Why should a brand name be distinctive? The advantages of distinctive brand names
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Why should a brand name be distinctive? The advantages of distinctive brand names

Why Should A Brand Name Be Distinctive

Why should a brand name be distinctive? At first, it seems like an odd question. When reading through tips and tricks on how to name your brand, you’ll find countless companies telling you to make your title unique, memorable, and compelling, but why is distinction so important?

The simple answer is the purpose of your name is to identify your company and distinguish it from other entities and brands. A distinctive title ensures you can highlight exactly what makes your company unique and connect with your customers on a deeper level.

Without a degree of distinction, there’s no way for your customers to separate your company from the dozens of other similar organizations out there.

Let’s look at the qualities of a distinctive brand name.

What is a distinctive brand name?

A distinctive brand name is simply something unique and specific, designed to separate you from other brands, and highlight the unique characteristics of your company. To maintain a strong reputation among customers, and stand out from the competition, you need a distinctive brand name.

Distinctive brand names are emotive and engaging. They highlight specific elements of a brand’s identity, without necessarily giving all the information away at first glance. For instance, Nike is a distinctive name.

Not only does it sound interesting and exotic, but the name is short, sweet, and easy to remember. Nike also has an underlying connection with the Goddess of Victory, which ensures a deeper emotional connection between the brand and its audience.

Why Should A Brand Name Be Distinctive

What are the qualities of a distinctive brand name?

The most important part of a distinctive brand name is it should always be unique. Distinctive names are also highly differentiating. They help to disconnect your company from other similar ventures, even before a customer has a chance to evaluate your products or services.

Distinctive brand names are:

  • Emotive: A distinctive name can have a longer-lasting impact on your audience when it connects with them on a deeper, emotional level. Make your clients feel something.
  • Evocative: Your distinctive brand name might not tell your customers exactly what you sell or do, but it should offer an insight into the values and nature of your brand.
  • Memorable: A good brand name of any kind should be memorable. Distinctive names are short, sweet, and easy to embrace into everyday language, like Google.
  • Meaningful: Distinctive names should be infused with meaning. The meaning might come from an underlying connotation, or just a connection to your brand story.
  • Unique: A truly distinctive name is unlike anything else in the market. If you’re copying a common trend, like Flickr or Tumblr, you’re not being distinctive.  

Why should a brand name be distinctive?

So, why should a brand name be distinctive?

Everything about your brand should be unique because your company is one of a kind. A distinctive name is powerful in a multitude of different ways. It makes it easier for your customers to identify your business immediately, and it forms an emotional connection, without being too descriptive.

Look at names like “Uber” for instance. The name might not have anything to do with the service being offered, but the sound and structure of the word is immediately memorable. The title has a connection with something positive and transformational, and it’s easy to say and share.

“Apple” is another great example of a distinctive brand name. Though the word already exists in our everyday language, the company has used it in a completely unique way. We’re not used to seeing organic words like Apple used to refer to technology companies.

Distinctive names can continue to differentiate your brand year after year. If you take the right approach to naming, and make sure you consider the big picture, your name can even scale with your company, and expand to cover different products and services.

Why Should A Brand Name Be Distinctive

When to choose a distinctive brand name

Ultimately, there’s no reason not to choose a distinctive brand name in most cases. The only reason you wouldn’t want to be distinctive, for the most part, is if you’re connecting your brand to an existing, larger company.

For instance, FedEx doesn’t have to give particularly unique names to all the different departments in the organization.

Outside of this, distinctive names will ensure you can stand out in an increasingly crowded market and make the right impression on your target audience.

You should always choose a distinctive name when you want to:

  • Make an emotional connection: Distinctive names have an impact on your target audience. Just think about how words like “Amazon” or “Target” make you feel.
  • Protect your brand: With a distinctive brand name, you can protect your brand identity. In some cases, you may even be able to trademark your brand.
  • Show personality: Today’s customers want to work with brands they feel a strong affinity with. It’s hard to develop this connection if your company has no personality. A distinct name can showcase your characteristics.
  • Make yourself memorable: Distinctive names are easier to remember than generic titles. You don’t want to blend in with other companies in your space.
  • Ensure an enduring impact: As your business evolves, a truly distinctive name should be able to evolve and scale with it. This should mean you don’t have to spend as much time and money on rebranding.
Why Should A Brand Name Be Distinctive

How to choose a distinctive brand name

Most naming experts will agree, finding a distinctive name is crucial to the growth and development of any company. Unfortunately, choosing a distinctive name isn’t always easy. Countless companies spend days or weeks searching for the ideal title.

Once you know thew answer to the question, “why should a brand name be distinctive?”, the following tips will help you choose a more distinctive title.

1. Know your brand

One of the most important things you can do before naming your company, is get to know the heart of your brand essence.

It’s worth assessing your brand strategy and visual guidelines, and asking yourself about the following:

  • Values: What guides your behavior and activities?
  • Mission: What are you here to accomplish?
  • Vision: What do you want to help create?
  • Purpose: Why do you exist?

Answering these questions will help you to choose a name that makes sense for your brand and conveys the right meaning to your target audience.

2. Check your differentiators

Choosing a distinctive brand name is easier when you already have a good idea of what makes your company unique. With this in mind, think about what separates you from other companies in the same industry.

Do you have a specifically strong focus on customer service and support? Can you serve a niche customer base your competitors don’t?

If you’re not sure what makes you different yet, it’s worth diving into a comprehensive competitor analysis to find out. Check out what other companies in your space are doing and ask yourself what you can do to make a lasting impression.

3. Experiment

Brainstorming a large number of potential names and considering how they might look and feel in relation to your brand can be a good idea. Start by choosing a range of words and terms you would normally associate with your company and use those as the basis for your naming strategy.

Once you have a handful of names you like for your business, imagine what they’ll look like as part of your branding assets. Mocking up a logo design can help you to better define the distinctiveness of your new monitor.

4. Do your due diligence

Remember, when choosing a distinctive brand name, you still need to do the work of ensuring your title hasn’t already been registered elsewhere. Look to ensure you have access to everything from the domain name for your new business title, to the social media handles.

It’s also worth looking into the meaning of your name in different parts of the world and running your title past different people in your team, to ensure it really does have the right impact. The last thing you want is to make the wrong decision and have to rebrand too soon.

How to create a distinctive brand name

The answer to the question: “why should a brand name be distinctive?” is simple enough. Every company deserves a name capable of setting it apart from its competitors. However, choosing a distinctive brand name can be easier said than done.

If the process of finding a distinctive and memorable name seems to be too much for you, the best thing you can do is seek some expert assistance. Working with a naming specialist to pinpoint the perfect title will ensure you get the name you need, without the risks.

Fabrik: A naming agency for our times.

We’ve made our name famous by naming other businesses.

Get in touch if you have a company, product, or service that requires a unique name. Click below, and let’s start a conversation today!

Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey
Our co-founder, Steve Harvey, is also a regular contributor to Brand Fabrik, a flagship publication covering topics relevant to anyone in branding, marketing and graphic design. Steve shares his enthusiasm for brand naming through his articles and demonstrates his knowledge and expertise in the naming process.

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