Business Ideas

How to avoid common business brand naming mistakes

It is one thing to understand small business ideas and tips, and it is a different thing to know how to chose a befitting name for your business or product is one of the most difficult decisions to make. And it’s important to not get caught up in the emotion of it all. When the iPad was first announced, it ignited a firestorm of negative comments. People often claimed that it either sounded like someone from New England saying iPod or some type of new feminine product. Today, however, those dissenting voices have gone silent for one simple reason: the name is now viewed in its appropriate context as a great piece of technology.

Brand names are not meant to stand alone in a vacuum but instead to be viewed in the light of what it represents. When it comes to names, the focus should not be on finding a name that one likes but instead one that works. Brand naming is a process based on principles. In my firm, we use the following seven principles to keep us focused and find a name that fits its context. In order to succeed as a brand, a name should be:

• Meaningful – Does it have some degree of meaning infused? Is it easily explained? Nike, for example, is the Greek goddess for victory. It’s simple and significant.

• Memorable – Is the name easy to remember? Brevity and alliteration are great devices to help ensure memorability.

• Distinctive – Is the name radically differentiated from the competition? 5 Hour Energy, despite sounding a little dull, is completely unique compared to Monster or Red Bull.

• Ownable – Is the name protectable? Is there a direct URL available?

• Likeable – Do we actually like the name? Would the target audience respond to the name? Is it relevant to them?

• Intuitive – Is the name easy to say and spell? Haagen-Dazs ice cream is a great fabricated name but I can’t ever remember how to spell it.

• Flexible – Will this name inhibit the business in the future? Is it too limiting? Is it modular?

While following these principles won’t guarantee that consumers won’t jeer at the name just as they first did the iPad, they do succeed in clarifying the process and work to ensure that the name of your brand is an effective and accurate representation of your entire offering. Your brand name, after all, is the foundation of your brand within the context of what your firm represents. By putting in the effort to develop a meaningful and powerful brand name and backing it up with a solid product offering, the brand will have a great foundation to build from and ultimately become a meaningful and engaging part of its customers’ lives.

Your company’s brand name serves as its default identity. Even if an influencer or celebrity endorses your brand, your brand name and the image it leaves on buyers will always precede your firm’s identity. By selecting the proper brand name, you can influence your company’s future and boost its success. Believe us when we say that many businesses have failed because their founders were unable to match their success in building a distinct product with their brand names. Understand that your company’s brand name serves as its default identity, here is how to avoid common brand naming mistakes and disasters

These entrepreneurs picked names that were dull, insulting, or tone-deaf, which caused serious difficulties for their company. And if you’re not sure how to create a great business name that will make your brand stand out, keep reading because we’ve created this simple guide for you.

Three Common Naming Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs:

1. Names With a Negative Interpretation

To avoid brand naming mistakes, avoid names with negative meaning because when addressing difficult social issues, customers frequently voice their opinions. So, if your company decides to speak out against these issues, even if it does so in a manner unrelated to your brand/product name, you will lose customers since those who disagree with your viewpoint will be less likely to utilize your services.

Names like ‘Yikes’ and ‘Typo,’ two terrible names chosen by Colourpop for their darkest shades of cosmetics, will only attract criticism since they are insulting and degrading to a large share of their audience. Even if you want to give your business an edgy tone, avoid names like ‘666 cold preparation,’ ‘Rape,’ and ‘Pee Cola,’ which are cringe-worthy and could offend a good portion of your key demographic.

Also, try to avoid any politically sensitive issues, or at the barest minimum, manage them with extreme caution; otherwise, your firm might wind up like MyPillow, Harry’s Razor, or Gillette.

2. Complex Brand Names

Short, simple names are good for your brand because they are memorable and easy to search for on the internet. Simple, memorable, and distinctive company names are far more likely to attract clients.

If your company’s name is too difficult to pronounce, you risk losing customers to competitors with simple, plain, and exciting names.
Unfortunately, many businesses have overlooked the importance of selecting a memorable company name, ignoring the fact that firms such as Amazon, Apple, and Target have used their great brand names to cement themselves in the minds of consumers.

Take it from us: clients prefer short, simple names rather than big, intricate ones. So, when naming your firm, make it a point to visit a reputable naming platform and select some great company names for sale.

3. Names With Unfavorable Foreign Translations

Words have different meanings to different individuals, and the same applies to names, as they are also words. People from all over the world will get acquainted with your company, either through marketing or by chance, and if your company’s brand name offends your customers in their local language, they will switch to other products rather than yours.

Customers were ready to abandon established companies such as Nokia because their flagship phone was named ‘Lumia,’ which is a slang term for ‘prostitute’ in Spanish. The same thing happened to Mazda’s Laputa, which was also a Spanish word for ‘the whore.’

Similar to how Spanish buyers abandoned these items, people would also abandon any product with an awful name. To certify that the name you choose is not insulting to clients in other nations, conduct an extensive linguistic study to ensure that customers will not find it offensive.

Therefore, whether you’re running a small startup or managing a major corporation, consider how people in different parts of the world view and engage with your brand name.

Constantly Prioritize Your Customers

One of the most disturbing facts about branding is that the potential for mistakes to quickly define your whole company in the eyes of potential customers is extremely high.

So, prioritize your customer’s desires and be sure that whatever branding choice you make, like coming up with a name or tone that resonates with them. Remember that failing to fulfill the needs of both the firm and its consumers is frequently the root cause of poor brand names.

And because these names are created without proper research of brands and customers, they end up misrepresenting the brand, annoying customers, and negatively impacting sales. Hence, pay close attention to your company, and give it a distinct brand name and identity that clients recognize.

Grant Polachek is the head of branding for, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients such as Nestle, Dell, Nuskin, and AutoNation.

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