10 tips for naming your new company
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A real experience from the team behind 100+ company launches. How to name your company for global success? Here is the answer.
Don't put your category into your name
- ArmyMarket changed its name to WARAGOD
- Taxify changed its name to BOLT
The most common mistake when starting a brand is putting the subject of your business in the name. Doing so will create five main problems for the future:
- Creating trademark issues and weak brand protection
- Limiting the variety of products portfolio and new customers for the future
- Suboptimal efficiency in foreign markets (consistency with local variations may become the greatest weakness)
- Weak differentiation from competitors (costs for communication will be higher)
- Difficulty with remembering for clients (brand recognition, brand recall are lower)
GoBigname created distinctive and digital-ready brand WARAGOD with an available .com domain for one of the e-commerce leaders in army wear, ArmyMarket.
ArmyMarket outgrew its category and wanted to reach not just army wear enthusiasts but also launch their own fashion collections. Another reason they were looking for a new brand name was that there were too many army shops on the market, and customers had problems with brand differentiation. Performance and direct mailing campaigns became more and more expensive. Thanks to the new brand name WARAGOD, GoBigname was able to add distinctive assets for consistent communication - a new mascot and a unique, stylish camouflage pattern.
Don't put your product into your name
- Slippers changed their name to GUGENIO
- Specter Hockey Tape changed the name to Rezztek
Specter Hockey Tap was too connected to one product - hockey tapes. To grow faster,
GoBigname created the brand Rezztek as a brand of material, not just the hockey tape.
Thanks to this approach, the new name is not associated with just the words "hockey" or "tape" and can grow to new markets and sports. Also, it is easier to grow because the distribution is easier thanks to companies that can license Rezztek on their products. Just imagine GORE-TEX materials and the huge number of brands that use them. As GORE-TEX materials have been the gold standard for "waterproof" and are used in many products which need to be "lightweight and waterproof for all-weather use," the goal with Rezztek is to be synonymous with speed and control. "Scientific research has shown that Rezztek gives players a measurable competitive advantage in shot speed and puck rotation."
The available .com domain is a good signal of an available trademark
Choose a brand name ready for legal protection. Be sure to own trademarks for your brand name not just on your market but also on markets you could enter in the future. Don't just register the trademark, be active in protecting it.
Nobody needs a .com domain until they really need it:) To avoid paying an unnecessarily large amount later, choose a name with an available .com domain. Plus, it is a great signal of the availability of the trademark.
Using different domains in different markets increases your marketing costs and reduces brand awareness. Use one name in all markets if possible. Buy local domains in the markets you could be expanding in the future, too, as well as their misspellings and typos.
Those are the reasons why Valentina and Princess jewelry stores rebranded to Amawell.
A leading jewelry store network used two brands for retail Valentina and Princess, and two category-specific names for e-commerce presence jewelryvalentina and goldvalentina. It is much more expensive to grow with four names, so the company was looking for one strong brand for local and international markets that would be digital- and trademark-safe. The new name should work not just with gold jewelry or diamonds but also with Swiss watches and other future products. These jewelry stores were different from the other competitors with their skilled staff, which could find the right jewelry for any occasion you needed them to.
GoBigname created a new name based on this superb skill and used the 2700 years old history of pearl diving. One of Japanese culture's lesser-known but fascinating parts are female pearl divers, called "Ama." Ama (女 女) dug deep for beauty to bring the most beautiful, the most precious, to the rest of us. GoBigname combined the unique keyword "ama" with the universally recognizable word "well" to create a unique but familiar feeling with available .com domains and trademarks of Amawell . Digital presence ready brand with global potential.
EXTRA: Buy domains first, then start the trademark process. Robots are checking the starting trademark processes if a company owns the domains. If companies forget to buy domains and start the trademarking process, others will buy the domain and try to sell it for thousands.
Choose 2in1: a name that will create a communication concept
Why did we call handmade gourmet popcorn Zigmundo? The duo of entrepreneurs saw a huge opportunity in the "indulgence product" category of popcorn. System1 Analysis of all IPA long-term campaigns showed that using consistent brand character increases the possibility of new customers gain by 28 % and reduces price sensitivity by 15 % compared to all long-term campaigns. GoBigname focused on creating a brand name with a character in mind. Looking at "funky, shiny, playful, colorful" competitors, the GoBigname team chose the opposite way with an evocation of "good old days" and made wordplay of Sigmund Freud with Zigmundo, a sympathetic philosopher who contemplates the taste of the most gourmet popcorn with original statements and quotes.
