What’s in a name?

The name is the foundation of your brand. Once in the market place, your brand name will greatly determine your position in the fight for customers.  Far more than just a series of letters, a successful brand name can help your product survive for a long time if it is able to stand the test of time.

But how do you come up with a good brand name?

I always tell people to be careful and do their research when it comes to naming a new brand. Choosing a name is a very personal thing. Anyone who has named their offspring will have gone through a questioning process which could just as reasonably be applied to that of a brand. Some useful things to think about are shown below:

  • Is it a name which will last?
  • Is it a name which is too fashionable?
  • Does it fit your personality?
  • Does it have ‘the right’ connotations? Are the brand values projected - young   and vibrant, large and well established, localised or international, a specialist, etc?
  • Does it produce an acceptable acronym together with the other initials in the name?
  • Is it a name which will be appropriate in all stages of life?
  • Is it easy for everyone to pronounce?
  • Will it be remembered?
  • Will the name get shortened or altered to one that is acceptable?

However there are four things you should remember about brand names:

  1. Brand names should be simple so that they are easy to understand, pronounce and spell. Two words in the name should be considered the maximum.
  2. Brand names should be vivid in imagery so that the mnemonics present strong memory cues. For example, it is said that names beginning with the letter K are easier to remember.
  3. Brand names should be familiar sounding so that much of the information to which the name relates is already stored in the mind.
  4. Brand names should be distinctive so that the word attracts attention and does not become confused with other brands.
  5. It’s all in the translation!

But occasionally there are some great howlers when it comes to the potential translation dangers if the brand is to be used outside the domestic market. An innocuous English name may mean something very different written or spoken in French, German or some other language. To finish, check out the following:

  • Coors put its slogan, “Turn it loose,” into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from diarrhoea.”
  • In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into “Schweppes Toilet Water.”
  • Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave,” in Chinese.
  • Ford Motors launched a car under the name “Pinto” in Brazil but it turned out the Pinto in Brazilian mean “small male sex organ” and had to change the name to “Corcel” which means Horse.
  • Rolls Royce 'Silver Mist’ – the name had to be changed in Germany because Mist means 'dung’ or “s**t” in German, they changed the name to Silver Cloud.

If you need help with your brand naming so that it communicates only the right messages about you and your business then contact Vicky Boulton at Fuel

vicky@fuelmarketing.co.uk or call 07766 566690.