Fashion brand names: How to come up with a fashion brand name
Are you wondering how to come up with a fashion brand name your customers will adore? You’re not alone. Fashion brands are under more pressure than most when it comes to naming.
After all, fashion brand names don’t just differentiate a company, they also need to be something your consumers are willing to wear and display to the world.
A fashion brand needs a memorable, engaging, and emotionally charged name, capable of connecting with its target audience and driving positive results.
Great names can even improve your chances of getting your business off the ground, with 82% of investors looking at “name recognition” to decide which ventures they should support.
Today, we’re going to look at the steps involved in naming a fashion brand, and how you can choose a more effective title for your venture.
How to create a fashion brand
The great fashion brands of the world weren’t created by chance. From athletic companies like Puma, to marketplaces like ASOS, every organization you know today was created with a careful focus on building the right brand identity.
Notably, building a fashion brand isn’t the same as just starting an apparel company. When you begin your business, you’ll focus on things like manufacturing, finding suppliers, and exploring fulfilment options.
When you work on your brand, your concentration will be on developing a personality and spirit your customers can connect with.
Naming is one part of the larger branding puzzle for fashion organizations. If you start the process correctly, you may find it’s easier to choose a good name for a fashion brand.
Identifying a market need
What kind of fashion company are you going to be creating? Are you designing formal wear for people to use for important occasions? Are you focusing on comfort and coziness for people to enjoy at any time of the year?
Decide what your niche is going to be, and who your target audience is.
Developing a business plan
Creating a business plan can feel like a time-consuming process, but it’s an important way to guide your company’s journey. Your plan will help you to identify a brand mission and vision, which will also pinpoint the values you want to demonstrate with your fashion brand name.
Build your brand identity
Your brand identity is all of the components of your fashion company which set you apart from the crowd. This includes your name, your brand colors, logo design, and a host of other elements (we’ll come back to this in a moment).
How to name a fashion brand
Figuring out how to come up with a fashion brand name is often overwhelming.
As mentioned above, naming a fashion brand is one of the most important parts of building your brand. The world is full of instantly recognizable titles like Prada and Boohoo, but how do you make sure you’re choosing the right moniker for your business?
The following steps will put you on the right track…
1. Focus on your target audience
First and foremost, a brand should always appeal to a specific audience. Look at your business plan and ask yourself what kind of segment you’re trying to appeal to.
Are you looking for something sophisticated and elegant? If so, a more graceful name like Dolce & Gabbana might be a good choice. If you’re appealing to fast-paced sports fans, you may choose a shorter, punchier name like Adidas.
2. Consider your brand personality
While it’s important to appeal to a specific audience, you also need to make sure you’re being yourself. Fashion brands often represent the personality of the designer, and aim to reflect some of the key values of the target audience.
If your brand personality is based on a key person, like a founder, you may choose to name the company after this individual. This was the case with Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.
However, if your name doesn’t make sense for your customers, you may prefer to focus more on their personality traits, like “Forever21” did with its focus on youth.
3. Be unique and memorable
When naming a new company, it’s important to choose something unique. You need your company to stand out from the crowd, and a name can help with this. However, it’s important not to be too swayed by the trends of the moment.
Focus on what makes your company different.
A good fashion brand name will have a meaning behind it. For instance, Nike might seem like a simple fast-paced word, but it’s actually reference to a deity responsible for speed and victory.
4. Test your brand name
Testing your brand name is important, as it’s easy for one person to get caught up in what a company’s title sounds like. You’ll need to ensure your moniker resonates with more than one individual to get the right results.
A brand name should be:
Easy to pronounce, spell, and understand.
Emotional, evoking imagery or meaning.
Relevant and timeless (not reliant on trends).
Unique and memorable.
Specific to your target audience.
How do I choose a fashion brand name?
Naming any company isn’t a walk in the park. There are many challenges to overcome along the way, from ensuring your ideal name is legally available, to making sure it has the right impact on your audience.
