Last time we dialed back from animated logos to static logos and this time we go to the next level below. Branding and its beginnings. What to do when you don’t know how to name your company company yet? What is the correct company name? How to come up with the best catchy name?
Inventing a catchy name for a company that will ideally be on the market for decades is not a one-afternoon job. You need to think long-term and know the direction you want to take as a company. You don’t want to get into a situation where a poorly chosen name will limit your ability to expand your business down the track. Once you want to spread into new areas or move to another market you need to make sure the name does not hinder you.
However, there is a second, more important aspect – the name must be easy to remember and at the same time sufficiently unique. If the name you came up with already exists, you will have a difficult way to register this brand and will probably need to change it. Even if you manage to differentiate the name enough from a legislative point of view, there is still a risk that your competition will be in the search engines in front of you.
To sum it up: You don’t want to tie your brand and hinder its growth. You want to combine it with easy association so that your customer can remember and remember it quickly. And most importantly, you have to distinguish it from competing names and make it easy to find for the first time.
Let’s take a look at how the names of some well-known brands came into being and made their catchy names.
Branding in practice, or how others have it
1. By composing from the name of the founders, using the full name or initials
Ford Motor Company – The company was named after the founder Henry Ford, who basically created a large part of the company’s logo, which is formed by his signature.
HP – Today’s company name consists of the first two letters of the surnames of the company’s founders, namely Hewlett and Packard. It is said that they flipped a coin for which letter will be the first.
2. By shortening a longer word, creating from the first letters of the whole phrase, or composing from letters contained in more words
UPS – It was first formed as the American Messenger Company and later in 1919 expanded and changed its name to today’s United Parcel Service. The founders and creators of the name therefore only wanted to state in the name that it is a delivery service.
Netflix – This streaming service’s name is short for interNET FLICKS, movies delivered over the Internet. This still holds true today and describes the company nicely.
3. By creating a completely new word, or taking over an existing one
Uber – a word that in English means something above in the sense of better, best or superior. Originally from German über and means above. Initially, the company was called UberCab.
Kodak – First the name of one product and later the name of the whole company. Company founder George Eastman said of the name that the word kodak is as meaningless as a child’s first chatter. According to him, however, it concisely expresses the sound of the camera clicking when you press the shutter button.
In the above examples, we wanted to show that there are many paths to a catchy name, whether they are real words, the names of the founders, compounds, abbreviations, originally geographical indications or completely newly invented words. The paths to a good name are as unique as the good names themselves.
Don’t limit yourself and be creative, which may not seem to have anything to do with your company, but can create a good name and tell the story of your company in a style that will be memorable for customers.
Chili con qué?
As an example, we can reveal a little about us, because we play our own role in our story. We spent many days thinking about the name Chili con Film. Initially, we came up with names such as Prague Movie Company, Spice Up Production, BlazeCut Pictures or Sunny Cut Films.
We have two different heads and also two different views on everything, so neither of us were able to come up with something that both of us would like. Our ideas diverged more and more, so we decided to find something that unites us. We found one thing, and that was the love for hot food and chili peppers. Probably the most famous spicy food is chili con carne and that got us on the right track.
We combined the name with the concept of talking about video as food. This gives us a new palette of expressions, which are unique in the communication of production companies, because our vocabulary stands out.
We can use associations related not only to ordinary food. In addition to spicy tastes, our name opens up the world of Latin America, which in turn brings a connection with their energetic music.
We want to work responsibly and gently with these resources. There is a very thin line between interesting expression and text enrichment, and then the moment when you dial the association too far and damage the communication. It’s a similar ethic to telling jokes.
We will return to our brand in the next articles. We hope we have outlined the main thing for you here – that the brand is not just a name. If you choose it correctly, it will open up a number of other creative possibilities. Create some catchy name!
Previous part: Make the best logo for your brand
©2020 ~ Michal Sodek