Marketing News: Why a great name can play an important role in a brand’s identity
Marketing News

Why a great name can play an important role in a brand’s identity

A large part of any brand identity lies in its name, but how do you create one that sticks?

Many brands are named after their owners while others take inspiration from more interesting origins, either from ancient mythology or created just out of pot-luck. Some businesses have the confidence to come up with a brand name that might appear random at first, although marketing foresight assures small business owners that fun ideas could one day develop and lead to a great brand name.

Years ago, most companies preferred – and were able to own – generic, descriptive names. For example, International Business Machines (IBM), British Airways, Paypal or Playstation. Now, the trend seems to be a desire for names that are ‘arbitrary’, where they have nothing to do with their product or services. Delve a little deeper, however, and you’ll discover a meaning that’s important to its stakeholders. Often these are hidden within company logos or clever communications strategies that subtly hint emotive messages to connect and engage with customers. Apple, Ikea, Uber are some of the few successful names that have followed this approach.

A great name can play an important role for a brand’s identity. It can certainly help it stand out in a competitive marketplace. Savvy small business owners should choose one that’s unique and that captures the essence of what your company does while ensuring that it isn’t used anywhere else.

For it to become instantly recognisable, ensure that it is distinctive, ownable and memorable rather than rational, descriptive or explicable.

Apply some of the mechanisms that creative branding agencies use within their strategies such as: ‘Repetition’, ‘Rhythm’, ‘Alliteration’ and ‘Memorability’ and you can’t go wrong. Just look at Kit-Kat and Coca-Cola!

In an article published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, Kim Robertson suggests there are 9 generalisations that help individuals select a ‘good’ name for a company, product or service.

These include:

  • The brand name should be a simple, emotive, distinctive and meaningful word
  • The brand name should be a verbal / sound associate of the product class
  • The brand name should make use of the repetitive sounds generated by alliteration, assonance, consonance, rhyme and rhythm

Having the right brand name is a crucial part of developing a strong identity that could help you to leapfrog competitors and grow your business.

Further Reading/Sources
The meaning of 35 famous brand names Digital Synopsis
10 Great Business Names That Started Out Meaningless Novanym
The true meaning behind 35 top brand names Campaign
Give them something to say: Two strategies for developing memorable brand names addison whitney
Strategically desirable brand name characteristics Baruch College