I never felt that the naming issue was all that important, but I was obviously wrong, judging by how many people felt ~ Linus Torvalds

What’s in a Name?

Your name is an important part of your identity. It’s one of the first things, if not the first thing, that people get to know about you and begin to form an impression on. Names can become legacy. They say something about you: what you value, what you aspire to, maybe even where you are from.  A name is personal, it identifies and distinguishes you. Equally, names are not only important to the people and brands that they belong to but also the cultures and societies around them. They carry meaning and significance.

Over time, our names start to be associated with with our character and other idiosyncrasies. They carry connections that define our self-identity.

“Words carry hidden baggage that may play at least some role in shaping thought.” Wolfgang Köhler

Brand guru Alina Wheeler defines a good brand name as one that is: timeless, easy to say and remember, stands for something and facilitates brand extensions. How do you make sure your name achieves this?

Pegged on Objectives

Write down the objectives that you want your name to meet. What qualities, associations and impressions would you like? Once you have your objectives down, consider these factors before picking a definitive name:

1. Culture

Names mean different things in different cultures. Be mindful. Make sure yours isn’t negative or with other adverse effects due to cultural norms.

2. Target Audience

Make them like you. It is essential to be relatable and/or have the capacity to create a meaningful connection with your core audience.

3. Availability

While it’s natural to imitate those we admire, keep in mind the need to make your brand distinctive.

4. Future-Proofing

Don’t limit yourself to only the product(s) or services that you currently offer. Consider compatibility with future areas of expansion and diversification.

5. Legacy

If your brand has heritage or managed to build equity in its previous life, embrace it.

6. The Vision

What is your brand’s journey?

Where are you going?

A great brand name should embody the bigger picture.

7. Positioning

Is your brand: premium, value, exclusive, serious, playful, formal …?

Let your name tell of your brand personality and claim your positioning.