Constructing your brand name – 5 things you must consider

As a content creator, one of the most important things you have to consider is your brand name. Whether it be your artist name or the name of your business. If you want people to remember you, you have to be memorable. Having incredible content is one thing but if no one can remember where it came from, you’re not going to grow.

Brand logos on billboards
Credit: Getty Images

1️⃣ Think big, think catchy

For starters, I’d advise avoiding anything too long. Short and sweet will likely appeal to a wider audience. If people struggle to pronounce your brand name, they’re less likely to use it. Which means they won’t be hyping you up to their friends. Simply because, they can’t. It’s the same with really long names. Even if it can be pronounced, if it’s something they can’t at least shorten, then it might be a bit of a mouthful. For example, the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company shortened their name to 3M. It’s a lot catchier and easier to be shared.

Think big fish, small pond. That’s what you are. Which isn’t my way of telling you to get ahead of yourself. What I mean by that is don’t limit yourself thinking your brand name has to blend into the background. You want to stand out to be noticed. That’s the point. Consider what you want your brand name to stand for. Amazon, for example, makes people think of the rainforest. A large, almost never-ending space. Just like the online store has turned out to be. What do you want people to think of when they hear your brand name? Little mouse, doesn’t have the same ring to it that fierce lion would, do you see what I mean?

2️⃣ Find it and stick with it

Create a shortlist of all of your favourite ideas for your brand. Then try them on for size. What you don’t want to do is keep chopping and changing. It will only confuse your audience. It’s important to decide what you want to show early on. Going back to the previous point, what do you want people to think of when they hear your name. You need to establish what you’re going to offer.

For example, if you’re a shoe brand, and you focus on only footwear, you might want to include that in your name. However, if you later decide to branch out and start selling clothes and accessories, you might end up damaging your chances of gaining clients for this because they think of you as only a shoe brand.

During the earlier days you can get away with changing your artist or brand name, but the more of a following you build up, the harder it will be. Think about it, we all know of a bar or a shop that we still call by its old name. Even if the previous owner has sold up and moved on. Once it’s stuck, it’s stuck. You need a name you can essentially grow with but you also need to be certain of it before you make it public.

3️⃣ Do your research

It sounds obvious I know, but it’s a really important point. You might come up with a name that you think is completely original. After all, you’ve thought of it right? So it has to be? Unfortunately that’s not nessasarily the case. Sometimes our brains work in weird ways. Your subconscious memory can play tricks on you. While you may think you came up with a name late at night, it might have been hidden deep in your memory bank and you can no longer recall when and where you first heard it.

Alternatively, you may have thought of it. In your eyes it could be original. However there are that many brands and companies across the globe that someone else may have had the same thought previously. Of course, there will always be someone, somewhere with matching brand names and that’s fine. It’s when it becomes an issue though. Remember Bounty? The chocolate bar and once the toilet roll brand? Well, eventually after years of us knowing the toilet rolls by this name, they had to change, because the chocolate brand could prove who had it first. If you do your research first, you’ll avoid these bumps in the road.

Another really important factor when doing your research is different cultures and languages. What may mean something harmless in one country, could be deemed as offensive in another. This might not be a huge issue at the start, but if you want your brand to grow, you may eventually market to the wrong people. You don’t want to offend potential clients. It’s obviously not a good brand image to come across as rude and incensitive. An example of an awkward fail was General Motors launching Opel ‘Nova’ in Latin America. The Spanish transation? Not going. Great advertisment for a motor company, to claim it’s not going, right?

4️⃣ You’ve got to be feelin’ it

If you’re not passionate, why should anyone else be? Think of the reasons why you’re creating this brand name. Why this name above others? Does it have a special meaning to you that you’re sharing through your work? How did the name come about? Use all of this when promoting your brand, because it adds new depths to your content. People like to be able to relate and if you make yourself more accessible, it will benefit you overall.

If you’re not passionate about your brand, no one else will be. It could be a childhood nickname, your initials, a play on words. Whatever it is, make sure you’re into it. If it’s your name, it’s representing not only your brand, but you as a person. Surely you want it to show you in the best light possible? Why not try using a pun or alliteration in your name. Companies like Coca-Cola, Krispy Kreme and Range Rover have found it’s worked wonders for them. Short and snappy.

5️⃣ Visualise it

Come up with some designs and see what works. Think about colour schemes or logos. How do you want it to look? Does it fit with the brand name you’ve chosen? If you have a shortlist of names and can’t quite decide on one, it might help to try them out with your logo designs. Although it may sound silly, some designs will work better with names than others. Of course if you’re set on a name, you’ll need to work the visuals around it. However, if you still have options you’re working through, have a play around with them.

Think long term. How could your visual branding change overtime? It’s unlikely your logo will remain the same forever. You need to adapt with the current times. Could you see your artist name selling out arenas? If not, then why? It’s possible you need to go back to the drawing board and have a rethink.

KFC branding evolution
Credit: Giphy

Your branding is one of the most important things, if not the most important. Yes you can have amazing content, but if your brand name doesn’t sell you, then how will you get noticed? Put more time into your brand name. Really think it through and decide what works best for your content and what you’re trying to say. As I mentioned before, once it’s stuck, it’s hard to change. So make it stick for the right reasons.

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