If you have been considering introducing a new brand to your portfolio, you have probably stumbled across the issue of name selection. Sometimes the name is born through the natural process of developing a new product or service, and sometimes it is not.

If this happens, you will probably be at a loss as to how to go about creating the new name.

STEP 1: Establishing the background

You will probably be asking your agency to come up with a creative name for your new brand. However, you need to offer a background guidance to them, which will allow them to look for a name that corresponds with what the new brand stands for. This is in fact the most challenging part of the process and if it seems a bit overwhelming, you can ask a good marketing or branding consultant to help you get it in focus.

The background information should include:

  • The concept of the new brand and its identity (what it is, what are its benefits, who is it for, why they would want to have it).
  • The markets you will be serving with this brand (geographic, demographic and psychographic)
  • The languages spoken in these markets (first, second and third)
  • Whether or not you think the brand name needs to be descriptive, aspirational or imaginary
  • A list of web domain extensions you wish to use (so they should be free for the suggested name)

STEP 2: Coming up with a list of suggestions

The agency will probably prepare a list of suggestions that comply with your brief. All of the suggestions should be accompanied by a description of meaning or associations, and a quick background check (including potential negative associations). Also, a domain name check is necessary.

To widen the scope of the names included in the list, you can invite your own employees and partners to come up with some ideas. You are probably not going to find a perfect solution, but a brainstorming session can (and often does) create a cross-pollination of ideas, which can create a fresh approach and bring some interesting outcomes.

STEP 3: Limiting the selection

Once an exhaustive list is ready, select a few ideas that seem best, or decide on the absolute favourite one if you have it.

At this point you should perform a more thorough check of the names in the final selection. Are the names free to be registered as brands within your industry? It is also a good idea to double check whether there is negative connotation to the brand name in any of the languages spoken in the target markets or within any of the target groups.

Also, it is sometimes helpful to ask your designers to come up with a first logo sketch of the selected names. This can be very helpful in the decision process. Some names have more design potential than others and this needs to be considered before making the final decision.

STEP 4: Deciding on the new name

Considerations for the new name should be based on the compliance with the brief, possibility of brand registration, and design potential. If you are not certain and more than one suggestion seems appropriate, a preference check within your user target group is the way to go.

Once you have decided on the name of your new brand, do not forget to register it. The suggested names that did not make through the final cut can be archived for another time or sold.

And what comes next? Brand identity design.