The important thing to remember is your audience is presented with a huge amount of data on a regular basis. We all see countless words strewn around us wherever they go, which makes it much harder for a single name to stand out.
To improve your chances of effectively reaching your target audience when learning how to come up with a fashion brand name, remember to:
Simple words might be simple for customers to pronounce and spell, but they’re also easily forgettable. You’ll need something truly unique to set yourself apart from the competition, and ensure you reach your audience.
Think Uniqlo from Japan, or Zara from Spain, these names are immediately memorable.
Keep it simple
The balance between memorability and simplicity is an important thing to master when exploring fashion brand names. You’ll need your name to be different, but it should also be simple enough your customers won’t have trouble remembering them.
You can even use language structures to boost memorability, like 23andMe, with its rhyming words.
Do your homework
When you name a fashion brand, you still need to take all the precautions you’d take naming any other company. This includes doing the right amount of homework. Employ online trademark resources to ensure no-one else has already taken your name.
Make sure your title also has the same meaning in all the countries you’ll be selling in.
Fashion brand names: Long or short?
Fashion brand names often come in two varieties. There are longer, more complex names, often associated with a specific founder, and used to convey luxury and sophistication. You’ll also find a host of shorter names, intended to simply roll off the tongue, like Gucci.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for choosing a long or short name. Here’s what you may want to consider when exploring both options…
Naming a fashion brand using a long name
A long name can give weight, heritage and even a sense of sophistication to your brand. Many of the most luxurious fashion companies in the world are named after their founders. This gives the company a sense of heritage and humanity.
Look at Calvin Klein or Donna Karan for instance.
Naming a fashion brand after yourself can be a valuable choice if you’re looking for a way to build your brand’s identity around a specific personal brand. After all, many lovers of specific fashion companies are fans of the design prowess of the founder, more than the company itself.
A fashion brand with a longer name can also help to convey the kind of style a customer can expect from the company too, such as “Stone Island” which makes you think of more relaxed clothing.
When choosing a long name, be careful not to restrict your company too much. A name which tells customers what you sell (shoes), or where you sell it (New York) can sometimes be restrictive.
However, it’s common for the location where a fashion company began to be included in many names, like Donna Karan New York.
Naming a fashion brand using a short name
Shorter names are generally better suited to modern fashion brands looking for a way to capture a younger audience. Shorter names are great from a graphic perspective, and work well in the digital world, for websites and apps.
In some cases, a fashion brand can also make a name much easier to remember by shortening it into an anagram. For instance, “As Seen On Screen” is a slightly clunkier name for a fashion company than something short and sweet like “ASOS”.
It’s still possible to follow the trend of naming a company after a founder with a shorter name too. The key is to focus on the surname, rather than the full title, like “Gucci”. When learning how to come up with a fashion brand name, it’s best to consider all your options.
Remember, just because a name is short doesn’t mean it can’t be complex if you don’t choose the title carefully. You’ll need to be extra cautious when using accents and unique spellings in your name, as this can make it harder for your customers to find your business online.
How to build a fashion brand
Building a fashion brand means more than figuring out how to come up with a fashion brand name. You’ll also need to consider the various other elements of your brand, from its tone of voice and logo to the brand colors you use on your website and packaging.
Start by researching your target audience and your competitors carefully. Both your fashion brand name and your wider brand identity should differentiate your company from other organizations in your field, while simultaneously appealing to the correct target audience.
You can research your audience by checking out what kind of customers your competition tries to reach and exploring the under-served communities in your area. The more time you spend building your company, the more you’ll learn about your niche.
Perhaps the 3 core elements you’ll need for any fashion brand include:
A strong focus and personality
A great fashion brand can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t be a luxury clothing retailer and a budget-friendly place to find bargains. Instead, you need to make sure you’re focusing on a specific audience and niche from day one.
Think about your positioning statement. This is the statement you use to stake your claim on a specific part of the market. Once you know what kind of audience you’re selling to, think about how you’re going to position yourself in their mind.
