Chapter 8. Naming

A bit of history. Until the last five years in the branding industry, most names were "invented" by their owners. The term "naming" itself entered common use and solidified in statistics not so long ago, just a couple of years ago. The reason for this is that there was not much need to protect a trademark, that is, to register a trademark as such. More precisely, this field existed for large businesses, but for medium and small ones, there was no need for registration.
Everything changed with the development of business models based on franchising and online commerce. The need arose because franchising now included the right to use the trademark, and how can you sell something you don't have? Also, with the increase in the number of products on the market and the popularity of some of them, there was a need for legal protection against brand duplicates—similar names, colors, and logo elements used to mislead consumers.
I put the word "invented" in quotes not accidentally because the process of developing a brand name has a clear step-by-step sequence and has nothing to do with pure imagination. To be precise, you should use your imagination in a certain strict direction to achieve the desired result - a unique brand name developed based on the brand platform, reflecting its essence, mission, values, key message, metaphor, and, if possible, the manifesto, or at least some of these elements.
The name should serve a purpose and meet specific requirements; otherwise, it's a useless homemade creation that is unlikely to be registered. Even if you are lucky enough to get a trademark, it will only meet one requirement - "you like it." If you still "live in the clouds" and believe that if your brand "pleases you, it will please everyone else," then close this book and spend your time on something else. For those who are starting to grasp the essence of the process - let's continue reading; the most interesting part is ahead.
So, I invite you to join me in the process of developing a brand name for two cases we already know: the brand of anti-flea chips for dogs and the children's event organization agency.
Paths of Finding Names for Jack's Company (anti-flea chips for dogs):
Common dog names and nicknames (names directly related to the product recipient, you can find a directory of popular dog names and explore them).
Famous dogs from literature and cinematography (White Bim, Rex, White Fang, Lassie, etc., but there's a high chance that the rights to these names are already registered).
Stable expressions and idioms about dogs (e.g., "Loyal as a dog").
Symbiotic words playing with "chip" and the product's innovation: CyDOG (from the word Cyborg), DOGOT (dog-robot), Belka and Strelka (the first dogs to travel to space) - in this section, you can let your creative side take over and create new words. By the way, these names have the most potential to be unique and available for registration.
As you may notice, the search field is mainly related to dogs, but the conceptual platform we developed earlier should not be left aside. Let's analyze how this product works to outline an additional search field for naming
In particular, the anti-flea collar makes the dog and its owner happy, there is love and mutual understanding between them, happiness is joy, fun walks, games, friendship, tenderness. If we take into account that ultimately our product delivers certain feelings, then we can look for variants of brand names in adjacent fields.
Now let's move on to the case of the children's event organization agency and define the search field:
Holiday terms, toasts and exclamations for festive occasions, names of holiday elements, idioms, phrases, synonyms, slang, fairy tale and mythological characters, elements from fairy tales and myths, fairy tale attributes, incantations, cartoons, and their characters. Here's an incomplete list of what I would start my search with.
The approach to brand name development and subsequent brand name registration can be divided into stages, let's call them "10 steps to a trademark":
Generating a list of options
Filtering for uniqueness
Analyzing the remaining names for suitability
Approving the final variant
Conducting a thorough uniqueness check
Finalizing the chosen name
Logo development
Preparing the application for registration with Directorate General of Intellectual Property
Paying government fees
Submitting the application for trademark registration
Let's break down each stage from this list in detail. The first step is when we define the field for searching brand names and come up with the maximum number of variants. To proceed to the next step - "filtering for uniqueness," I suggest having about 35-50 brand name options. You should be prepared that after the check (filtering for uniqueness), you will have, at best, 3-5 unique names. This means that all the others are likely already registered by someone else. You can conduct this check with the help of a registered patent attorney, and you can easily find such a specialist online or through the website in the "trademark search" section.
I recommend turning to a professional as they can conduct the search faster and with higher quality. Then repeat the process, again with 35-50 "raw" brand name options, and check them against the database of registered trademarks. In the end, you should have 8-10 options that have passed the initial check against the registered trademarks in Rospatent's database. Among them, you will make your final selection.
