Struggling to come up with a name for apparel brand or your new t-shirt? Well, this is the easiest part of starting your own brand!
Our creatively seems to dry up when it comes to this seemingly momentous task. Unfortunately, without knowing what to call yourself, you really cannot move too far forward without a solid name in place.
It could become so frustrating that many wish to give up entirely. However, it is often a lot easier to come up with a brand name than people make it out to be, if you follow a systematic approach.
While everyone must choose their own route, there’re a number of general principles that could help you craft your ideal brand name. So before you let writer’s block get the better of you, you should check out this amazing infographic from the Printsome team:
Further Considerations For Naming Your Brand
Borrow Inspiration From Others
While it would not be recommended to “steal” names from existing brands, you can piggyback on the inspiration they provide. If you begin poking around the “About Us” page they may discuss where their name comes from. This simple process alone would flood your mind with plenty of interesting ideas.
Look for brands that catch your eye and more importantly, will catch your audience’s eyes. You can take a similar word / a name that they did, or zero in on the subject that they based their name off of. Play some word association to seek a combination of similar words that reflects your own brand.
If you are still at a loss, take a moment to think about what celebrities or target groups you need to see wearing your brand. Draw up a list of keywords that best represent those people as a whole. Feel free to use a thesaurus / word bank, but be careful that you don’t overdo it & choose words no one can even pronounce or understand!
Make Sure You Can Use It
After you have just spent several hours uncovering awesome names, you will need to check if other websites & brands are already them. This part is the most infuriating part of choosing a name, it often seems each single brand name has already been taken by someone else.
If it is a unique name, chances are the domain or one close similar enough, will be available. If someone else is already using a brand name your dead set on using, you would still be able to, as long as you are not both selling in the same industry.
Another factor to consider is the region & countries you will be operating out of. For example, in the United States, if a company is specific to a certain area, you may be able to use the same name in another region.
While you probably would not be able to call yourself Wal-Mart Tees, as they’re an international brand; if you wanted to launch Ted’s Shirts in Minneapolis & there’s a Ted’s Shirts that only sell within Alaska, you are probably alright to do so.
Other things to consider after you have found a name is whether the internet domain is available. You need to keep it to be easy and memorable, that way it will be easier for others to access. However if the only domain available is a little long or cumbersome, you may want to simplify it, even if does not completely reflect your name.
Before going any further, find out if you can get the necessary trademarks in place. Basing on what country you are operating out of, you’ll have a different set of policies to follow. Be prepared to drop some money, as trademarking is not the cheapest thing to do. However, it is truly an investment & the best way to protect others from using the name you spent so much time working to increase.
Bring in Your Squad
Like with any necessary undertaking, the friend test often proves to be invaluable. But rather than asking whether or not they think it is a good name and domain, see if it survives a night out.
Try bringing up your new business name & domain in a loud place. If you & your buds are going bowling or to catch a game at the local bar, see if they understand what you are saying despite the amount of noise. If they cannot make out the name in a couple of tries, it cannot be the easiest name to understand.
Try scribbling the name out on a bar napkin while you are out & about. While some people do have the penmanship of a chicken, the name should be fairly easy to read in plain black and white. If your name could be mistaken for multiple other names or words, it’ll more than likely confuse others.
Finally, how avant-garde did you go with it? Does it make sense at all? Is it ironic? Too complex? Did you seek the biggest word in the thesaurus even though we already said not to? If your closest friends cannot wrap their heads around your brand name, chances are, your future will not be able to either.
Imagine Your Name as a Tattoo
While you certainly should not run out and get the name inked onto your arm, you should think of your brand name in those terms. The name of a brand will, for all intents & purposes, be a name that must withstand the tests of time. This is not something you can change weekly, monthly or even yearly. A brand, even without a permanent building, is itself permanent. If you have any qualms about the name at all, go back to square one until you are satisfied.
Do people like the way your brand name sounds, or does it turn them off? Whether you can run a poll to your target audience, you will learn a lot about their perception of names. This is a good way to find out if there’s some inappropriate slang term you had not heard of or other disparaging remarks concerning the name, allowing you to adjustment it before it gets set in stone.
Go Get Those Creative Juices Flowing!
Names start out simply enough; researching brands you like & brainstorming relevant keywords & similar terms you can use based off of your favorite brands. Then find out if it is useable online by checking domains, looking up any & all definitions of the word, seeing how many other companies are using the name and even checking to see if it sounds better in a language over another.
Next, you should make sure your immediate circle can understand & pronounce your name, even in a busy & loud environment. If your name is easily readable, it is probably a solid choice. Finally, remember to keep it short, sweet & maybe a little quirky. People always remember “Ebay”, but they did not remember “AuctionWeb” (it is original name).
Finally, it is best to protect your name now with relevant trademarks & drawing up your first logo, so long as you know this is the name you’re going to stick with.