How to name a brand – The Right Steps to Follow

How to name a brand – The Right Steps to Follow

“A brand manifests itself in the minds of consumers.”

The process of transforming products and companies into known entities is what branding essentially is.

A brand is, however, more than the presentation of logos and symbols in promotions.

In simple words, brands are something that people can retain in their minds for a long time. Ones preference to a brand is subjected to the lifestyle he/she prefers. Its human nature to ally ourselves to everything and the same goes to our purchased objects. Our purchasing trends show that we purchase objects which we believe can show a solution or adds a value to our life.

Brands are solely based on these.


Branding plays an important role in the success of new products, and is important in its own right. Strong brands distinguish strong players from weaker players in a product/service class.

Branding is important as in to make the customer recall and relatebility high. Customers relate to brands instead of standalone products. One would always choose a Nike over any other non-branded sports shoe.

For new products these is even more important as no matter how innovative your product is, if you don’t have a good brand value, the product will be lost in the sea of new products. Customers generally prefer the safe/tried and tested as they guarantee that they will deliver a particular kind of service.

Going forward, let’s know why people purchase a brand name.


To understand why one purchases brands, we need to get down to the basics. Get out of the marketer’s form and look around you. Which are the brands you align yourself the most? Think about why you purchase a product of a particular brand. Say you’re that crazy about Guns’nRoses, you have a t-shirt of them. Well, Guns’nRoses is more of a brand than a band. Their name is unique, different from what we generally come across. The reason for purchasing a product by its brand name falls into 4 distinction:

    • Confidence in Experiencecustomer gets satisfied with the experience so he purchases the product again. We had discussed about the importance of repeated purchase in our last few articles. The fact that you not only turn visitors into purchasers, but you also ensure that they keep coming back. This is what branding gives you.
    • Social Acceptance-this is the era of “what my neighbor and other people in the town are purchasing?” We, humans, are psychologically programmed to yearn for social acceptance. The society sets a norm for us and we follow it. That is why brands are specific in their target audience. They want the purchasing power of a certain sect of our society as their enablers. If your best friend, who has the same purchasing power as you, is wearing a Reebok trainer, chances are, you’ll be wearing them too.

Also comes the factor of aspirational value where the poor aspire to have the lifestyle of the rich by purchasing a particular brand. So, society sets a big importance to brand

    • Loyalty- From your brand experience, you derive loyalty. This is similarity liking a favorite sport or a favorite team in your favorite sport. You like Manchester United, you are loyal to the team and thus, you buy a jersey to show your support to them in every team match. In fact, you wear their jersey at home, showing it off to your Chelsea supporting friends, who haven’t bought a jersey yet. It’s evident who the bigger fan is. Wearing our loyalty in the sleeves and showing it off is another human trait and we tend to purchase those products which we have been availing for a while.
    • Personal Image- a lot what you stand for get’s percolated into deciding what brand you are going to purchase. Suppose you’re a sports enthusiast, but a runner so you’ll purchase shoes and products of puma as it caters to the runner’s lifestyle and currently have Usian Bolt as their image promoter. So a lot of what you do, what kind of situation or household you grew up in, what do you stand for, help you in choosing a particular brand

Now, ways to name a brand in 10 steps.


“A brand name may be a simple name, a logo or a symbol whereas to others it may be a promise, a guarantee of reputation or identification”

Yep! That’s what we understand of brand names. A brand name sets the tone for the brand. It shows how you would like people to connect with your brand. It should be something people can recall easily. An Apple Mac wouldn’t be as famous if it was called Pineapple Mac!

Here are a simple 10 step guide to go ahead with naming the brand-

    1. Strategize. Develop a killer brand strategy. Know about your target audience. Study the market and chalk out where you want to be.


    1. Competitor hashing. Research where your competitors are. Similar names can be avoided as they will add confusion. You want to distinguish yourself, not be a “me too”.


    1. Keywords and more keywords. Use words that describe the brand. It can be metaphors, emotions, thought keys, imagery, slangs etc. Give your team an idea of your brand strategy and ask them to figure out words the best represent that.


    1. Categorize the keywords. Assemble your keywords and chalk out clearly in which category they belong. Are they fun? To the point? Functional? After you categorize them proceed to having a group discussion.


    1. Put your thinking caps on. Sit down with your team. Mix and match keywords. Take their opinions as in to how would they like to see the brand name. Bounce ideas off each other and don’t be afraid to go bold.


    1. Listing. From all the inputs you have received, make a list. Constant compare your list with your brand strategy to see if it works. Choose names that can make a connection, or are so unique that they grab attention.


    1. Available or not. Check the availability of the name. Go to websites like GoDaddy or who is to see whether it has been done or not.


    1. Be a storyteller. Think of each name and build a story around them. For example, like the name Zoinks, think of your customer as a Shaggy like person, having a dog on the permanent case of munchies. Thinking of the story behind your names gives an insight on what kind of name you want your company to align to.


    1. Throw it to the lions. Create a new way of popularizing your brand-polls. Go out to the mass. Ask them to vote. Put in some freebies alongside. Create a buzz. It’ll help you get a fresh perspective and also create an interest amongst people.


  1. And the winner is. Whichever gets the most votes, select that and watch how it puts your brand to the next level.

But there are a few mistakes which people end up making.


Mistakes can be made but these are not only mistakes, they are offences. Unfortunately people tend to make them time after time.

So let’s make you aware of them before you join the crowd

    • SPELLING GONE BAD- spelling mistakes and abbreviations are a sin but using inane spelling is a kill. Kewtiee Baybie won’t guarantee you credibility, fr sheur!
    • “INSPIRED”- remember Campa Cola? No,na? That’s cause it’s “inspiration” deriving from Coca Cola nailed it’s coffin. Try to break the mold. Being generic is not the most creative way.
    • RIGID/STEREOTYPICAL- Ujjala as a name is something can be related to a bulb-can you imagine it to be a cloth whitener? Keep the name to something that can be extended to line extension.
    • IRRITATING- Allegra itch gel sounds more like a superhero name. Be clear about what you’re going to sell withought killing the sensibilities of the customer. No woman is going to buy Lingerie sanitary napkins, trust us!
    • BLAND- Nokia came from being named after a river in Finland. It stopped connecting people a few years back. Keep it fresh, peppy- more the people recall, the better it is.
    • LINGUISTICALLY CHALLENGED- Foreign unpronounceable names may sound fancy, but it just won’t cut. We know Adobe as “a-doh-bee” when the actual pronunciation is “uh-doe-be”.
  • TOO BRAINY- Patanjali is definitely a candidate here. Too brainy a name can confuse people. That is the reason why Hotel Sheldon in Kolkata finds very few takers.


Naming a brand is tough cookie- we have tried to assist in making your marketing path a little simpler.

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