Mistake 4: Ignoring cultural connotations
What are cultural connotations in brand naming?
A cultural connotation is a meaning or association that a word or phrase has in a specific culture or language. For example, “Nike” is the name of the Greek goddess of victory and “Amazon” is the name of the largest river in the world. These names have positive and powerful connotations that enhance their brand image and appeal. However, not all cultural connotations are positive or appropriate. Some names may have negative, offensive or embarrassing meanings or associations in different cultures or languages. For example, “Nova” is a car brand that means “not going” in Spanish.
How to avoid choosing a culturally inappropriate brand name.
To avoid ignoring cultural connotations with your name, choose a respectful and suitable name for your target markets and audiences. Avoid using words or phrases with unintended or undesirable meanings or associations in different cultures or languages and look for words or phrases that are positive and relevant for your brand.
Examples of culturally appropriate brand names.
Instead of using “Nova” as a car brand in Spain, you could use “Luna”, which means “moon” and suggests elegance and innovation. Extensive research and a diverse creative team can help you get this right.
Mistake 5: Forgetting to do your research
Why is research important in brand naming?
Research is an essential part of the brand naming process. It helps you understand your brand positioning, ideal customers, competition and market. It also allows you to generate and evaluate your potential brand names. Without research, you may choose an irrelevant or inappropriate name for your business.
How to use research when choosing your brand name.
Choose your name based on data and insights rather than personal preference, opinion or assumptions. Look for sources and methods that can help you validate and refine your brand name so that you have checked it’s right for your business.
Examples of research tools for brand naming.
You can use online tools such as Namechk to check the availability of domain names and social media handles for your potential brand names. You can use online tools such as Google Trends to check the popularity and demand of keywords related to your possible brand names, or SurveyMonkey to conduct surveys and polls to get feedback from your target audience on your potential brand names.
Mistake 6: Not considering SEO
What is SEO, and why is it important in brand naming?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation, which is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of your website on search engines such as Google. SEO is important for your brand name because it affects how easily and quickly your customers can find you online. A good brand name can help you boost sales by attracting more visitors to your website.
How to incorporate SEO into brand naming.
Aim for a name that is optimised for search engines. You’ll need to do keyword research to establish what the popular search terms are for your industry. Avoid using phrases that are too common, similar, or obscure for search engines. Instead, look for names that are unique, relevant and keyword rich.
Examples of search engine optimised brand names.
Rather than using “The Flower Shop” as a florist business name, which is a little generic for search engines, you could use “Bloom & Blossom Flowers”, which is unique and descriptive. Once you have established a strong brand, keyword-rich branding becomes less relevant.
Mistake 7: Failing to trademark your name
What is a trademark?
A trademark is a legal protection that grants you the exclusive right to use a name, logo, slogan or design for your business. A trademark helps prevent others from using your name or a similar name for their business. It also allows you to build your brand recognition and reputation.
What happens if you don’t trademark your brand name?
Failing to trademark your name can expose your brand to the risk of infringement, confusion or dilution. Infringement occurs when someone else uses your name or a similar name for their business without your permission. Confusion occurs when customers mistake another business for yours because of their similar name. Dilution occurs when your name loses its distinctiveness or value because other businesses use it.
How to get it right.
Choose a name that is eligible and available for trademark registration. Avoid using names that are already registered or pending registration by other businesses. Instead, look for unique, distinctive names suitable for your business. To register and trademark your name in Australia, check out the Australian Government’s website.
Mistake 8: Being too narrow
What is a narrow brand name?
A narrow name is a name that limits your brand’s scope, potential or growth. Even though they have been highly successful, “Toys R Us” and “The Body Shop” are examples of narrow brand names. They restrict the brand’s ability to offer new products or services, enter new markets or segments, or adapt to changing customer needs and preferences.
How to avoid choosing a narrow brand name.
Aim for a flexible and scalable name. Avoid using words that are too literal, specific or restrictive for your brand. Instead, look for more abstract or suggestive words for your brand.
Examples of broader brand names.
“Toys R Us” could be called “Play”, which is more flexible and inclusive for different toys and customers. “The Body Shop” is quite literal and restrictive compared with “Lush”, which is more abstract and suggestive for different products and experiences.
Mistake 9: Not testing your name
Why you must test your brand name.
Testing your name is an important step in the brand naming process. It helps you to evaluate how your potential customers perceive and respond to your brand name. It also allows you to identify any issues or problems with your brand name before you launch it. You must test your name to avoid choosing a name disliked, misunderstood or ignored by your customers.
How to test your brand name.
To refine your brand name, use testing with your target audience (not your family!). When choosing your brand name, you should avoid relying solely on your opinion or judgment. Instead, look for ways and methods that can help you test your brand name with real customers, like surveys, polls or social media.
Examples of testing tools for brand names.
You can use online tools such as PickFu to run quick and easy polls to get feedback from your target audience on your potential brand names, or you can ask on social media. Getting help from a brand naming agency is also a good idea if your budget allows.
Mistake 10: Choosing A name that is hard to pronounce
Why you should avoid hard-to-pronounce brand names.
Hard-to-pronounce names are difficult for your customers to say or hear. “Miele” and “Huawei” are successful examples, but they can be challenging and frustrating for customers. They make it hard for your customers to communicate with you or others about your brand or remember or recall it.
How to avoid a hard-to-pronounce brand name.
To avoid choosing a name that is hard to pronounce, you should aim for a name that is easy and pleasant to say and hear. You should also avoid using words with unusual spellings, sounds or syllables for your brand. Instead, look for words that have familiar spellings, sounds and syllables for your brand.
Examples of easy-to-pronounce brand names.
For example, instead of using “Miele” as an appliance manufacturer name, which is pronounced as “MEE-luh” in German but often mispronounced as “MY-lee” or “MILL-ee” in English, you could use “Mila”, which is simpler and more consistent in pronunciation across languages. Instead of using “Huawei” as a smartphone maker name, which is pronounced as “HWA-way” in Chinese but often mispronounced as “HOO-a-way” or “HOO-way” in English, you could use “Hua”, which is shorter and more straightforward in pronunciation across languages.
Brand Naming: How to get it right
Choosing a great brand name is not easy, but it’s not impossible either. By avoiding these ten brand naming mistakes, you can create a brand name that is memorable, effective and suitable for your business. A brand name that reflects your brand strategy, resonates with your target audience and stands out from your competitors.
But you don’t have to do it alone. At Liquid Creativity, we’re experts in branding and naming. We can help you to create a brand name that is strategy-led, customer-focused and market-ready. We can help you avoid the common pitfalls and challenges of brand naming and guide you through the process with ease and confidence.
If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level with a great brand name, contact us today. We’d love to hear from you and help you with your brand naming needs.