Business of naming
Have all the good business names been taken?
When thinking about brand strategy, naming is essential. It will help establish your brand identity and help ensure you are not confused with your competitors. But have all the good business names been taken?
This selection would suggest they have.
We’ve all seen names like this before. A bit clichéd, pretty unmemorable and falling short of differentiating the brand from the competition.
Maybe these comments are a bit harsh. A name like A1 Solutions is saying we’ll deliver outstanding service and sort out your issues. And as a name it’s easy to say and remember. On the other hand it’s not distinctive and doesn’t do much to help promote the business. It’s a me-too name. Solutions Plus can come along and make similar claims.
And A1 Solutions becomes a problem if it’s competing in a bigger market against established companies which have names with high brand recognition. It might get them to the top of a directory listing, but not much else. And who does printed directories anymore anyway?
Amongst other things a good name identifies who you are so you’re not mistaken for someone else. It can, although not always, say something about what you do, but it certainly says something about what you stand for.
So what makes up a brand good name?
It has to be easy to say, which is not too hard to achieve.
It must be easy to remember, which can be a little more difficult.
And it needs to be distinctive. This is the tricky part.
However, the solution to this isn’t always in the name itself.
FedEx doesn’t have the verve of Virgin. Westpac doesn’t stir the juices in the way that Charlies does.
All of which brings us to the role of graphic design, as a name can be made memorable by the way it’s treated graphically.
Below are a small sample of companies we've renamed and created logos for.
So, have all the good business names been used up? Not by any means but a good name is more than a name. Yes some minimum requirements need to be met – easy to say and remember. But what elevates a name is its visual appearance and what takes it to yet another level are the positive brand associations that customers develop through their experience of the brand. For most of us BMW conjures up images of prestige, great design and precision engineering.
All of which means good names aren’t created overnight. They have to fight to be noticed, they have to deliver consistently and they need to look the part.