Inspired by the requirements of our clients, by the rules of our competitors and by what we do for a living, we present our version of the 5 most common myths about brand naming:
1. Names should start with letters early in the alphabet.
Well, this is probably a very relevant rule… for the age when computers and respectively search engines were not yet invented. When was the last time you looked for a company or product in an alphabetized show guide? In today’s digital era brands can be found easily through computers, phone, tablets, etc. Now let’s take a look at the top 100 global brands for 2010 - some names that start with the last 3 letters in the alphabet are Xerox, Yahoo, Yves Saint Laurent, Zara and Zurich. These names sound more than right to us…
2. Names should not sound offensive in any language.
The truth is that there are too many languages in the world. For example “sure” sounds like “death” in Estonian, but that does not mean that you should not use that word in your name. Today people have a global thinking – it will be harder and harder to scare someone to death with an English word like “sure”. When creating the name, you should just avoid negative connotations in the most common languages, like English, Spanish, French, German and also in the local languages of the markets where you plan to operate. If necessary you can also rebrand your product for some new market. Focus groups could be helpful in this situation.
3. Suggestive names are easier to remember than coined names.
As professionals who create and study brand names every day, we prefer a name that is not obvious and that makes you think for a second, thanks to its metaphor, its structure or thanks to some hidden idea. As strange as it might sound, names that are too obvious are actually easy to forget. This is probably because people do not try remembering the name as they are sure that they have already memorized it. For instance Starbucks is harder to read at first, but once memorized, it is hard to forget. While a name like Elite Coffee (a real brand by the way) is very easy to read and understand, but hard to remember. This is because one will say in a few days "Oh I remember that name, it was something like Top Coffee or Premium Coffee... something like that".
4. Names should be SEO-friendly.
No, your website should be SEO-friendly, not your domain name. Consumers will keep coming to your website if they remember your brand name. In order to increase the traffic to your web page, your brand name needs to be catchy, unique and different. Do not turn your brand name into a 3 word description of your product or service. Remember, you can always put that description in the Meta Keywords of your website and your advertising materials.
5. Outsourcing the name development to a naming company costs more.
When speaking of costs of the naming process, all the resources should be taken into consideration – time, efforts and salaries. Imagine this: the CEO and 3 Brand Managers brainstorm for a week and they come up with names that can not be registered as a trademark, or their domain names are already secured, or nobody can spell them as they should. Does this sound familiar to you? So how much time, efforts and salaries that costs? This is why there is room for naming companies on the market. And some “hunt” better than others.
Now you know what we think you should not do. Learn what we think you should with our 7 golden rules.