Brand consultant Emily Penny asks ‘what’s in a name?’ as she looks at however following a fallow amount of being unmarked by symbols, brand names are currently experiencing a renaissance.
Almost each project I’ve worked on recently has concerned naming as an issue. Usually a pretty massive one. Consulting on brand names has become a massive a part of what I do.
Names have always been a vital a part of branding. Historically, products were known by the name of the business owner: Cadbury’s. Sainsbury’s. John Lewis. The name was a personal guarantee. Then came the logos. And every business required a brand. In an era of written brochures, adverts and websites, there was space for a brand to sit proud.
Logos became fetishized through the 1990s and the 2000s – and to an oversized extent still are. The age of the logo design Texas concerned surplus sub-branding among firms, and undecipherable monograms and squiggles for each little business. A pop star even became a symbol.
For packaged merchandise and businesses with physical touch points, logos are so vital. But in an age of mobile devices and social media, when looking is done on-line, not from the shelf, and there are solely 73 x 73 pixels to show an avatar in a timeline, there’s much less purpose to them.
Online businesses are finance in interaction and content style. Re-brands commonly involve the simplification of whole marks. Think of Airbnb, Google, Moo.com. In the interests of user experience, simple flat word marks with key-line symbols are prevailing for technical school brands.
What’s become much more attention-grabbing is naming. Names are the new logos. The primary element of brand name expression.
Words are enjoying a renaissance in branding. Justifiably. Consumers wish to understand what brands indicate. The value of content is high, not just on digital media, but on pack too. Graphically, a brand has to be given merely to require half, but to contend these days, names and messages are wherever the creative thinking wants to go. These can win battles before audiences even see the visual style.
Good names are the beginning of a story. If, as a business owner, you have to stand up and pitch your product or service to a capitalist – or have fractions of a second for the label to register with a shopper – you would like a reputation that may draw the audience in and flow seamlessly into your story. A good name ought to push to support you.
The trick is in knowing what the brand ‘stands for’, not simply what it ‘is’. This will result in names that are way more fascinating and transcend clichéd class descriptors. In beverages, Vivid with branding by complete piece of music, Pukka with disapproval by The house artistic, and Froosh with branding by Pearl fisher are nice examples. All are satisfying visually and vocally, and hugely remindful too. Ugly Drinks with branding by Identica is consciously provocative.
A strong name ought to be central to the inventive conception. Branding is most powerful when words and visual parts work along. The name and mark for the charity Mind is an elegant wedding of word and image, with a clear message too. Designed by Glazer in 2003, it was surely before its time. Branding for David Hieatt’s inspiration, Do lectures, is similarly centered in conception, and bursting with purpose.
Brevity isn’t everything. Long names can be shocking and pleasant with it. Look Mum No Hands, the name of a retail space dedicated to the wants of cyclists in London, stands out and sets the tone. With naming and branding by OPX, its memorable craft fascia on recent Street has even become a landmark for black automobile drivers doing The knowledge.
In this age of the supremacy of words, creating or using a distinctive type could be a sensible branding move. Media and campaign brands know that sort is a thanks to stand out whereas maintaining attention on content. A consistent visual device that’s endlessly flexible. Think of Channel 4’s type, designed by Neville Brody, and Sport England’s This Girl will campaign (FCB Inferno).
I’m also a fan of symbols and metaphors, such as animals or objects: accessible ideas that pile up the verbal and visual. Twitter is an example. Similarly, the name of holiday comparison brand icelolly.com is playfully relevant and suitably upbeat. The recent brand refresh by L&CO affords the brand a handy shorthand icon.
It is important for whole names to be simple to mention, easy to perceive and firmly nonmoving within the purpose of the business. For start-up businesses, for charities – for any business I can suppose of, in fact – a robust name can directly confirm levels of audience engagement.
Brand homeowners should use the name as an opportunity to begin a language and stand out. No amount of stunning graphic design will atone for a foul one.
Tips for brand naming:
1. Establish a brand platform. Consider your brand positioning versus the competition, your proposition for customers, and the attitude and tone of your brand.
2. Know what you’re selling – currently and in the future – and wherever. How the brand would possibly grow and stretch? Avoid names that would possibly be restrictive or inappropriate.
3. Work collectively to generate various potential names focusing not solely on the merchandise however on your core purpose and edges to customers. Try completely different approaches: descriptive, evocative, symbolic, wordplay, even a phrase. Be prepared for it to take time.
4. Don’t be too quick to choose. Consider what you wish the name to realize. Create a book to assess your long list of name choices. Think concerning the meaning, look and sound of the name. Say the name out loud. Say the name in the context of a conversation. Does it still work?
5. Check your shortlist of names for trademark accessibility at IPO.org.uk and that you’ll be able to register a web site name you’re proud of too.