Brand Gap: What’s in a name?

More from Marty Neumeier’s great book The Brand Gap: What makes a good company name?

I love this, as I get asked this question all the time. By no means a naming “expert”, I still have put on my branding and creative writing hat for clients on this – for example, coming up with the name for Betsy Talbot’s lifestyle and travel blog Married with Luggage (plug: check out her new series on how they saved up $75,000 for their planned trip around the world.). But Marty outlines some great points on how to choose a good name. With full credit to him on this (why reinvent the wheel on great advice?), here’s the 7 criteria for a good name:

1) Distinctiveness: Does it stand out from the crowd? He says the best names have the “presence” of a noun.
2) Bevity: Is it short enough to be easily recalled and used? Or will it result it being abbreviated into a meaningless acronym?
3) Appropriateness: Does it reasonably fit the business purpose?
4) Easy spelling and pronuniciation: Tech companies in the late 90’s/early 2000’s bit it on this one. Will most people be able to spell the name after hearing it spoken at an event or in an ad (or more importantly, via word of mouth?). Marty says a name should not be a spelling test, nor should it make people feel ignorant.
5) Likability: Sorry, can’t help but think about the Drinkability ads for beer on this one…Will people enjoy using it (How much do I love saying “Bing!” now? Ask my husband…), does it have a good “mouth feel” or does it stimulate the senses/mind? If not, it should….
6) Extendability: Can you use it in different places creatively or interpretively? Does it suggest an image or visual? This will greatly help you extend the name brand in wordplay and imagery. One of my clients has the name CareerBranches and I love it as we build out her brand, logo and imagery. So much with which to play.
7) Protectability: Can it be trademarked? Is the domain available? Consult with trademark lawyer before any final selection and at last make sure the name is defendable, even if someone else is using it in a completely different industry.

Given this, I ‘m very happy with having selected Red Slice…..!

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