Brand naming can be tortuous

Whichever technique you use to name your business, it has to be the right fit and capture the essence of your approach.
If you have ever been through the brand naming process you know that it can be hugely frustrating. Especially if you have come up with a great shortlist only to find that the names are already taken and you have to start again. It is worth doing a quick check online to search on the names you are considering and see what comes up on the search. For a more detailed check you can use any one of many hosting companies to do a domain search and the whois.net website will also allow you to see who owns a given domain. The other main check is Companies House to see if there is a Limited Company using your name. Finally, you need to think about trademarks and whether you might infringe other rights.
If the process has not put you off there are numerous ways to develop a new name, including:
  • Short, memorable, distinctive: Sony, Avon
  • Founders name: Gillette, Kellogg's, Dyson
  • New meaning: Apple, Shell, Sky
  • Descriptive: Pizza Hut, Playstation
  • Rhythmic: Adidas, Paypal
  • Acronyms: IBM, SAP, BMW
  • Misspellings: Google, Tumblr
  • Made-up names: Xerox, Häagen-Dazs
But you should not be fooled into thinking that by selecting one or more of these techniques and working through the options you will automatically achieve the right brand name for your new business, rebrand or venture to enter a new sector. It is equally important to achieve the 'right fit' for the character of your business and ensure that it 'captures the essence and values' of who you are. So, what does this mean in practice?
When creating the MarbleAir business brand for Anna we were conscious that she wanted to expand beyond her career as an architect to have a highly creative and innovative business, under the umbrella of 'Beyond Architecture.' It was to be edgy, minimalist and challenging. So we came up with MarbleAir to have two contrasting elements, hard and soft, that had a distinctive and intriguing aspect to capture Anna's attitude and business style.
In contrast, working with Andrea on her venue event styling business it was always about the personal touch, sensitivity and caring. We developed The Light Touch brand name to capture the soft and personal attention that was at the core of her approach.
For Malcolm at City & County Graphics when we created the Deckle Edge brand name it was to appeal to account managers in creative agencies. By the nature of their shop window display and exhibition graphics work, the name needed to stand out and demand attention. We made it distinctly different and memorable in a highly competitive market sector. Be seen and get noticed was at the heart of the naming philosophy.
To be honest we are not big fans of names that are chosen just to 'shout' without reference back to what matters most in your business. View the name of your business as a part of the bigger picture and make sure that it fits with the rest of your business strategy.
Alun Williams | 18 October 2017