What’s in a Name?

Business Article
Whats In A Name

Your name and graphic brand standards are a piece of the pie. So the next time you find yourself trying to come up with name keep in mind it’s not the end all of your product, but often times is one of the first items that needs to be addressed.

Here are seven criteria that I recently read from Marty Neumeier’s “The Brand Gap” for deciding on a good name for whatever industry you represent.

1. Distinctiveness: Does it stand out from the crowd; especially form other names in its class? Does it separate well from ordinary text and speech? The best brand names have the “presence” of a proper noun.

2. Brevity: Is it short enough to be easily recalled and used? Will it resist being reduced to a nickname? Long multi-word names will be quickly shortened to non-communicating initials.

3. Appropriateness: Is there a reasonable fit with the business purpose of the entity? If it would work just as well or better for another entity, keep looking.

4. Easy Spelling and Pronunciation: Will most people be able to spell the name after hearing it spoken? Will they be able to pronounce it after seeing it written? A name shouldn’t turn into a spelling test or make people feel ignorant.

5. Likeability: Will people enjoy using the name? Names that are intellectually stimulating, or provide a good “mouth feel,” have a head start over those that don’t.

6. Extendibility: Does it have “legs”? Does it suggest a visual interpretation or lend itself to a number of creative executions? Great names provide endless opportunities for brand play.

7. Protectability: Can it be trademarked? Is it available for web use? While names can be trademarked, some names are more defensible than others, making them safer and more valuable in the long run.

Want more? Pick up a copy of “The Brand Gap,” set aside a couple of hours and read it cover to cover. Then, put it the text into action. You’ll be well on your way. Give us a call if you get stuck.


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