Brand identity is the visible elements of a brand, such as color, design, and logo that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds. Building a positive brand image can bring in consistent sales and make product roll-outs more successful. There are plenty of theories and a few studies on what makes a good name.
- Meaningful: It communicates your brand essence, conjures an image, and cultivates a positive emotional connection.
- Distinctive: It is unique, memorable, and stands out from your competitors.
- Accessible: People can easily interpret it, say it, spell it, or Google it. (Even if you have an unusual or bizarre name, it must be understandable.)
- Protectable: You can trademark it, get the domain, and “own” it, both legally and in the general consciousness.
- Future-proof: It can grow with the company and maintain relevance—and be adapted for different products and brand extensions.
- Visual: You can translate/communicate it through design, including icons, logos, colors, etc.
Step 1: Articulate Your Brand Heart
Before you name yourself, you need to understand who you are and what you’re trying to achieve. To do this, you need to articulate your Brand Heart. This includes:
- Purpose: Why do you exist?
- Vision: What future do you want to help create? What does the future look like?
- Mission: What are you here to do? How do you create that future?
- Values: What principles guide your behavior?
Step 2: Look at Your Differentiators
Understanding what makes your brand unique is the key to finding a brand name. Your Brand Heart is certainly one thing that makes you unique, but there are also plenty of other things about your business that make you stand out. You want to keep these differentiators in front of the mind as you move through the naming process.
Step 3: Brainstorm
Here’s the fun (and sometimes brutal) part. Gather your stakeholders and creatives and host a structured brainstorm. While it sounds fun to let everyone in, it’s more effective to provide some sort of guidelines or constraints to work within.
Step 4: Test
Now that you’ve cleared the legal hurdle, here comes the most exciting part. You get to create your mockups (think logos, product packaging, and homepages) and test your top three names. You may be surprised at what resonates with people.
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