Why are brand names important? Understanding the importance of a good name
Why are brand names important? We know a good name is an essential part of building a successful brand, but many people aren’t fully aware of the importance of a good name.
Your business title shouldn’t just be an afterthought once you’ve chosen your products or services. It needs to be impactful.
A good brand name plays a monumental role in the perception people have of your brand, and your ability to grow as a company. For every unforgettable name, like Google or Netflix, there are dozens of poorly-chosen titles failing to reflect the brands they serve.
Sometimes, lack of a good name could be the number one issue standing in the way of you and your customers. Today, we’re going to answer the question “How important is a name?” and look at the science behind the value of naming.
How important is a name? The science
Understanding why brand names are so important starts with understanding our human psychology, and the way we connect with language as a species.
Ultimately, a brand name is just another word added to our vocabulary, so our response to it is similar to the response we have to any form of language. As people, we naturally consume language consistently throughout our lives – mostly as children.
However, learning a word doesn’t just mean discovering what the term means or how to pronounce it.
Learning a word also means mapping associations and feelings to the term. For instance, if you learn the word “dog” and are constantly confronted by barking dogs frightening you while you’re young, this could lead to negative association with the word dog.
While everyone has personal connotations built through their experiences in their lives, there are also terms most of us will associate as being positive or negative. Terms like brilliant, gold, or perfect are all associated with positivity, while grime, pain, and similar terms have negative connotations.
When choosing a brand name, companies have a various opportunity to take advantage of the relationship their audience has with language through:
Descriptive names using pre-existing words allow you to align your brand with the positive connotations a customer already has with those terms. Burger “King”, for instance, uses the word “King” to connect to ideas of royalty and excellence.
Evocative names can use certain terms specifically to lend their connotation and meaning to the identity of the brand. For instance, “Innocent Smoothies” uses the word “Innocent” to convey the use of natural flavors.
With invented names, you have the opportunity to create a new word and imbue it with fresh connotations based on the nature of your brand and business. This is one of the toughest names to build from scratch, but it can also be one of the most rewarding.
The importance of a good name
From a scientific perspective, naming is important because it allows you to provide your customers with useful information about your company. The language you choose will immediately convey a certain impact, regardless of whether you decide to use a brand-new word, or access existing terms.
Brand naming is how you mentally link your company to certain experiences, feelings, and ideas as quickly as possible, even before your customers have a chance to test out your product or services.
The importance of language and how we react to it as human beings is so significant, it’s inspired a number of studies over the years.
According to one report conducted in 1974, the words used by individuals can significantly change the way we perceive an event.
The study found people were more likely to estimate two cars were going at a faster speed when asked the question “how fast where the cars going when they smashed into each other”, rather than just being asked how fast the vehicles were moving.
The pre-existing connections we have with language can also make naming extremely difficult. Everything from certain sounds and syllables in a word, to the way a name is pronounced can make a huge difference to the impact of your brand.
Unlike choosing a name for a person, choosing a name for a brand means trying to refine everything you know about your organization into one simple term.
Why are names important?
The question “why are brand names important?” can have a number of potential answers. As mentioned above, first and foremost, names are crucial because language dictates how we feel and think about the companies and entities we interact with.
The importance of a brand name is also significant because:
It’s part of making the right first impression
Your brand name is one of the first things your potential customers will see. It’s the first thing your customer will interact with when they’re looking for the right product or service to solve their issue.
A high-quality name is memorable, and it helps your customer to identify you.
Your name tells people what you’re about
As mentioned above, the natural connotations we develop with language over time means the name you choose can say important things about your business. Your name should sum up everything your business is about, highlight your key characteristics, and showcase your personality.
It can also improve your chances of making emotional connections with your audience straight away.
It differentiates you
A great brand name is also how you separate yourself from countless other organizations in the same industry.
Although there are other modes of differentiation available, like choosing a great brand personality and designing a fantastic product, a brand name is still an important part of your differentiation strategy.
Consider how the name “Coca-Cola” is so different from “Pepsi”.
Names are probably the first thing any company should tackle when building a brand. After all, the rest of your brand will often be built around your name. Everything from your messaging to your logo, will come back and connect to the name you choose.
For instance, “Rolex” is a naturally luxurious sounding name, so it’s natural for the company to have a luxurious, minimalist logo, and a sophisticated tone of voice. As such the importance of a brand name is also enhanced by its ability to guide the rest of your branding process.
The importance of a good name
The importance of a good name is something no company can afford to overlook. Ultimately, your name is one of the most significant defining factors of your company. It identifies how your customer should think about your business, and helps to highlight expectations from day one.
For instance, a company name like “Brillo” automatically tells an audience they can expect to be impressed by the product, because of associations with the word “brilliant”.
Good names are so significant in the business world, they can even inspire companies to pay millions of dollars for the right title. One of the most famous companies in the world right now, Tesla, only has its iconic name because Elon Musk decided to spend $75,000 for the right to use it.
While a good brand name can instantly earn a place for your company in the hearts and minds of your target audience, a bad title can have the opposite effect.
Chosen poorly, your brand name can drive customers away from your business, cause confusion (or embarrassment), and even lead to the need for an expensive rebrand.
Don’t underestimate your brand name
So, why are brand names important? Simply put, they’re crucial to highlighting the value and nature of your business. Without a good brand name, you can’t hope to make the right emotional impact on your customer.
Unfortunately, the importance of a good brand name also means choosing the ideal title is often extremely complicated.
Many companies struggle for months to choose a name they believe can accurately convey what their company stands for. Fortunately, there are solutions out there to help.
If you’re struggling to find the ultimate brand name of your own, you can always consider looking into a naming company, like Fabrik, to help you make the right choice.
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…