What words would you associate with your fashion brand? Are you luxurious and sophisticated, or simple and comfortable? These terms will help you define your personality, which you should show in everything from your company name to your marketing strategy.
Your business name
As mentioned above, your business name is one of the most crucial defining factors of your brand. Learning how to come up with a fashion brand name can be complex, but it’s not something you can afford to rush.
To find a business name, you can start by brainstorming concepts you associate with your fashion brand and think about merging multiple terms together.
Another option is to name your fashion brand after yourself and concentrate on building your personal brand as a designer to boost the company’s appeal. This could make it easier to highlight your company as a luxury brand in some cases.
Alternatively, you can try a descriptive name, like “The Shoe Company”, but this can be quite easy to imitate, and may be seen as somewhat boring. If you’re struggling to come up with the right name yourself, the best option is usually to reach out to a specialist naming agency.
Your brand image
Alongside your brand personality and name, your image is probably one of the main factors your customers will use to define and differentiate your brand. The most obvious part of a brand image most fashion companies focus on is the logo.
Your logo is something you’ll choose after you learn how to come up with a fashion brand name, as many fashion companies use wordmarks to differentiate their brands. Look at TOMS, or Chanel, for instance.
Outside of your logo, you’ll also need to think about:
Color psychology is crucial when building a memorable brand. You’ll need to think about what kind of customer you want to attract, and what you want to say about your company.
Shades like black and white are common for fashion companies because they’re stylish, elegant, and universally appealing.
Fonts and typography
Fonts and typography are also important insights into your company and the kind of products you sell. Sans-serif fonts are more likely to be seen as modern and friendly, while serif fonts are sophisticated.
Imagery and marketing materials
Imagery and marketing materials cover everything from the website design you choose, from your social media posts, and even the videos you make for your clothing ads. The same brand identity should appeal in all of your assets.
Remember, once you’ve chosen the key elements of your fashion brand, it’s important to stick to those components consistently, with a strong focus on maintaining the same identity wherever you are.
Learning how to come up with a fashion brand name can be more time-consuming and complex than most people realise. Once you know your target audience and how to position your brand, choosing your brand name will help you to reach your market wherever they are.
A brand name should always be chosen with extreme caution. After all, while you can change your fashion brand name in the future, it’s not easy to make the transition.
Changing your name means losing the equity you’ve already built in your brand, which could mean you need to start from scratch. At the same time, if you change your name, you also have to change all your brand assets.
When your name changes, you can end up spending a fortune on things like rebranding and marketing materials, not to mention advertising campaigns to re-connect with your audience.
With this in mind, consider your name carefully. Think about how you can distil everything your customer needs to know into a single word, or two words at a stretch.
Here are some popular fashion brand names to help inspire you:
Named after the iconic founder who created the company, the name “Louis Vuitton” has become synonymous with elegance and style, perfect for a high-end fashion company with a focus on exclusive apparel.
A French fashion company focused on modern design, “Vetements” was launched in 2014 by Demna Gvasalia and Guram Gvasalia. The name means “clothing”, making it a simple and elegant choice for the brand.
Fear of God
A striking name, Fear of God is an independent American luxury fashion label with a passion for creating unique, expressive pieces. The emotional name strikes a chord with a younger audience.
One of the world’s best-known athletic fashion companies, Adidas is an abbreviation of the name of the founder “Adi” or “Adolf” and “Dassler”.
Choosing the right fashion brand names
Learning how to come up with a fashion brand name isn’t something most people can do over night. Choosing the ideal name for any company takes significant time and focus.
There are a number of areas where something might go wrong, and the last thing you want is to have to change your name just after you start building your company.
If you’re not sure how you can choose a name capable of standing out and defining your fashion company, the best option is usually to seek help from a specialist. A professional naming agency might be able to give you some extra guidance when you’re building your brand.
We’ve made our name by naming other businesses. If you require a new name for your brand, product or service, let’s start a conversation…