Starting a company with a distinctive name means your business has a good chance of succeeding in the market. Many entrepreneurs struggle with finding great brand names for their business and most often end up making damaging mistakes. So today, we’ll give you a simple walkthrough on how to avoid these brand naming errors.
But first, here’s why great brand names matter.
Why Great Brand Names Matter
Without a doubt, your business will have an easier time staying in the minds of people if you have a strong brand name. And, because their thoughts are already flooded with a variety of brands, startups find it harder to draw customers’ attention.
A great brand name, just like a great logo, always stands out among the variety of dull brand names in any sector and is also a key component in capturing and maintaining your customers’ attention. When you consider well-known brands like Apple and Tesla, it’s clear that their names succeed at sticking in our minds.
The Effects of Choosing an Unsuitable Name
Since its beginnings, social media has been a game-changer for businesses. It not only aids company development by enhancing brand awareness but also allows customers to provide suggestions to brands.
And, given that branding is more about how your audience perceives your business, choosing an incorrect brand name may undermine your brand and have disastrous effects, such as:
- Forced rebranding. A great example was Facebook’s impromptu rebranding to Meta in the face of serious misconduct and backlash.
- Boycotts, such as the one we saw with UCLA and Walmart.
- Scandals and a tarnished corporate image.
- Lawsuits like when Iceland (the country) sued Iceland (the company).
- Weaken market performance.
- Cause a decline in investors and key business partners.
- Making it difficult to find qualified employees.
We’ve spoken with many entrepreneurs, and most of them use one of these three methods to come up with great brand names for their businesses: brainstorming, leveraging a trustworthy business name generator, or seeking help from a reputable naming agency.
But, regardless of which road you take, there are several characteristics you should look for if you want your brand name to create a great impression on your clients.
Four Common Naming Errors You Need to Avoid
1. Names that have Bad Interpretations
Buyers have strong sentiments when it comes to sensitive social issues. And if your firm chooses to confront such issues head-on—even if it’s not through your brand’s name—you’ll lose consumers because individuals who aren’t in support of the cause will be less interested in purchasing from your company.
Choosing names like Lime Crime’s ‘China Doll,’ Colourpop’s ‘Typo,’ and ‘Yikes,’ two tragic words Colourpop chose for their darkest shade of cosmetics, will only result in negative critiques because these names are offensive and ridiculous.
Also, bear in mind that customers can’t distinguish the difference between a business’s actions and that of its founder or CEO in whatever you’re doing. As a result, it’s critical to steer clear of, or handle with the utmost caution, any politically sensitive issue; otherwise, your company might wind up like MyPillow, Harry’s Razor, or Gillette.
Ensure your brand name is free of negative interpretations if you want to make a good impression on your consumers.
2. Brand Names that are Challenging to Pronounce
Short and straightforward names are great because they are easy to understand and find on the internet. People are drawn to simple, plain, and memorable business names.
However, if your business’s name is too complex, you risk losing clients to competitors that have names that are straightforward, unique, and interesting.
It may surprise you to learn that after three days, more than 80% of purchasers forget about branded material. Picking a short and catchy name is the best approach to making your brand memorable.
Unfortunately, many firms have disregarded the need to pick an attractive business name, neglecting the fact that Amazon, Apple, and Target leveraged their solid brandable names to establish themselves in the minds of customers.
It may surprise you to know that the renaming of Instagram from Burbn, which is clearly a lesser name than Instagram, was the spark that fueled the company’s development.
Take it from us: complicated names do not get the same warm response from customers as simple and memorable ones. So ensure that your goal when naming your firm should be to find a name that people will remember quickly.
3. Foreign Translations that aren’t Very Nice
People from all across the world will engage with your company, either through advertisements or by happenstance. Clients will reject your product in place of a well-branded competitor if our brand’s name means something offensive in their local language.
This is why, while looking for a great brand name, every business should conduct significant research to ensure that the name they choose is not offensive to customers in other countries.
Sadly, some companies have made this error by selecting names that are unpleasant in another language. Two excellent examples are Mazda’s Laputa, which is Spanish for “The Whore,” and the Iranian detergent ‘Barf.’
Nokia’s ‘successful’ mobile phone, Lumia, which also happens to be a Spanish slang word for ‘prostitute,’ was swiftly abandoned by Spanish customers, the same way Mazda’s Laputa was abandoned.
So, whether you’re running a local or worldwide firm, always keep in mind how people in different parts of the world interpret and interact with your brand name.
Always Put Your Customers First
One of the most troublesome aspects of branding is that errors can easily shape and characterize your entire business to buyers.
Remember, weak brand names are frequently the result of business owners neglecting to prioritize their company’s and consumers’ demands. These businesses wind up with names that don’t adequately reflect their brand, irritate customers and are difficult to sell. Therefore, make sure your organization has a distinct brand identity that consumers can identify with.
Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients such as Nestle, Dell, Nuskin, and AutoNation.