A name is one of the most identifiable elements in the life of a brand and choosing the right one is often a rigorous and exhaustive process.
Whether it’s a new name for an organization, a product, or a campaign – an effective name stands for something and should act as an amplifier for its brand.
The right name is timeless, tireless, easy to say and remember; it stands for something, and facilitates brand extensions. Its sound has rhythm. It looks great in the text of an email and in the logo. A well chosen name is an essential brand asset, as well as a 24/7 workhorse.
A name is transmitted day in and day out, in conversations, emails, voicemails, websites, on the product, on business cards, and in presentations.
The wrong name for a company, product, or service can hinder marketing efforts through miscommunication or because people cannot pronounce it or remember it. It can subject a company to unnecessary legal risks or alienate a market segment. Finding the right name that is legally available is a gargantuan challenge. Naming requires a creative, disciplined, strategic approach.
– Alina Wheeler – “Designing Brand Identity”
Evaluating a Potential Name
When it comes time to evaluate a new name for a brand or a product, evaluate each of your potential names using the following criteria.
Rank each of the names you have to evaluate individually on a scale of 1-10. (Note: This is not a comparison exercise and each of the names can be stronger or weaker in each of the various areas.)
- Is the first impression of the name strong?
- Does it sound good when you say it?
- Does it look good when written out?
- Is it easy to read / pronounce the name?
- Use the name in multiple sentences – Does it feel right?
- Does the name fit with your brand’s story?
- Does the name relate to the primary benefit(s) of your organization?
- Does it sound credible?
- Are quick associations made with the name positive?
- Can the name work internationally?
- Can you register and protect the name legally?
- Can you register the domain, or a suitable version of the domain?
- Is the name memorable?
- How nervous does the name make you? (1 = very, 10 = not at all)
- How well does the name relate to your positioning?
- How well does the name relate to your culture & vision?
Question: What other criteria have you evaluated when you’ve chosen a new name?