Shorter names are generally easier to remember and easier to work with in logo and package design applications. However, simply having a short name is worthless if it doesn’t meet the other criteria. A general rule of thumb: A short name with fewer creative opportunities can be worse than a long name with many.
EMOTIONAL BONDING POWER
When naming a brand or developing a product name, the name must connect with your target market. Ask yourself does the name have emotional bonding power? Will my consumers connect emotionally with this name?
Can your name support product extensions? Does it create a theme that can be carried across a spectrum of future offerings, different categories, etc.?
THREE NAMING PITFALLS & MISTAKES TO AVOID Certainly not all of the above criteria need to be met to develop a great name, but a name that passes the filter of most of these criteria will set you on a path towards success. However, in addition to these criteria, there are a few common pitfalls to avoid as well when developing a name.
1) DON’T TRY TO BE TOO CLEVER Names that are too clever can often be perceived as gimmicky or down-market. Don’t over or underestimate your audience with a name that is either too heady to understand immediately or so contrived that it gets perceived as novelty or worse, crass.
2) YOUR SURNAME IS NOT NECESSARILY OWNABLE While your birth name is certainly yours, it does not assure your ability to use it as your brand name. Keep in mind many people share the same or similar surnames and there is a strong potential that someone has already trademarked it or a name similar to yours.
3) NAMES THAT ARE TOO MYOPIC Always keep your larger business plan, opportunities for expansion, and product line future in view when developing a brand name. Carefully consider the ramifications of developing a name that limits the scope of your product offerings, such as Dave’s Bourbon. This might be a fine name, but if you ever plan to expand into another category such as Gin, you’re in trouble if you have limited your brand opportunities with your brand name.
Keep in mind your developed names will need to be checked for availability with the TTB/Cola registry, US trademark registry and in other countries legally if you have international aspirations. This is work best left to a qualified intellectual property attorney and well worth the investment to be done correctly. Your name should also be searched for URL availability to ensure your brand can easily be found online. It can be a daunting task these days to find a name without conflict, but a killer name will make all the difference when developing your brand and in creating a memorable connection with your consumers. One last piece of advice: Don’t apply for a trademark before securing your brand’s URL. The US Trademark Registry is heavily watched by individuals that monitor the registry, and based on applications, snap up URLs not already secured and then hold them hostage for large sums of money later. Purchasing your main URL and any derivatives ahead of time for a few dollars before applying for trademark is well worth the investment to prevent headaches and a bruised pocket book later.
David Schuemann is the owner and creative director of CF Napa Brand Design. For more information, visit www.cfnapa.com or call (707) 265-1891.
LOGGERHEAD DECO, INC. 1640 LA DAWN DR. PORTAGE, WI 53901 630.206.3747 www.loggerheaddeco.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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