A few clients have come to me at very very start-up stage, before they’ve even decided on their company name, and that is actually quite useful because it allows me to influence something hugely important in terms of business branding.
It’s well known that people are prompted to purchase by emotional triggers, not because they need something, but because they ‘want it’, they then rationalise their decisions with practical considerations. But if the want and emotion isn’t there, the sale won’t come.
The whole purpose of branding is not only to promote brand loyalty, but to create a brand that provokes an emotional response, and in this respect the name is just as important as the imagery associated with it. It’s just another tool in ramming home that emotional point you want to make.
A strong name is an excellent base for a strong brand if the right imagery is linked with it.
Some examples of excellant company names include in my opinion;
Gentleman & A Van
These names put the company in a very strong position before they even add imagery that the customer then links to the ‘brand behaviour’. Brand behaviour plus brand imagery is what creates a brand image.
A brand design is the image that a customer will grow to link with the brand behaviour. It’s up to the company to ensure that the correct brand behaviour is linked to this image or logo – obviously if your brand behaviour is rubbish, a good name isn’t going to save you
How can you ensure your brand name is a good one?
Ensure the name is catchy, can be pronounced without pain, and is easy to remember, this is especially important for businesses that need customers to visit their website and easily remember their domain name.
Try to be different, it’s hard, but please try. I find that nowadays the lack of domain name availability is forcing businesses to be unique in their company naming which is a good thing. I am beginning to feel that ‘company naming specialists’ must be reaping the benefit of this issue or soon will do.
A good brand name should peak interest and invite the viewer to find out more.
If you aim to trade internationally and really want to do your homework…it’s a good idea to check what your intended name means in the countries you plan to trade with, or may possibly trade with in the future. Avoid negative connotations.
Don’t trap yourself in your company name by choosing one that too narrowly describes your products and/or services. Make sure there is room for future development and changes without having to dissolve into a full rebrand as a result. For this reason geographical names should also always be avoided.
Finally, keep yourself out of court with the following tips;
- Do not be tempted to borrow or modify existing brand names, especially famous brands with big pockets for expensive law suits.
- Avoid words that imply you are something that you are not, the types of word inclusion that you will need authorisation before using include words such as; British, International, England, Ireland, Great Britain, Scotland and anything similar to these related to other countries. In addition to name just a few; Association, Council, Federation, Institute, Co-operative, Society, Chamber, Registered, Provident, Trade Union, Trust, Bank.
You can obtain more information about company names and the law at Companies House