What is in a name?

Names are a convenient way for customers to identify, remember, discuss, and compare your brand. Names are one of the most important aspects of a brand. They are often the most neglected because businesses don't usually start to focus on their brand until the company is already started. It takes a lot of vision to consider the brand prior to the creation of a company.

Criteria for a good name:

  • Distinctive: Is your name unique and differentiated from the competition? If it would work just as well for another entity, it is probably not distinctive.
  • Brevity: Short enough to be easily recalled and used.
  • Meaningful: It communicates something about the essence of the brand and company image.
  • Easy spelling and pronunciation: Will most people be able to spell it after they have heard it? Or pronounce it if they read it?
  • Likability: People should enjoy saying the name, or it should be intellectually stimulating. It should have positive connotations in the markets served.
  • Modular: It enables a company to build brand extensions with ease.
  • Protectability: It can be owned and trademarked. A domain is available
  • Visual: It lends itself well to graphic presentation in a logo, text, and brand architecture.
  • Sustainability: The name is future-oriented for growth, change, and success.

Things to avoid:

  • Many companies want their product name to become a common noun. This is a mistake. Names that transition from proper noun to a common noun are called "generoyms"  Almost all generonyms suffer the same fate of "generocide". Generocide is when a company name looses it's distinctive value. It happens when competitors parasite off of the reputation that the genoronym companies have built. Examples of generocide have been seen companies such as Kleenex, Baggies, Xerox, Walkman, Plexiglas, and Rollerblade.
  • Many companies don't think they can afford testing their name. Names need to last over time. Companies cannot afford loosing their name because they didn't do the proper research.
  • Companies don't review enough name possibilities. Companies should review hundreds of names to find the right one.