How to name your brand or product

How to name your brand or product

Companies, brands, products — we name them all. All the different possibilities and creative potential are seemingly endless. Just like naming children, where Marco and Caroline have given way to Jacob and Emily as favorites, there are trends in business naming as well.

Where do you start? How do you ensure your name says what you want it to say? There are a few standard approaches: You can be descriptive. You can try out wordplay. You can even make up your own word. Here are a couple of ways to get the naming process going.

Describe your product.

What does your product/company/brand do? Can you simply describe it with a name, like Internet Explorer or Takeaway.com?

Big Brand Moments
Big Brand Moments
Helden van Nu; Today’s Heroes
Helden van Nu; Today’s Heroes
Recruitment Radar
Recruitment Radar
Commongrounds
Commongrounds

Play with words.

Your name doesn’t have to be taken literally. You can have a little fun: Be suggestive, like the sleek and fast Ford Mustang or the Ford Expedition, supposedly built for adventure.

Filejeppen taken from File and Fierljeppen
Filejeppen taken from File and Fierljeppen
Permaned taken from Permanent and Nederland
Permaned taken from Permanent and Nederland

Try combining words.

Many brand and product names are already trademarked and the associated domain names have already been registered. By combining two meaningful words, you can form an entirely new brand or product name, like PhotoShop = photograph + workshop.

Supergîtes = Super + Gîtes
Supergîtes = Super + Gîtes

Don’t be confined by a dictionary.

One way to make sure your product name is unique is to make up a word. Gatorade, Fristy, and Doritos are perfect examples. You can also reach into another language.

Yumeko means dream girl in Japanese
Yumeko means dream girl in Japanese

Change the spelling of a word.

Products like Trix, Kix, Fantastik, and even Lego use real words that are misspelled. This is creative and gives you options when the name you want is already trademarked or the related domain names are taken.

Blikr from blikken. Blikken means ‘metal’ and ‘to look’
Blikr from blikken. Blikken means ‘metal’ and ‘to look’

Pick a random word.

You can also pick a word that does not have an obvious relationship to the product itself, but fits naturally with how the product might affect you: Merci brand chocolate. Ahhhhh.

icnic, a media festival with an open and relaxed atmosphere
icnic, a media festival with an open and relaxed atmosphere
Eitje van Utrecht, an app that helps you avoid roadworks
Eitje van Utrecht, an app that helps you avoid roadworks

Pick a letter, or two.

Using acronyms can be clever and short, but it’s also challenging. Can you fit in a description? Is there more than one meaning? For instance, there are 144 meanings of BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), not all of them related to business.

TANC, Transparent Automated Network Car
TANC, Transparent Automated Network Car

Try this:

When you’ve chosen some names, write them down.

  1. Print the options in all UPPERCASE.
  2. Print the options in all lowercase.
  3. Divide each option by its syl la bles.
  4. Now say each option aloud. Say them ten times.
    It’s magic! Your best name will appear!
  5. Now that you’ve chosen your favorite, turn your paper around and look at the shape of the word: name / ǝɯɐu.

Is it balanced? Does it give you a good feeling?

Finally, check the URL options and official registrations and get depressed. Start the process over again at #1.

How may I help you?

What is your challenge? You can call me at 31204233555 or leave a message.
I will respond within one business day.
Hugo Kalf - Managing Director

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