To find an appropriate brand name, you must first know your brand voice. Who you are, rather than what you do, should be reflected in your name. An efficient tool to define who you are is to use references from popular culture in your strategy and naming processes. And we can’t all be The Rolling Stones.
It may seem trivial, but sometimes the best way to reach a hard decision, is to ask (seemingly) easy questions. Such as, “What band is my brand?”
From our experience, most people immediately name their personal favorite band or artist. Of course, their company just happens to be a superstar who’s sold 80 million records worldwide. But is it accurate? Or could it be that your business is more like the indie artist with a small but enthusiastic fanbase that keeps growing over time? Of course, we get why people react the way they do, and in business, thinking big is not a bad thing. But this simple exercise also says a lot about the dangers of working from an inside-out perspective, rather than the other way around.
Awareness Is the Key
An essential part of your branding and naming strategy is to find out how your current and potential target audiences perceive you. If you fail to reach them on an emotional level, they will likely choose a competitor instead. If you, for instance, sell manure for farming, chances are quite slim that your brand screams – or even should scream – Keith Richards. Just because you like a certain vibe, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your product, service or company (although it could be). Since this is the foundation of your communication, you need to find the voice and language that works in your favor, preferably before you decide on a new name.
It’s much more important to define what makes you stand out, than to identify with the giants of the game. Remember, even giants started small, and the ones who made it all had something unique to bring to the table. So, next time somebody asks you what band your brand is, think outside the charts.