How to create brand names
Since most companies do not have formalized guidelines for the creation of brand names, this paper provides a rich description of the task to undertake, the methods available, and the evaluation criteria to consider. In this regard, managers should:
- Set out clear objectives for the naming process. This can be drawn from the marketing strategy, especially the positioning statement for the product.
- Create a reasonably long list of candidate brand names. This will ensure a good pool of alternatives. The average for this study was 46 names. Traditional methods of brainstorming and individual creative thinking are considered most useful and an excellent starting point.
- Conduct a thorough evaluation of the candidate names. It is important to consider each criteria deemed appropriate for the product being introduced. Managers should plan carefully to ensure a complete and objective evaluation of the names. Experience suggests that a sample size of 74, the average for this study, is insufficient for reliable statistical conclusions.
- Systematically apply the objectives and criteria choosing the final brand name.
- Choose four to five names for submission to the registration. While some of the names may be unacceptable specified in the earlier steps in Patent and Trademark Office for registration, the problem does not seem to be as severe as suggested by several recent books and articles. Therefore, managers are well-advised to try to reflect the “marketing” objectives in the names without unduly constraining themselves with trademark concerns.