6 Guidelines for Naming Your Brand and Product

brand naming guidelines

Brand Naming Guidelines that Set You Up for Retail Success

Creating a name for your brand and product is the first step to success. As a branding agency with almost two decades of experience in this arena, we are often asked how it’s done. Once you have the basic things decided, you can look for branding agencies to work with to grow your brand even more. For now, here are Deal Design’s 6 guidelines for naming success:

1. Make a Decision: Personal Brand or Corporate Brand

There are two basic categories of brands: Personal and Corporate. Personal brands are built around an individual and his or her reputation. Corporate brands are built around a company and its mission. For example, Oprah, Tony Robbins, and Martha Stewart are personal brands. Their products adopt the perceived quality and style of their namesakes. Google, Apple, Starbucks, and Tide are corporate brands. In these cases, the corporate name carries the promise of value.

Often, we encounter people who name their brands after themselves but don’t understand the value of their name and reputation. It may seem arrogant to name a brand after yourself, but if you are the reason for your product’s success, it may be a smart move. On the flip side, if you build a brand around your name, it may be difficult to sell your business later on, since the success you achieve will be closely tied to your name.

2. Shorter is Better

The shorter and simpler your brand or product name is, the better. Shorter names are easier to remember, make for bold logo designs, and are more flexible in application to product packaging, websites, and social media.

Your brand name doesn’t have to explain everything about your business. Your primary objective when naming your brand is to give people an idea of what it stands for. Save longer phrases and explanations for your tagline or brand story.

3. Create a Top 10 List

Chances are, you’ll come up with several awesome names only to find out most of them are already being used by competitors. To save yourself from complete frustration, develop a list of at least 10 that you can research and later, you can eliminate ones that are not usable. You will be left with one or more that still allow for trademarking and a domain name purchase to set you up for success. At Deal Design, we usually create 30 name options, then narrow the list down to the best 10 to present to our clients.

4. Be Unique

While every state will allow you to register a corporate entity under a name being used in other states or around the world, it’s important to select a name that is unique to your brand and/or product. Being unique is undoubtedly the most difficult aspect of naming. A potential solution to this problem is to invent a word that is made up of other words related to your product and mission. Here are some real examples along with the product’s description:

MiracleWipes™ – Specialty cleaning products that clean without smearing and are safe for skin

SkinMedica® – Professional skincare product

SniffRelief™ – Healthcare device that relieves sinus pressure and congestion

5. Research for Available Trademark and Domain

The United States Patent and Trademark Office offers a free online tool (TESS) for searching existing and pending trademark names. Successfully earning a registered trademark means big value for your brand and protection from other people copying it. Having a unique trademark, and it getting approved, is a big step in the continuation and creation of your brand. That’s why you must be careful when making your trademark, as other people have the right to file a trademark notice of opposition if they think it can cause confusion to the public. Taking care in this area could be paramount to your brand. After developing your top 10 name possibilities, start here to see if your name is already owned by someone in the same product class.

Google it! Google is the fastest and easiest way to see who else is using your name options and to determine if they are actual competitors or are in unrelated product categories.

You can conduct domain searches through a number of web hosting sites like GoDaddy.com. You can search your brand name and variations to find URLs that might work for you. Often, you will have to add another word or two to get an available domain. This process tends to require some patience and flexibility, but it’s an important step toward ownership of your brand identity.

Narrow your Top 10 List down to the candidates that make the cut, and then make a decision!

6. Logo Design

The final step in the naming process is creating a logo design for your product and/or brand. It’s a good idea to use an experienced graphic design agency for this. A professional brand designer can create many designs for you to choose from until you find the right fit to represent your business.

Naming your brand is often the first of several steps in launching a successful business. At Deal Design, we are experts in setting brands up for success from the start with professional naming, logo design, packaging design, and more.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your brand get off to an amazing start!