What makes a great brand name?
Effective brand names are distinctive and memorable
They are simple, and easy to say and spell
They evoke feelings and make connections with customers
They're not blandly descriptive or made from generic key words
And an original name with a perfect .com domain can become an asset with real value
Descriptive names don't make good brand names
When you're starting out, it's tempting to try to be descriptive. After all, it seems to make sense for your name to describe what your businesses does.
But if you use generic words, or simply describe your business in a functional way, your name will just blend in - it won't just describe your business, but all of your competitors, too. Describing your business at the start of its life also limits its potential to expand or develop.
A printing company called FastPrinting will never become a brand name - and it will never be able to diversify into website development or marketing.
At the time of its launch, Amazon didn't sound much like an online bookstore. But we all know that the Amazon is a very big river, so it suggested hugeness ...and it stuck in our minds. And its name allowed it diversify into the global force that it is today. Would Amazon be so successful if it was called BooksOnline?
A descriptive name will never become a brand name.
A 'meaningless' name can convey quite a lot
An invented name with no dictionary meaning can still convey a style or personality - or create an impression that's right for your business. If it's carefully-chosen, it can be a good fit with your business and be relevant to your customers.
For example, 'Intel' doesn't mean anything, but is the beginning of the word intelligence, so it suits a computer company. 'Burberry' doesn't mean anything, but has a conventional name structure, and it sounds established and traditional: perfect for a business that trades on its heritage. 'Smiggle' doesn't mean anything, but it's light-hearted and fun ...and it obviously relates to kids. And 'Kodak' is totally meaningless, too - but it looks and sounds distinctive, and over time it became synonymous with photography.
And of course, an invented name with a perfect, 'no-compromise' .com domain is a huge advantage in building a brand.