How To Choose A Brand Name

By Lauren | Brain food

Jun 10

Most professional services providers like to choose a brand name that explains what they do.

But it really isn't necessary, or even a good idea to be so self explanatory.

Much as you might think it's necessary to describe what you do, you can choose a brand using a powerful science that engages more emotionally with your prospect's brain.

It's called Neurobranding, and is the understanding of how the brain 'sees' brands.

Using Neurobranding to create your brand name gives you a totally unique brand that actually means something.

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The reason you might think the idea of a descriptive brand name is best, is your own innate desire to explain what you do.

It's only human nature to want to be understood and as a coach, mentor, trainer or consultant and you also probably want to stand out from the competition.

It's human nature to want your brand name to help others understand what you do.

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Yet the most iconic and easily recalled brand names do nothing to explain brand benefits and have massive recognition.

Leading technology companies seem to have gone fruity, with Apple, Blackberry and Orange

Pizza playing Dominoes and social media going Twitter.

It’s also untrue that your brand name needs to be descriptive in order to be SEO friendly.

All the web developers and SEO experts I’ve talked to agree it’s more important to be consistent with keywords and focused quality content, than to have a brand name that includes a specific word.

That is, of course, unless your business is a Boston Bakery or Plimmerton Plumber.

For professional services providers, who struggle with brand names because they are selling the invisible, it's so much more important to stand out because of your story, than your location.

Professional Service Providers struggle to choose a brand name because they are selling the invisible.

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Some take the easy way out and name their business with their own name.

But that's even more risky and not a clever way to create an asset or a meaningful brand. You can read more about why using your name for your brand is not a good idea here.

In reality, there are only three categories of brand name to choose from, and only one of them is a descriptive name, so that makes it easier for you.

There are only 3 categories of brand name, making it easy to choose yours.

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The top three brand name categories:

The best brand names are either created, abstract or descriptive:

1. Created brand names include;

  • Google - a googol is a very large number - a '1' followed by a hundred 000's - the idea being that Google delivers the mos search results
  • Xerox - which has become an eponym (the echelon of brand names like Hoover, Kleenex and Band-Aid) where a proprietary name is used as a verb, or to describe a general use
  • Adidas - is Adolf 'Adi' Dasslers name joined together, interestingly his brother Rudolf's brand is Puma, which belongs in the next category of abstract names.

You can certainly create a brand using your name like Adolf Dassler did, or play around with the spelling of a word - like cloud business Xero, to come up with something iconic and unique - this helps with domain name, business name registration and trademarking too.

Some of the brand name case studies we've helped create using this category which have brilliant brand stories:

Vurv* 
Natural thyroid specialist clinic, unusual spelling of the word verve, meaning energy and vitality, which is what you want if you have thyroid issues.

B!zmot Business Consulting.
This consultancy helps business owners to find their "Business Moment Of Truth" so they can focus on what really matters.

Amoci is sanskrit and means 'releasing from bonds'. It was chosen as the brand name for a back pain removal consultancy with the tagline liberation from back pain.

2. Abstract:

  • Apple - a fruit or tech company
  • Twitter - a social media platform or a noise a bird makes
  • Dominos - a pizza chain or a child's game

These incredibly well known brands in this category such as Virgin, are easy to identify because they are simple, short, catchy and easy to pronounce so the brain loves them even though they theoretically used out of context.

Play around with ancient languages or Greek mythology like Nike - the goddess of victory, to find a name that tells your brand story and create emotion.

Some of the abstract brand case studies from those we've helped include:

Burgundy - Bespoke Jewellers.
As a colour, burgundy is very regal, indicating luxury and service but also Lady Burgundy was the first women ever to be proposed to and receive a diamond engagement ring.

Pitbull - Mindset Coaching. Enabling this mentor to live her brand and be more confrontational than others in her sector.

Wildfire - Business Consulting.
Chosen because their approach and programs, sweep through an overwhelmed business, burning away old thinking, nurturing change and  bringing about fresh, new growth.

3. Descriptive:

  • The Cheesecake Shop
  • carsales.com
  • Jims Mowing (and many other variants including Jims Cleaning and Pet Washing Services).

There is not much to explain with brands in this category, which is why they have far less meaning in terms of Neurobranding, or getting an emotional message to engage the human brain.

Some of the descriptive brands we've helped create include:

Realskin Clinic.
Focusing on their ideal client, women who want to take care of their skin without looking fake. They value real service.

Soothe Mobile Massage.
Taking care to those who need it in aged care and with disabilities. Taking the time to deliver comfort and relief.
Mobility in many ways.

Ezi Office Supplies.
When they were called Sharpe Office Suppliers customers got confused and thought they sold fax machines!
The new brand makes sure running an office full of staff and never running out of stationery, is ezi!

Oh and by the way, you should avoid using an acronym for your brand name too…

What’s wrong with using letters given IBM, ANZ, UPS and a host of others brands do exactly that?

Remember what I said about the importance of generating an emotion with your brand?

How can three letters of a brand name generate any sort of emotion? IBM and ANZ at least use blue in their branding to create a feeling of safety and reassurance. UPS is brown and gold, indicating down-to-earth but quality service.

The brain doesn’t think in words, it thinks in pictures and it’s just too difficult to instantly convey a brand essence with an acronym, especially when you are starting out in business, so avoid it if you can.

The best brand names are either created, abstract or descriptive

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The most important factor in choosing a brand name is to create meaning. For you, your ideal client and for their brain.

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About the Author

Lauren Clemett is the Best Selling Author of the “SELLING YOU” series of practical guidebooks Know Me, Like Me & Trust Me. She is a personal branding specialist and award winning Neurobrander, helping service providers and consultants generate more income from their expertise. For more information Click Here.

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