Whether you’re coming up with a fresh new brand name, or if it’s time to rename because your branding isn’t working, there are seven keys to ensure your success.

Before we dive into the keys, it’s essential that you’ve done the foundation work by defining:

These are fundamental to your brand narrative and underpin a powerful brand name. I strongly recommend that you define your brand story before you start on your brand name. When you have, it will help you create something relevant and unique.

A powerful brand name centres around the audible word or words used. As we walk through these steps, think about how your future brand name will sound. I often use the situation of a dinner party when a recommendation for a business to fill a need is made across the table, with no means to write it down.

1. Stickiness

For your brand to be truly memorable it needs to be sticky. This means it creates an instant, concrete image in the mind of the listener purely by the sound of your name. For instance what comes to mind when you hear the brand name: Bluefox? For a more well known example, how about Apple?

2. Keep it Short

The best names are only one or two syllables long. The benefits of keeping it short are that it is easier to remember, there is less room for error when Google searching and easier to design a simpler and more powerful brand identity (Your logo or brand mark).

If you cannot do this, and there are instances where it simply isn’t possible, look to the next point.

3. Control the nickname

People are inherently lazy and they tend to shorten long names. Think Coke vs Coca cola. One syllable vs four. If you consider the nick name at the outset then you can create a powerful brand name from the nickname.

4. Avoid acronyms

Even though your brand may have years of meaning wrapped up in the name prior to the acronym, they are meaningless to your new customers as they will not likely be exposed to them.

5. Spelling

Spell it correctly, and as it sounds, without any clever letter swaps. You will not want to have your staff continually spelling it out for emails and web address, nor will you want to miss any business for the same confusion.

6. Hidden meanings

Check that the brand name doesn’t mean anything embarrassing or insulting elsewhere on the planet. This is all the more important for international businesses.

7. Freehold names

Finally, it has to be a freehold name for you to legally own it. Thorough checking of all the relevant databases is recommended. These include trademarks, business registration, and the all important domains etc.

Further to the last two points. It is always best to develop a long list of names then do your due diligence on each before committing to one.

It is very important to not get too attached to any particular name until you know it is freehold and you can secure all the assets you need, in particular the all important domain names, or you will likely be disappointed.

But, If You Are Renaming Your Business…

Clients often get in touch with us when they feel it is time to rename or rebrand. Often there is more going on beneath the surface than the need for a new name, or refresh of your brand. Take a look at what was happenening with Evan’s business here and how we helped him fall back in love with Mondays again.

As one of the world’s leading brand naming agencies, we love helping our clients avoid costly mistakes and create world class names and brands. Get in touch with us now.