Everything has a name: a child, a pet, a car… It’s how we relate, identify, and remember what’s around us. But naming a brand can be a very painful process in any company.

Naming a brand can become a bigger problem than it seems. It can be time-consuming, and sometimes it never seems to satisfy everyone.

Companies often assume that if they have the right products or services, it doesn’t matter what they’re called. However, the truth is that the name is one of the most critical elements for brand differentiation. Without it, customers would never be able to make a true connection. That’s why it’s necessary to have a naming strategy in place from the beginning.

Designing a brand naming strategy is a crucial component of boosting recall, improving market exposure, and gaining the trust of the target audience. Unfortunately, getting the naming strategy right isn’t always as straightforward as it seems.

A brand name isn’t just a selection of well-placed letters; It’s the way to start creating a connection with your audience. For a name to be useful, it should meet these principles.

10 basic principles that a good brand name should have:

  1. A name has to be notorious.
    A name that breaks existing codes can grow the notoriety of a brand (Twingo).
  2. A name has to be distinct and unique.
    You must project a personality of your own (iPhone).
  3. A name has to be flexible and durable.
    It must allow the brand to be extended to other sectors (Sprint).
  4. A name has to be suggestive and evocative.
    Associations that refer to specific concepts are more powerful and easier to retain in the memory (Tigra).
  5. A name has to be believable.
    Descriptive names affect the credibility of the brand when it is intended to extend them to categories other than the original (Natural Gas vs Electricity).
  6. A name has to be consistent with the trademark system.
    It must be able to coexist with other brands associated with similar traits (Zafira, Antara, Meriva).
  7. A name has to be readable and easily pronounceable.
    It is much more complex to build the identity of an unpronounceable brand (Häagen-Dazs).
  8. A name must be registrable.
    The enormous saturation of the records makes the processes difficult. Distinctive names are more easily appropriable (OIKOS).
  9. A name should avoid negative associations.
    It is important to carry out linguistic checks in other languages to avoid blatant errors (Pajero).
  10. Brands are built through good stories.
    The name must be able to synthesize it (La Chelinda).

A good name is still a competitive advantage over all those who don’t understand the power of a name. Undoubtedly, investing in Naming is investing in creating brand value.

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO at Branward®