiG.
1.) Identify the feeling you want the brand to convey.
A brand communicates on an emotional wavelength, so make that feeling your core proposition. An easy way to identify what feeling your brand should convey is to figure out what your brand is not. Take a look at the market you’re looking to target, understand your consumer’s frustrations about that particular product or service, and reverse the negative emotions that are associated with it. For example, if your market is considered “misunderstood” or “aggravated”, you could pursue things like “understanding”, “welcoming”, or “patient”.
2.) Identify the persons, places, things, etc. that communicate the brand intellectually.
It’s always a good idea to build a list of real/identifiable things that can not only reference the emotion you’re attempting to convey, but can also (if possible) relate directly to the brand or product itself. A good way to start this process would be to ask yourself: “If I had to pick one object to represent my brand, what would it be?” You could then expound: “If I had to pick one person… one animal… one famous phrase… one historical event”, etc. In this process you will likely end up with a lot of useful information that could potentially help in the naming of your business.
3.) Throw out the obvious, and think outside of the box.
Chances are, if you’ve done step 1 and 2, you have amassed a list of things/words that you’re thinking about actually using as your company’s new name — don’t. Often times the best brand names are the ones that don’t directly say what they are, and that’s a good thing. This is where originality comes into play. The objective is for your name to tell a story without giving away all the juicy details immediately — intrigue is key! You want people to be a bit mystified and curious about your brand.
A good example of this would be Nike. You have no earthly idea what the actual word “Nike” means, but you automatically associate it with sports, athleticism, and victory, right? Well, the actual word “Nike” is derived from greek mythology — Nike is the goddess of strength & speed (athleticism), and victory. Of course, this is just one example. If you were to think about some of your other favorite brands, you can ponder their origins and start to better understand what we’re saying here.
All of these things are a good start to your brand naming journey, but as previously mentioned, there is much more that should be considered during the process of naming your brand. There is much research to be done for each and every market, and we’re here to help! If you’re interested in having FiG Advertising & Marketing help with your brand naming, give us a call or shoot us an email.