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How to Create a Great Brand Name: 4 Steps to Know

By: Mark Schmukler

Changing or developing a brand name is critical–and not an initiative to be taken lightly. If you get it right, you can drive revenue, stand out from your competition, build equity and steer people to purchase your products or services.

Most would agree that Google is great brand name. But what makes a name great? And how do you create one? The answer is process combined with creativity.

Consider these 4 steps to create a great brand name and iconic examples throughout.

4 Steps to a Great Brand Name

  1. Look at the Playing Field
  2. Brainstorm Name Ideas
  3. Challenge the Choices
  4. Check Availability

Free branding guide & assessment

Step 1: Look at the Playing Field

Start by considering all the factors that should guide your thinking:

  • Geography, Language & Culture
    Consider translations of your brand name. Wordplay and idioms may not perfectly translate across languages, so it’s important to consider where your brand would be experienced
  • Brand Expansion & Development
    What expansions and changes might you make? Make sure your brand name doesn’t limit you to the way you currently operate or interfere with future plans.
  • Existing Branding Standards & Values
    If your brand exists under another company, you need to review that company’s standards and make sure that the name can help to highlight the relationship between the master and sub-brand.
  • Industry Competitors & Client Values
    Do competitors have similar names or spellings? What do your industry’s customers value that competitors’ brand names fail to emphasize?


Step 2: Brainstorm Name Ideas

Use the information you gathered in Step 1 to brainstorm lists of names featuring a variety of themes and styles referencing your brand strategy. Create a roaster of potential name ideas that vary in type, structure, and tone. Brand name styles include fabricated, founder, metaphoric, acronym, descriptive and combination. View the infographic to see specific applications of these styles.


Step 3: Challenge the Choices

Identify a distinct name by evaluating the qualities of great brand names. These may include names that are pleasing to the ear and eye, engaging and memorable, future-proof, truly unique and meaningful. To be meaningful, however, your name needs to communicate why it is “different-better.”

Consider Sagefrog’s 4 levels of brand name depth of meaning as demonstrated by Defibtech below. Level 4 names typically utilize a Descriptive, Invented, or Combination name style.

  1. Generic: Does not indicate a specific industry or segment
  2. Industry: Healthcare and Medical Devices
  3. Segment: Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs)
  4. Company: Defibtech offers superior technology in AEDs


Step 4: Check Availability

Finally, check the availability of your favorite name candidates using search engines, domain registrars and trademark authorities to estimate the likelihood that your name is available.


Ensure Your Brand is Seen & Heard

Need help developing a new brand name? You can implement these tips and tricks to today but we can help. If you want professional branding and help to generate a great brand name, get in touch with Sagefrog.

toolkit: create a compelling & relevant brand identity