Absolut Vodka. Whole Foods Market. Lululemon. Tesla. Supreme. What do you think of when you hear these brand names? What do you feel? A brand name can be a powerful tool for creating an emotional connection between your brand and your customers. When you’re analyzing the success of a business, the brand name is an undeniably important factor to consider.
Would Whole Foods Market have grown into the health food behemoth they are today if they had named themselves ‘The Green Grocers’ or ‘Vegetables R Us?’ Probably not. The word ‘whole’ gives the customer a feeling of completeness or fullness. The word ‘food’ is broader than the word ‘vegetables,’ so it widens the parameters for the customer. Finally, the word ‘market’ conjures up mental images of tables full of beautifully stacked produce and baskets full of fresh baked bread. It ties their brand name to the idea of a leisurely stroll through an open air market like you might see in France or Italy, perusing the fresh offerings and hand selecting the perfect tomatoes, farm fresh eggs, or fresh cut flowers. All of this imagery and all of these feelings are a result of a brand name that resonates with their customers, which has helped make Whole Foods Market the successful grocery store brand they are today.
So how do you choose your brand name? Let’s take a look at the second tier of the brand pyramid.
Your Brand Name
There are no hard and fast rules for what a brand name can and cannot be. You can literally name your brand anything you want. That said, there are some guidelines that might make finding success with your brand name a bit easier.
A Brand Name SHOULD: be easy to remember, be distinct, create interest, make sense, and be easily adaptable or changeable if your brand ever decides to pivot in a different direction.
A Brand Name SHOULD NOT: be too literal, limit your brand’s options, or slow you down. Don’t get hung up on trying to come up with the perfect brand name. It’s okay to settle for a good enough name right now, and change it later. For example, Google’s first name was BackRub, Pepsi was Brad’s Drink, and Instagram was Burbn.
Choosing the right name for your brand is one of the ways you can set yourself up for success. Once you have the name, it’s time to develop taglines. Next week we will explore taglines in Part 3 of our series on the Brand Pyramid.