What brand names do you like? We always ask this question at start-up meetings with new customers. The answer is usually some well-known and popular brand name associated with a revolutionary or qualitative product. Very few people find names linked to unsuccessful products and services impressive. This little experiment says a lot. It is not really the name itself, but what it represents, that is the most important thing. However, choosing a certain kind of name over others can be strategically wiser. Here, we summarize the three most common name categories with a possible pros and cons for each:
The descriptive name
Many believe that the best thing a name can achieve is to clearly describe the service, product or company. We are not saying that this is wrong, but it is definitely short-term and a mindset of the past.
Pro: The target group immediately understands what you are all about.
Con: The name restricts expansion and can feel unimaginative and cheap. It is also hard to own and protect legally.
The associative name
Most companies today go for an associative name. The name gives a hint of what the business is doing or their core values. These names can be ingenious and effective.
Pro: “Clever enough” is easy to like.
Con: You need to be careful with the association itself, so it doesn’t limit your future offer.
The stand-alone name
A stand-alone brand name requires a little more, as it needs to be filled with meaning, content and history. A perhaps brave and risky choice, but also the smartest one in the long run.
Pro: Unique and easy to protect – two very strong features!
Con: You get nothing for free (but have everything to gain).
Want to know more about different name categories or help develop a strategic name platform that reflects your company’s vision and values?