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Brilliant Brand Names that help You Build a Blooming Brand

Written by: Shelley Tilbrook, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Having worked with many clients and brands, I started to identify common mishaps, sometimes costly, in relation to branding.


This article taps into my learnings on brand names, then provides you with the tools to review or create the best brand name for your business. I will identify the types of brand names, provide you with a brainstorming framework, and the final step is my fruitful brand name evaluation system.

brand name

60% of my clients come to me with an idea and name sorted ready to brand, but the remainder is undecided with a handful of names or are still in the product development stage. It’s also not uncommon for clients to change their mind on the name partway through the design phase. Previously I didn’t have a process to offer other than intuition and name checks on availability. For these reasons, I created a process for my fruitful group clients to ensure they land on a good brand name before the design process starts and avoid costly issues.


First, what do I mean by building a blooming brand?


I talk about blooming brands a lot for the meaning of ‘blooming.’ A blooming brand is thriving, healthy, beautiful, glowing, and exhibiting a freshness primed for growth and bearing fruit. It’s attracting its ideal customer much like a flower attracts bees. I strive to achieve this for every client with the brand design and strategy we develop for them. As for brand names, there is so much power in the words that you use, and I love a double meaning.


A well-defined brand strategy will change the way you do business. An effective brand will attract instead of interrupting your customers. This can be a game-changer for your business growth.


A good brand strategy includes the following elements:

  1. Brand Purpose

  2. Brand Values

  3. Brand Position & Promise

  4. Brand Name & Meaning

  5. Brand Personality

  6. Brand Language

  7. Brand Colours

  8. Brand Identity (the visual elements)

  9. Brand Touchpoints

  10. Brand Story

Having seen the positive impact on branding over products, I created ‘The Fruitful Branding Blueprint.’ I captured each of these key elements in the book, which outlines my unique 10-step branding process to create blooming brands.


This article zooms in on part four, brand name, so you can give your brand a quick health check to ensure it is versatile and sustainable.


So why is it so important to get the brand name right?


Well, I can think of a few things you would want to avoid. Here they are:

  1. Avoid a legal challenge from a trademark infringement. Been there.

  2. Avoid a name change that requires costly rebranding and remarketing to your customers. I’ve seen clients unable to afford a rebrand due to the cost of replacing everything from signage to vehicle decals or products.

  3. Avoid a language translation or cross-culture issue and makes an expensive launch a flop.

More importantly, what can a great brand name bring:

  1. Stand out from your competition;

  2. Position your brand;

  3. Be memorable;

  4. Have longevity, sustainability, and expandability;

  5. Exude your brand values and personality;

  6. Resonate and attract your ideal customer.

Getting the name right from the outset means you can build the brand from day one. Name changes are not uncommon, but they do come at a cost, and there is a re-education of the market required to keep the sales coming through at a steady rate.


When exploring brand names, I recommend first understanding the 7 most popular types of brand names to help you create a brand name faster.


A grasp of naming typology is helpful when embarking on brand name brainstorms and selecting the right type for your brand objectives.


Types of Brand Names

  1. Descriptive Brand Names Descriptive brand names are those that illustrate the service or product offered by an organization. They are functional and utilitarian but leave limited room for creative injection. They instead rely on a tagline to convey personality or tell the brand story. The benefit of descriptive names is they say exactly what you do. However, this can restrict your diversification down the track. Some examples of descriptive brand names include Toys R Us, YouSendIt, and The Weather Channel.

  2. Evocative Brand Names Evocative names use suggestions and metaphors to illustrate the experience or brand position. Evocative brand names are often creative and unique and can make for powerful differentiators against your key competition. Their uniqueness means they are usually easier to trademark than descriptive names. Some brand examples include Nike (meaning goddess of history) and Amazon.

  3. Invented Brand Names Invented brand names allow the most creative breadth for a brand, but they are not easy to materialize. Many invented names are built from Latin, Greek, or other foreign words then modified to represent the brand’s personality. Invented names can educate the market about what you do and, therefore, require a bigger advertising budget, but you should have no issues obtaining a trademark. Great brand name examples include Google, Xerox, and Pixar.

  4. Lexical Brand Names If you’re after memorability, lexical brand names are your type. Lexical names adopt puns, phrases, compound words, alliteration, onomatopoeia (sound), intentional misspellings, and foreign words are all styles of this popular naming type. Lexical names are often clever and get their impact from pairing or modifying existing words for linguistic effect. Also, intentionally misspelling a word so you can leverage its original meaning while skirting trademark concerns. Well-known brands include Krispy Kream, Dunkin' Donuts, Flickr, Sizzler, Tik Tok, and Coca-Cola.

  5. Acronym Brand Names Many big brands use an acronym, but acronyms are sorely lacking in meaning and emotion while functional and utilitarian. Still, some big successful brands use this style, including BMW, BRW, BP, and IBM.