Here is a list of requirements for the brand name, which is quite standardized:
The name must be unique (i.e., available for registration).
The name should be in the language of the target audience (it can be in another language, but its meaning should be clear to the target audience).
Easy to pronounce (consider people with speech impairments; the word or phrase should be "comfortable" to pronounce).
Easily memorable (if the name is clear and easy to pronounce, it's usually easy to remember).
No negative connotations (any name that means something negative or sounds similar to something negative is not suitable).
These are general requirements. By following them, you can analyze the options that have passed the initial check and then proceed to approve the final variant. It's better to have 2-3 options, as we will conduct another, more thorough check, and it's good to have a backup brand name option.
Warning! A common mistake often made when choosing the final variant is that the owner starts calling random friends and acquaintances seeking support and usually doesn't find it. Remember, these people were not involved in the process from the beginning, and their opinions will be subjective.
If, in the end, the name logically derives from the brand platform, meets the requirements listed above, and you like it, there should be no doubt. You will gradually get used to it and will fondly remember your initial doubts!
Now, let's briefly recap the essence of the previous chapters before we move on to naming (brand name development):
Thoroughly study the brand platform, especially the metaphor, and focus on the message you want to convey to potential customers (the key message is their benefit, the advantages of your offer).
Create a mood board to capture the appropriate mood.
Next, follow the "10 steps to a trademark" list.
This sequence of actions has been tested over years of work by our branding agency, and as a result, we have built an impressive portfolio of registered trademarks. You can confidently follow this procedure as it is reliable.
Naming: The Art of Creating Unique Brand Names
In the world of business, the brand name plays a crucial role in its success. A well-chosen and memorable name can become a key element in differentiation and attracting the target audience. The process of creating such unique names is called naming. In this article, we will explore methods for developing brand names, including the use of neologisms, their significance, and their influence on the generation of name options.
1. What is naming, and why is it important?
Naming is the process of creating unique and memorable names for a brand, product, or service. It involves various techniques and strategies aimed at forming an effective and appealing identity.
2. The importance of naming
  • Identification and differentiation: The brand name helps to identify and distinguish it from competitors. It becomes a visual and verbal symbol reflecting its values, uniqueness, and proposition.
  • Memorability: A well-chosen brand name is easily remembered and evokes associations with the target audience. It creates an emotional connection and embeds itself in the consumers' minds.
  • Communicating values: The brand name can convey its values, mission, and promise to consumers. It serves as a means of communication and establishing a connection with the target audience.
3. Methods for developing brand names
  • Associative naming: Using words and phrases that are associated with the brand's values, characteristics, or concept. For example, the name "Sunrise Coffee" conveys an association with morning freshness and energy.
  • Combined naming: Combining two or more words to create a unique and memorable name. For instance, "TechSolutions" combines the concepts of technology and solutions, reflecting the brand's field of activity.
4. Using neologisms in naming
Neologisms are new or invented words created to describe specific ideas, concepts, or products. Using neologisms in naming can be an effective way to create unique and memorable brand names. Here are a few advantages of using neologisms:
  • Uniqueness: Creating custom words allows the brand to stand out from the crowd and avoid competition with existing names.
  • Visual and auditory appeal: New words can sound and look attractive and aesthetic, helping to capture attention and arouse interest among consumers.
  • Associations and significance: Neologisms can be intentionally crafted to evoke specific associations or have hidden meanings that reinforce the brand's values and positioning.
5. Developing a logo idea based on the brand metaphor
Metaphor involves using symbolic images or objects to convey specific meanings or ideas. Using metaphor in developing a logo idea helps visualize the brand's values and concept. For example, an airline brand may use the metaphor of a bird or wings to convey ideas of freedom, speed, or international connectivity.
In conclusion, naming is a vital part of brand creation, and the use of neologisms can be an effective way to generate unique and memorable names. The metaphors and ideas embedded in brand names and logos play a crucial role in communicating its values and attracting the target audience. Thus, the development of a brand name and its visual identity requires careful consideration, creative thinking, and alignment with the brand's goals and values.

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