Tips for Choosing a Brand Name: FAQ with Quill Creative Studio
Choosing a brand name can be a daunting task, but it's also an exciting opportunity to create something unique and memorable that becomes part of the foundation of your brand's identity. Whether you're starting a new business, rebranding an existing business, or naming a product line, selecting the right brand name can have a huge impact on your success.
At Quill Creative Studio, we've helped countless companies brand and rebrand and have a tried and true process when it comes to naming strategies for brands and honing in on that perfect potential brand name. That's why we created this FAQ to help answer some of the most common questions we hear from clients when it comes to choosing a brand name. Read on to get your questions answered and learn how to unlock the potential of a truly great brand name for your company or product.
Q: Why is it important to choose a brand name?
A: Okay, this one is kind of a freebie. Most people know a good brand name is a crucially important step in building brand equity, but let's focus in on the word "choose." You don't want to just land on a name based on what you personally like. Choosing a brand name means you need to be intentional and strategic, which means that you should always start with brand strategy and build from that foundation. That's why we always recommend working with a professional creative branding studio like Quill.
Q: When do you change your brand name?
A: There are many reasons you might want to switch up your brand name. Some of the most common are:
- Your company name is outdated.
- Your company has new ownership.
- Your name no longer reflects your business.
- Your reputation needs some rehab.
- Your name is getting confused with another business by your target market.
Ultimately, if you're thinking about renaming your business but aren't sure if it's the right call, talk to a professional branding studio, like Quill. We can help you understand the pros and cons and guide you in the right direction.
Q: How to name a brand?
A. First, come to the table with a deep understanding of what makes your brand unique. What are your key features and attributes? What differentiates you from the competition? What message are you trying to convey to your target audience? You can't name a brand until you have true insight into its essence and a brand strategy in place.
Second, go through a brand naming exercise guided by a qualified branding agency. Our brand strategists are experts in branding. They won't have built-in opinions or preferences about your business, so you'll get a fresh perspective and a reliable, creative process to guide you to the perfect name.
Q: How to choose a brand name for a product?
A: Start by knowing your competition and the trends in your market. What is working well for competitors? What opportunities are there to differentiate your products? Product names should represent your brand but should also have their own identities.
Q: What is a naming convention in product branding?
A naming convention in product branding is simply the "rules" you create and follow when you name each of your company products. This would be things like consistent use of letters, numbers, and punctuation and a cohesive visual identity that aligns with the overall brand strategy. It's also important to name products with future products in mind. Create scalable naming conventions so that naming new products down the line will be easier.
Q: What to consider when choosing a brand name?
A: Strategy is the biggest factor to consider when choosing a memorable brand name. Start with a solid brand strategy in place by asking important questions about your brand. What makes your brand special? How do you want to be perceived? What message are you trying to convey to your customers? When a customer thinks of your brand, what emotions should it evoke?
Next, do your research on the competition. What naming strategies are your competitors using? What trends are working and what trends aren't?
Don't forget to do your due diligence after you've narrowed down some name options. Your brand name should be easy to spell and say with no negative connotations and be memorable above all. You'll also want to make sure there are no more recognizable businesses with the same name and check on things like copyright, domain name, and social media handles.
Q: How to change a brand name?
A: Be thorough! Once you settle on a new brand name, it needs to exist EVERYWHERE, across all areas of your business. Think of all marketing pieces, letterhead, uniforms, email signatures, website, signage, etc. Changing an established brand name is a big process, but if you're renaming, you have to fully commit and follow through. Showing your commitment to your new brand name will communicate to your customers that you stand by your brand and are excited to share it with them.
It’s important to develop a comprehensive communication plan well in advance of the brand name change. This ensures that all necessary steps and considerations are taken into account. Create a concise and clear message that explains the reasons behind the brand name change. Highlight the benefits it brings to customers and how it aligns with their needs and expectations. Give your customers sufficient advance notice about the brand name change to minimize confusion and allow them to adjust and outline the steps you are taking to ensure a seamless transition. Your branding partner should be able to help you create all of the assets and messaging you need for a smooth and successful rollout.
Q: How to trademark a brand name?
A: Given the varying trademark laws across different industries and the complexities involved in the application process, it is highly recommended to seek guidance from a qualified trademark and copyright lawyer prior to finalizing any new brand name. Their expertise will ensure compliance and provide invaluable assistance in navigating this intricate legal landscape.
Q: What is the naming cost for a branding company?
A: Cost of naming or renaming a brand has a lot of variables. The size of your organization and the scope of the branding project all play a huge factor in final cost. Naming is just one piece of the branding puzzle, so if you're starting a new business or doing a rebrand, you'll need more than just a new name–you'll need a brand strategy to go with the name (or rather a name to go with the strategy).
If you're simply naming a product line or looking to develop new naming conventions for products, the cost will be less than a full branding or rebranding project.
Q: How to name a brand after a merger?
A: Naming a brand after a merger starts at the same place as any other company–with brand strategy. Working with a branding studio is the best way to develop a new brand name and strategy after a merger so that there is an outside perspective. Often, branding initiatives can get lost in the weeds if too many people butt heads on personal preferences for the brand, and this can be especially true when multiple businesses merge into one.
Q: What are the benefits of changing my brand’s name?
A: There are a lot of benefits to renaming a brand, but all of the pros and cons will be very specific to your business. Some of the top level benefits for brands often come in the form of increased relevance and improved differentiation, along with better brand perception and expanded market reach. Many brands also benefit from a new brand name when there are specific challenges or progress in an industry they need to keep up with or overcome.
Q: How should I communicate my brand name change to my employees and customers?
A: Communicating a brand name change to your employees and customers requires careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition and minimize confusion. Internally, it’s important that all employees fully understand the reasons behind the name change. It will be especially important for any customer-facing employees to be re-trained as needed so they can integrate the name change into any of their regular customer interactions and be prepared to field customer questions.
On the customer side of things, leave no stone unturned. If you’re going to change your brand’s name, you must commit to it, which means that your new name should be reflected at every single possible point of contact with a customer. Plan on updating all materials, digital assets, social media handles, your website, email signatures, signage, and anything else that might have your brand’s name on it. Craft a compelling announcement that conveys the brand name change to your customers and external stakeholders, and choose the appropriate channels to reach the right people (usually email newsletters, social media platforms, press releases, and your website).
Lastly, remember that consistency is king! Keep all communication across channels aligned with your brand strategy. Work with a branding studio to audit once or twice a year to make sure you’re staying consistent and to find additional brand management opportunities that will lead to increased brand equity.
Ready to find the perfect name for your brand or products? Let's chat.
If you find yourself struggling and needing advice on naming or renaming your brand, we encourage you to chat with our experienced brand strategists at Quill. Our team is well-equipped to help you find that perfect brand name and elevate your brand to the next level. Schedule a chat with us today!