Letters of the alphabetLetters of the alphabet

By Darpan Munjal

Recently, a survey was released that became a trending topic across major news outlets and social media channels. The unscientific poll claimed that 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona beer because of the coronavirus. While the accuracy of this survey is questionable, outlets and audiences took the story and ran, claiming that the shared name of our now global pandemic hurt beverage sales. While it was nearly impossible for the brand to have predicted such a coincidence, Corona is now receiving additional criticism for the release of poorly timed ads during this highly sensitive time.

What Corona is dealing with is an example of a negative name connotation based on world events. A name can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. In fact, researchers found that stocks with easier-to-pronounce names performed better than those with more difficult-to-pronounce names. These are real-world consequences of untested or misinformed name choices. A brand name is the mission statement and the first impression rolled into one. It’s crucial to have a name that immediately captivates customers and leaves them wanting more.

Developing a lasting name for your brand is one of the most challenging parts of the creative process. While you cannot predict the next news cycle or global health crisis, here are four ways to select a name with meaning during the precarious times we live.

1. Understand naming constructs

What’s in a name? Everything. The first step to selecting a long-standing brand name is to understand naming constructs. The vast majority of brand names fit into one of five styles: classic, clever, pragmatic, emotional, or modern. The style of your brand’s name determines the tone of your brand, which in turn affects your audience’s perception of your company.

Each style has different advantages depending on your business and the preferences of your target audience. Carefully consider each category, as styles that work well for some brands perform disastrously for others.

Adopting a naming style that represents your business and values (classic, clever, pragmatic, emotional, modern) will allow you to move forward in a clearer direction. It will also allow you to immediately take ideas off the table that are not a good fit for your business model, goals, and strategies.

2. Brainstorm

Lasting names often derive from productive brainstorming. It may feel that the “good” names have already been taken. After all, over 627,000 new businesses open each year. Selecting a quality name can appear too competitive and nearly impossible. However, don’t let this discourage you—let it motivate you to be innovative.

Brainstorming is the first part of the naming process. Instead of selecting a word or two words that sum up your entire brand, product, and values, focus on capturing a single essential element. This may mean looking past your product or business model, and at your brand attributes, values, and customer experience.

Try starting with an idea or an image, and then create different versions of this idea or image, using various names. Get your team involved with this process. Not only will it cultivate collaboration and team building, but the diversity in thought will spark new name ideas you would not have imagined on your own. From visual descriptions to compound phrases, to plays on words to foreign idioms, the results from the brainstorm session will get creative juices flowing.

Originally published at All Business

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