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A single name can paint a thousand pictures. It can clarify, influence and inspire but it can also often represent a missed opportunity if it’s not well thought through.
Naming is possibly one of the hardest areas of branding to get right, often creating tension and headaches right at the beginning of any new product or service. There are many crucial areas to remember when considering a name - not least of all is the role that it potentially plays with consumers. For example, should the consumer identify with it? Is it available? Does it cause offence when used in other languages? Does it confuse in its attempt to differentiate? These are just some very basic top level initial issues – there are many more! These are the types of questions we ask ourselves as a branding company.
Additional issues include whether it will be an online brand only? And if so, how important is it that Google or Bing use it as part of its SEO algorithm?
The issue is that the name often needs to do so many things, that it’s hard to be clear about what is the most important area of consideration. Also, with so many brands in every class, it makes it very hard to use an aligned name to a product that hasn’t been used before. So much so that many brands have resorted to using completely made up names – and this route can also deliver up its own batch of pain!
There is a trend these days (in fact it has been developing over the last 20 years) to create a name that is different and therefore memorable. This is very good in many ways, as long as it doesn’t create confusion and stays relevant. Take Orange as an example, it seemed very strange when the name was first banded around with the board members and decision makers – why Orange? What does it mean? Or 02 or Apple, but in retrospect, these names have been partly responsible for the legendary status that these companies have gained. Imagine if Apple was called the Californian Computer Company or CCC – it doesn’t have the same ring to it now but at the time probably made more sense to those decision makers to go with something like this.
Our own name took us a while to be happy with, as at first it felt strange but now it feels right - it’s at the heart of what we stand for as a brand: we grow things, colourful things, magical things; we create places where people want to be, to sit in the sun and enjoy the view.
Naming is challenging, and without a structured process and thought through methodology, can create some major obstacles, but we have developed a strong and effective process to get to a name that is perfect for any company, from the core of the brand, a name that is relevant, powerful and memorable.