How to Create the Perfect Brand Name

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What's in a name? When it comes to a brand, everything. In the long term a brand is nothing more than a name. In the short term it needs a unique concept or idea to survive, but in the long term that unique idea or concept will disappear and what is left is your brand name and the brand names of your competitors. A brand's name can be it's most valuable asset.

Unless you are the 1st in a category, a unique name is detrimental to your brand's survival. When I say first in a category brands that come to mind with generic names are: General Electric, National Broadcasting Company, National Biscuit Company, and American Express. All of these companies were first in their business category, so a generic name has not really harmed their place in the mind of the consumer. However one must note that each one of them made a shift to using an acronym that made their names unique: GE, NBC, NABISCO, AMEX.

The process in picking a name should be communicated first verbally and then visually. Because the mind processes sound, it is not going to differentiate "Crown Extensions" from "crown extensions".  Of course in your mind you want to think of yourself as THE Crown Extensions, but with such a common name you just become another hair extension company. Generic names in the long run make it tough to stand out from the competition. "Sprinkles" is a great name for a bakery that produces gourmet cupcakes, "Gourmet Cupcakes" is not. "Pinkberry" is a great name for a place that sells frozen yogurt and fruit, "Yougurtland" is not. The success of the Pinkberry brand caused a slew of copycats, however their unique name is what will give their brand long term success.

So you are ready to start your business, but what will you name it?

Exercise:

Get a notebook and paper and list as many words as possible that describe your brand and it's personality. Those words could be anything (colors, verbs, adjectives) don't be afraid to think outside of the box. Some may not even have a meaning (ie: Xerox, Kodak). Once you have listed the words start putting them together to see which ones match up and have a nice ring to them. Say the names out loud and send the list to your friends and family and ask which one resonates with them. Also feel free to drop what you come up with in the comments section in the beautybosslab™ Facebook group for some feed back!