What’s the difference between a brand name and a business name?
Most people assume that business names and brand names are identical. Whilst this can be the case for some businesses, a large number of corporations have brand names focused around their products or services whilst their business name is just used for legal purposes and, in some cases, is not related at all to the company. Another difference is the legal suffix that business names have to use, such as Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) in America and Limited Liability Company (LTD) in England.
What makes a good brand name (Expert tips)
Your name is what comes to mind when clients think about your industry, see your company’s colours, and when they’re looking for the products you offer. For this reason, your brand name must be synonymous with your products, something completely unique to your company. Brand names can trigger emotions and your name should be no different. When developing name ideas, think about the emotions you want to trigger and the message you want to get across to customers. An obvious example of this would be Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). It clearly tells readers what their product is (fried chicken), where it started (Kentucky) and it invokes feelings of hunger and can even make you begin to salivate. It’s important your brand name matches your brand colours to further invoke emotions and solidify your message.
We know finding the best brand name for your business can be a real headache. Most people want to create a brand name themselves so they feel it’s more personal, but don’t discount the use of a professional branding firm to help nudge you in the direction of the perfect brand. For those who want to generate their own brand name ideas, we’ve put together a quick list of 8 tips that will help you create a good brand name:
What are you hoping to communicate?
Your name should be representative of your business. This does not mean it needs to be the name of the product that you sell (such as Hotels.com) but it shouldn’t be so far from your business that nobody figures out what you provide. There are some brands that developed this approach and went on to become synonymous in their industry (Sony, Kodak, Xerox), but for new brands, it’s a lot easier if your company’s message, products or services are listed within your brand name.
Is the domain name available?
In 2022, it’s crucial that you have your brand’s domain name. If possible, having your domain across multiple TLDs (.com, .co.uk, .net etc…) is a good approach for future expansion and to stop duplicate brands being created with similar/the same names.
What makes your brand unique?
Your brand name needs to tell people why you’re different from other companies in your industry. Simply calling yourself “Ben’s Burgers” doesn’t differentiate you from other burger joints so why would anyone go to your restaurant instead of an established restaurant they’ve tried before?
Consider your customers and your competitors
Look at the competitors in your industry. What style of names do they use? what emotions do they invoke? what message do they get across? Successful brands in your industry will give you a good insight into what customers resonate with.
Companies see a significant increase in customers’ lifetime value when there is an emotional connection built with the brand. Building that connection with customers and having them associate your brand as a brand they buy with will massively improve your customer retention.
Making a memorable brand is crucial to making sure you stand out from your competition. Want to look something up do you Yahoo it? No, you Google it. What about if you need to clean, do you Vacuum or Hoover? Some brands become so synonymous with their industry that they become the word used to describe the action. If you want to create a memorable brand, this is a great approach to take when developing brand name ideas.
To help customers create a connection with your brand, a brand name that hints at the story of the brand are the perfect approach. A good example of this is Robinhood (the investing site). Robinhood is a classic tale where a bandit steals money from the rich and gives it to the poor. This aligns with Robinhood’s company vision, they want to take money from the market and rich companies and provide it to the average person through investing.
Make it easy to pronounce and spell
People are put off by things that confuse them, so having a brand name that’s difficult to spell or pronounce can be problematic when trying to grow your brand. You don’t want customers to struggle to find you online because they can’t remember how to spell your name or not be able to discuss your brand with their friends because they aren’t sure how to pronounce it correctly.
How to create a brand name in 5 simple steps
Get to know your target market
You want your brand name to resonate with your customers and the only way to figure out information about your customers is by getting to know them. Running interviews, mass surveys, or focus groups are all great ways to get information about your target audience.
Determine your brand’s values
People are emotional. People determine brands that they use based on the emotional connections they hold with the brand. A great way to build an emotional connection with customers is to hold values that also align with their values. Companies in the western world whose values are to be sustainable, provide good wages for all, and are inclusive will perform better than companies who do not hold those values as these are values growing in popularity with consumers.
Brainstorm potential brand names
Developing a brand name isn’t easy. To make it easier, have a brainstorming session. Grab a pen and paper and start jotting down everything that comes to mind. There are no bad ideas when brainstorming and constantly writing different names and variations might lead to you stumbling across a gold mine of names that are perfect for your brand.
Make sure your brand name is available
Once you’ve selected a brand name, you must identify if the brand name is available. This can be done by checking the government’s ‘find information on a company‘ service. Whether you’re an online business or an in-person business, you should always check to see if your brand name is available as a domain.
Conduct a linguistic screening
A key reason for brands to fail is poor name choice. Once you’ve selected your brand name, it’s important to run a linguistic screening. This will give you the opportunity to double-check your brand name, making sure that it can be spelt easily and pronounced easily. The last thing you want with a new brand is a difficult or forgetful name.