Zigmundo's name is unique, trademark-safe, with an available .com and local domains, and still familiar-sounding. Thanks to this name brand also get fluent device character with a custom mascot for long-term effectiveness.
Use cultural evocations to hack the attention of your new name
How to create an appealing brand for health-conscious people who know that what you put in your body affects the output? Our insight was that American customers prefer "made in Europe" products in the given category. That's why we chose the Scandinavian look and feel of the brand and created the name NoordCode. North stands for a symbol of the "true, natural" world, and Code is connected to the strong values of the founder (no fillers, no additives, proven benefit for your body). With an available .com domain and trademarks, NoordCode is growing internationally, and thanks to a name not connected to one product category, NoordCode is also growing in product portfolio – and today, you can buy NoordCode Pure Ghee, NoordCode Pure Collagen, NoordCode Coffee, NoordCode 90% Chocolate, NoordCode C8 MCT Oil, NoordCode Keto Bars and much more. GoBigname also created a new claim for NoordCode communication: "The Courage To Live Better," and the product category descriptor for packaging:
"Better Ingredients, Better Life".
Name and trademark, not just your company name
Create unique brand names for your technologies, approaches, procedures, know-how (like GORE-TEX, Lycra®, Windstopper®, YKK zipper did). Raise your company's value in the eyes of investors – and customers, too.
When you name your approach, it is easier to share it, teach it, and get people interested in your company. That's why Google is promoting the See - Think - Do - Care framework (STDC) or ABCD YouTube. It just makes complex problems simpler.
GoBigname created the name for the framework of the B2B SaaS company Exponea.
Inventing the name Purigado for the framework in which you identify and eliminate customers that are killing your business, we found inspiration in the famous "Does This Spark Joy?" quote of Marie Kondo. We realized that we need to just say 'cleaning' in a unique but universal way. The universal language, Esperanto, has the word "purigado" for cleaning. The Purigado approach ended up being voted the best presentation of the annual European gathering of data evangelists, analysts, and data-driven marketing professionals Superweek.
Brand name ready for brand monitoring
You are not just creating a name but also hashtags. Check your name if it is unique with unique tagging and hashtag opportunities so you can easily monitor your social mentions and measure brand sentiment.
Brand name ready for the expansions
Check the cultural evocations and local significance of the name in foreign markets our company can potentially grow.
Check the pronunciation and spelling of the name in foreign markets.
Check the meaning and possible connotations of not only the name but also the symbols and colors.
In the United Kingdom, the traditional "Post Office" changed its name to "Consignia" in 2001, but the new name met negative reaction from both the media and people. In addition, the name translates in Spanish as "lost luggage." Under massive pressure due to the emotional response, the company went through another rebranding, back to the original name of "Royal Mail." The failure to run a good name through a check of its meaning in different languages and cultures was costly for the UK post office – £1.1 billion in losses and a reduction in the workforce by 17,000.
Brand name ready for top of mind
Check the name with potential competitors' names in other markets. Does your new name stand out?
You can be cool in conservative B2B with a new brand name, too.
That's why "CNC Milling" changed the name to KultKraft. When your name is the name of a category, you can't grow or legally protect your brand. The new name not only differentiates it from the competition but opens up entirely new ways of communicating. KultKraft signage works excellent both in social media and on machines that do the milling, so every video on social media is now uniquely branded. The new name attracts more clients and brings emotion to the conservative B2B segment – and, most importantly, covers more business opportunities (custom parts machining shop/prototyping/ CNC machining, builds, automation…)
Do not make a big deal about your name
Forget about press releases telling what your name stands for. Write press releases about what you are bringing to customers. As soon as you praise your name, you can wait for hordes of haters or grammar Nazis to tell you the mistakes you made with it. But then, you can point them to Tumblr, del.icio.us (delicious), Digg, Flickr, Google (googol). People are opposed to new things; anything new sounds a bit strange for them because the human brain has not heard about it yet. Give your name time to come alive. Let people speak about your project, not the name.