Shakespeare once famously said, “What’s in a name?” Apparently a lot! Names are the pathways that take you to new people, places and things. When you meet someone new, his or her name is the first thing you want to know. When you visit a new place, you brag about the name to your heart’s content. Even though there might be many others with the same name, it gives you a unique identity.
The importance of a name increases manifold when you are trying to name a brand or an organisation. A name becomes your brand’s identity and it is imperative to get it right. But there are many factors one needs to keep in mind when naming their brand.
BestMediaInfo.com tried to narrow it down to a few important ones by speaking to Lulu Raghavan, Managing Director, Landor and Narayan Devanathan, Group Executive and Strategy Officer, Dentsu Brand Agencies, India.
Meaningful names go well
“Your brand name is a great opportunity to say something about who you are and what you stand for. Go for something meaningful versus something totally random and senseless,” said Raghavan.
Names are the window to what your product or brand really stands. Giving the example of Amazon, Raghavan said, “Think to how well Amazon works for a marketplace suggesting vastness, exploration, adventure (the fun of discovery).”
Think of the relevance:
Relevance is an important aspect to keep in mind while doing anything. If you are not relevant, then you are passé. According to Devanathan relevance has an important function to play when naming a brand.
According to Devanathan, some of the questions that one must keep in mind while naming a brand are, “Does the name signal the category that it’s a part of it? If it’s creating a new category altogether, is there something that relates to it? Can consumers draw an inference from the name about the product offering? Is it what consumers are looking for?”
Short and simple
South Indians generally get roasted for really long names. Yeah, that could be the fate of your brand too. Short and simple names are easy to remember, works globally and people don’t have to constantly keep guessing if they are saying it right.
Grab customer’s attention
Brands are dime a dozen in the world and there are new ones cropping up every day. So how do you ensure that your brand name is different and stands out in the milieu? The key is to make it interesting. A brand name should be able to grab the customers’ attention and make them wonder.
“Does it make people ask ‘Hmm, I wonder what that’s about?’,” asks Devanathan.
Evocative or suggestive names
Going back to when they were working on Lavasa, Raghavan told us in an earlier interview, “When we were doing Lavasa, we could have called it Lake Town but there are only so many things you can say with that name. It is a town and it has a lake, so it is a very restrictive kind of a name and you can’t do anything with it. But a name like Lavasa is open and fluid and immediately opens pathways for marketing and branding.”
An evocative or suggestive name will work much better over a descriptive name because such names becomes much deeper vessels for messages over time and a lot can be done with them.
Ensure no negativity is attached to name
If you are trying to make a global brand it is imperative to ensure that the name you chose doesn’t have negativity attached to it in any other culture or language.
A classic example would be that of Tata Tiago. The car was to be initially launched under the name Zica. But when the Zika virus outbreak happened, the company had to look for another option so as to not get itself unnecessarily attached to the deadly virus.
Trademark search a must
It is of utmost importance to do a thorough trademark search in all relevant trademark categories and geographies.
“Registerability and ownability are important. Your brand is your most important asset and your name is the vessel that carries all the brand value. Make sure it counts,” said Raghavan.
Also, it is super annoying when some else waltz in with the same name as yours and tries to steal your uniqueness and thunder away.
It needs to be distinctive
Last but not the least make sure the name is distinctive.
“According to Google, the world generates as much information in an hour (or something like that) as had existed from the first instance of recorded information until the early 2000s. In short, there’s a whole lot of clutter in the world. And if a brand has to stand a chance to become relevant or interesting, it needs to be distinctive,” said Devanathan.