"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names" - Proverb
Why its important to nail your brand name:
1. A great brand name improves recognition
Estimates of your brain's memory capacity vary broadly from 1 to 1,000 terabytes. Without getting too neuroscientific here, each one of the memories in the garguntuan hard drive housed inside your noggin is formed by a snyapse, essentially a tiny connection of information between two micronerves of the brain. These synapses are built much greater when the connection between brain cells, aka associations, are strong. This is why when we hear the words Nike, Apple, and Uber, we think of something completely different to their intended meanings. In short, catchy names are just one of the ways to help improve recognition, which translates into better memory storage.
2. Catchy names win customers
You know that frustrating feeling when you're trying to remember the name of that amazing cafe around the corner, or that delicious new ice cream brand, but can't remember its name, or don't know how to say it? So you end up referring to it as "whatcha-ma-call-it" or simply smoothe over its name to avoid the embarassment of pronouncing it wrong, which doesn't help your friend who's hankering for an ice cream cone, nor does it help you as a brand owner. Word of mouth referrals are the most effective and profitable marketing source out there. But if customers can't remember, or say, the name of your brand, how can they be expected to talk about you?
3. Names get people talking
Your clients, admirers, and future customers want to know, like, and trust you, and they can do this by understanding your story. Your name should tell some kind of story; whether its as simple as being called "Easey's" because your shop is located on Easey Street, or calling yourself "Airbnb" because your business began by using an air mattress on the floor to turn your living room into a bed and breakfast. Your brand name should get people talking, or at least thinking, about its connection to your offering.
4. Names are emotional and cultural
Just like we all have funny reasons for being drawn to or averse to certain names, like not wanting to name our child Sebastien because of the memories it brings back of the 9-year-old Sebastien in your year 3 class who stole your LEGO, emotional reactions to names are hardwired into us. Believe it or not, those reactions are very real influencers of the way we live our lives. Undoubtedly, a name like "Pop's Malt Shoppe" automatically brings back childhood memories of carefree summer days drinking root beer floats. But names can also take on new meanings in different countries, or have cultural nuances attached to them. Therefore its no suprise that Chevrolet had incredibly poor sales upon the launch of their Nova model automobile in Brazil when they found out that "nova" in Spanish translates to "doesn't go"...Woops. In essence, choose your name wisely, and do your homework to research what it might mean to different people.
Just like a good nickname, it can be tough to find a name for your brand that really "sticks". Its important to take time to brainstorm all of the different ways to look at your brand, and how this might implicate customers. If you already have a name but you feel like its not doing much for you anymore, its always possible to reinvent yourself as something else, especially with the help of a branding facelift. A great strategy for coming up with that name that just feels right is approaching your brand using a nametree. We've put together the following naming exercise to help you find something that sticks. You can download it here: