Choosing a brand name

One of the most vital parts of a brand is its name. So how do you choose what will stick with you for the foreseeable future of your business?

Brand names are the bread and butter of a company or business. It is the name and logo which becomes associated with your brand, be it from colours and slogans to a specific font, each of these things is involved in choosing a name. For ‘choosing a name’ is a lot more than just picking some words, ironically.

So, to turn this somewhat daunting choice around, we have put together a simple list for you to follow when it comes to setting up your brand.

After all, get your brand right, and you will become a household name which everybody knows, like Pepsi, Ford, and Uber. Get it wrong, and you could have to rebrand or face embarrassment for picking a name which could be associated with something obscure, extreme, or unmemorable.

Don’t fear, because although building and developing a brand takes care and time, if done correctly, with the help of our guide, you will be a roaring success. Your business will take on its identity and become a name that people know and recognise in no time.

Create the Avatar for your Brand

Before you begin to create a name, you need to think about your avatar or logo. I understand the irony behind this idea, and this can feel like working in the opposite direction. Surely the logo is the thing which comes last, right? Not necessarily. Come up with a working title, but don’t set definitively on the name, not at first, not until you know who you’re creating this brand for.

To truly create the perfect name and avatar, you need to consider the characteristics your target market will be interested in. Whether it be bold colours, cursive writing, or detailed drawings, all of these things work towards varying audiences.

You need to understand your brands’ demographics, through age, gender, location, ethnic origin, and education, to list a few, so that your brand avatar can reflect these demographics wants and needs.

There are many tools which you can source this information from. Facebook and Twitter being two widely used platforms with endless ads for varying companies. These brands can be a great source of information, gathering inspiration for your logo as well as researching their consumer bases on their likes and dislikes.

Create your Brand Archetype

An archetype of a brand is what helps to define your brand, in a way which many people don’t even realise. There are 12 main archetypes:

  • Sage
  • Innocent
  • Creator
  • Ruler
  • Caregiver
  • Everyman
  • Lover
  • Jester
  • Outlaw
  • Magician
  • Hero
  • Explorer

Each 12 of these have brands which we will all know, Lego being a creator, McDonald’s being a Caregiver, and Nando’s being a Jester. These archetypes are based off ‘Jungian Psychology’, which needn’t be described much at the moment. So long as you understand the basic idea which you want your brand to convey.

Another easy way to think about your brand, is how do you want your brand to resonate with people emotionally? There are many non-verbal connotations which words or colours can have with a brand name and avatar, so be sure to explore all possibilities and variations of your brand.

Take Dove, for example, the name brings softness, femininity, purity, and cleanliness to mind, alongside the colour blue, which is calm and peaceful. On the other hand, Loreal, it isn’t a word in any language, creating a sense of sophistication and mystery as we don’t truly understand the name or meaning. Combining this with the use of gold, it creates an aura of luxury and wealth to the product

You want your brand name to create an emotional connection with your consumers, be it for leisure or creativity for example

Generate Name Ideas

Now your archetype and brand avatar have been created; it is time to brainstorm ideas for names. While it can feel impossible to get started thinking of a name, there are three simple processes which you should follow to make things all that bit easier.

Keep it simple

The ideal name of your brand should be short and sweet, making sure it is easy to say as well. After all, you don’t want people to avoid talking about you because they can’t pronounce the brand name. A two-syllable word, or two, one-syllable words, is the perfect length for a name, as it is short and snappy, with enough force behind it to be memorable.

Try not to make your name too specific, so that you can branch out to other customers and not also remain restricted. For example, McDonald’s is named simply that, not McDonald’s Beef Burgers, as they sell much more than that, and are not restricted to that small market.

With this in mind, you can start brainstorming keywords.

Use word association

Word association is the best way to get the mind flowing. Write down one word, speak out loud as many other words, get your friends, your family, to chip in and gather a hearty list to choose from.

Another idea is to combine words, put two together to make one. Facebook, for example, is where two words were put together to make one unique idea.

If all else fails, a thesaurus is your best friend when it comes to words you didn’t even know existed, which you can mix and match with anything else.

Check name availability

The last thing you want to do is find what you think is the perfect brand name, only to have it come up as no longer available! So, I would recommend continuously checking what is and isn’t possible. There are many different sources online, such as GoDaddy where you can see if the webpage and brand are taken. Another easy way to check is social media. Check to see if there are any brand with that name on various social media platforms not to have any clashing or upset later on.

By becoming a member of ICAP you’re joining a community of like-minded professionals and business owners in the children’s activity sector working towards excellence

Pip Wilkins

Pip Wilkins is the Chief Executive of the British Franchise Association (bfa). With 25 years’ experience in the franchise sector, Pip has worked her way up within the Association, gaining insight from all areas of the business and the franchise industry. She is well-known and highly regarded in franchising for her dedication and depth of knowledge. Pip regularly speaks at conferences and seminars both domestically and internationally, as well as writing on franchising matters for national, local and franchising trade press. Pip is also a regular judge for the annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, the Franchise Marketing Awards and Global Franchise Awards. Pip represents the UK at both the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and World Franchise Council (WFC). The bfa has grown to be one of the largest franchise associations in Europe, and one of the most successful associations in the world.

Theo Millward

Theo Millward is a graduate of Lancaster University with a BBA in Management. In 2016 Theo purchased UK swim school, Swimtime from the founders which teaches 20,000 children a week. Following a multi-award- winning digital transformation, during the global pandemic, Theo and his team founded Franscape, a saas that digitally transforms Franchise brands. FranScape won New Business of the Year at the UK Business Awards.

Andy Georgiou

Andy is the Founder of ICAP and a leading UK Franchise Business Consultant. He is fiercely committed to helping children’s activity providers build successful and profitable businesses. With qualifications in Business Management, Digital Media and Marketing, he has helped build, advise and grow leading 6 and 7 fiqure children’s education, sports and activity brands in the past 17 years.

Frank Sahlein

Frank has been active in the Children’s Activity Center industry as an athlete, coach, business owner, consultant and business broker. He is a native of San Mateo, California and graduated from San Jose State University in California (USA).
Frank was a pioneer of the Children’s Learning Opportunity Center concept from 1976 – 2016 at the Wings Center in Boise, Idaho (USA) – a blend of Sports Instruction, Arts, Education, Entertainment and Outreach programs.
As a business management innovator, Frank has delivered over 1,000 presentations for a variety of Children’s Activity Center industries such as gymnastics, swimming, cheerleading, dance, martial arts/ninja and child care/education.
3rd Level Consulting is a Business Development and Service Provider Partner for private industry companies, associations, and organizations in the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Panama.
Two-time recipient of the National Business Leader Award from USA Gymnastics, Frank is the author of “Building Your Business Potential” and “Designing Your Empowered Life”. He is the creator of the SmartEDGE™ Business Applications and Management Certification Courses. He is the co-founder of LEAP Learning and the MetaSpheres Corp, and is the founder and Executive Director of the International Association of Child Development Programs.
His passions include his beautiful wife Lourdes Gonzalez, family, friends, fitness training, transformational reading and travel.