  6. Geographical Brand Names Geographical brand names are primarily for a local business, and some grow into a big brand. This type, however, is popular with airlines or location-based businesses. Some brands that succeeded with a geographical name include Kentucky Fried Chicken, American Airlines, Cisco (short for San Francisco).

  7. Founder Brand Names While definitely easy to trademark, founder names can be distinctive if positioned correctly but require some marketing efforts to build equity (unless, of course, the founder is already famous). Building your personal brand is recommended if going down this route. After their founders, big brands' names include Ford, Ben & Jerry's, Martha Stewart, Kellogg's, and Hewlett-Packard.

Now that you understand the types of brand names, you are ready to brainstorm your own.


Here is a framework to help you get words on a page with these 13 categories.

Step 1: Brainstorm everything you can think of under these categories that you associate with your business.

  1. What is your Industry? i.e., OneSteel, Bosch Automotive, Fitness First

  2. What is your Product/Service? i.e., Boating Camping Fishing, Just Jeans

  3. How do you want people to feel? i.e., Jetstar, Bloom (cosmetics)

  4. What Sounds do you think of? Chupa Chup, Tik Tok

  5. What Result / Benefit do you provide? i.e., Boost Juice, Target, Entertainment Tonight

  6. What Meaning do you want to associate with your brand? i.e., Nike (Goddess of Victory), Fruitful Group

  7. What Symbol do you want to associate with your brand? i.e., Pandora (beauty, curiosity, charm, and cleverness)

  8. What’s your name? i.e., Taylor Law Firm, Ford

  9. What problem do you solve? i.e., Bingle (car insurance)

  10. What do you do? i.e., Jim's Mowing

  11. What’s your location? i.e., National Tiles, Australia Post

  12. Made Up word? i.e., Smiggle

  13. What descriptive words do you want to associate with? i.e., UBER

  14. What are your brand values? i.e., Accurate Accounting, Discovery Channel, United Energy, Athletes for Hope, Port Power

Step 2: Now, you should have a long list or word cloud of potential names. Now you can start to construct them into potential brand names. Here are some tips:

  • Marriage merge. Group some – start and end of two words.

  • Phonetic spelling. Change the spelling of common words, i.e., wurds, wordz, wordx, werds

  • Connect. Join two words, i.e., adjective and what you do / feeling and your product/feeling and your name, i.e., Crazy John

  • Name associations. If you want your customer to feel happy, what do you think of?

  • Synonyms. What similar words work better

From these two processes, you should be able to assemble a top 5 or top 10 potential brand names.


Now the final step is the evaluation where you can use the f.r.u.i.t.f.u.l. framework.

Each of the top names can be scored against the following criteria and rated out of ten. 0 being poor and 10 being perfect.


F stands for fit. Or purpose, product, industry, and target market

R stand for represents your values resonates with your target market, recognize and remembers easily.

U stands for unique. Name, domain, social handles, originality – is your name available? Check business names, trading names, domains, and social media platforms to see if your name or close variation is available.

I stand for intelligible. Able to be understood, unambiguous, pronounceable, Creates intrigue people are curious and want to know more. Idea-based sparks a solution

T stands for twofold. Meaning - what does it mean, synonyms, Translation cross cultures and languages – important for international ventures

F stands for foundation to fruitful growth. A name that supports potential expansion or diversification

U stands for umbrella. Brand or brand family structure will work when you expand.

L stands for legals. Trading name, trademark – if you find a conflict here, then that name needs to be removed or adapted by changing the spelling or combination of words. Leverage diversify the application.


When you tally up the scores from each of the criteria, you will have your brand names ranked, with the highest score being the most adaptable, sustainable, and advantageous.


Remember, you want to have this brand name for a long time, so if it’s not growing on you, it might not be the one. Test the name with some people in your target audience and get their feedback too.


If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of the recently released Fruitful Branding Blueprint eBook, head to the Fruitful Group website, or if you’d like assistance on your next branding project, please contact Shelley Tilbrook at Fruitful Group for a chat.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website for more info!


 

Shelley Tilbrook, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Shelley Tilbrook is a leader in building brands, presenting persuasive pitches, and using storytelling to captivate, connect and convert audiences. After a corporate career in sports and events as a senior marketing executive, she launched her own digital marketing and branding agency, Fruitful Group. She combined her mission 'to engage, educate and empower entrepreneurs to scale sustainable brands' with her expertise around strategic marketing, digital transformations, and brand storytelling. She developed the fruitful foundations for building blooming brands, the pitch-perfect program, and the fruitful formula of content marketing to help start-ups and scale-ups succeed. She founded the Fruitful Faculty, an online school for entrepreneurs and consults across sport-tech, ed-tech, med-tech, and eCommerce with clients including; Athletics Australia, Athletes for Hope Australia, Kidney Health, Political Racquet, and many startups. Her purpose: To positively impact lives with fruitful brand solutions.

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