Six Steps for Creating a Successful Brand Name
We wanted a corporate name that would set our corporate and brand strategy practice apart from ad agencies, design firms, public relations firms, video companies and web firms. We wanted to tell the marketplace that we specialize in corporate and brand strategy. This strategic criteria led us to put together the words the ‘Market’ and its ‘Cues.’ Together they formed the description we were looking for. The steps we used following this name construction served as the qualification that let us know we were on the right path.
Step #2: Naming Alternatives
This is often the fun part: coming up with a large number of names that may or may not be used, but allow you to express all of the thoughts you’ve had about naming your product. Because there are millions of commercially used names, and since they are legally protected; you need a long list to choose from that meets your specific strategic criteria.
- The more unique your product and/or service is the easier it is to name.
To help guide you throughout this process ask yourself “does this brand name fulfill the Strategic Criteria that we have agreed upon?” This will prevent you from using your pet’s name, your child’s name, or a name that may be creative but holds no meaning to the target audience or your product.
Step #3: Image Associations
Although tempting, it is never advisable to use “borrowed interest” when naming your brand. Associations with famous people or leading brand names are usually not advisable. Neither is trying to allude to another brand name or alter a name to disguise it from the original. For one you may end up in court trying to defend a weakly veiled name and for another, borrowing does not let your brand fulfill its true mission.
Tom Marin is the Founder and President of MarketCues, Inc., a national consulting firm. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations and middle-market firms. Tom’s focus is to help CEOs drive their strategy shifts and strategic growth programs. Follow MarketCues on Twitter. Tom also welcomes emails new LinkedIn connections or calls to (919) 908-6145.