Someone I know from the stock brokerage space told me he was leaving the business to start a company. He asked for advice on picking a name and I gave him some thoughts.
One article I pointed to was from Grant at Squadhelp, I think this is a good read for those thinking about different styles of branding. Breaking down the different styles can help to pick a name that evokes what you have been thinking you want your company to represent.
Brand styles break down like this:
- Classic names appeal to a customer need to feel special, and create a level of trust. These names tend to work for luxury products as well as things like consulting businesses and banks. These brands have gravitas and a timeless quality – Rolls Royce, Vanguard, or Liberty Mutual for example.
- Pragmatic brands solve problems. They appeal to the human desire to smooth life out and work out snags. They work for insurance companies, medical products, anything that has a clear use and gets rid of a nagging issue or a problem you didn’t even know you had. Think Dollar Shave Club, PayPal, or Science Comics (what parent doesn’t want a comic book that teaches their kids science).
- Modern names appeal to a desire to be both a part of and ahead of a crowd. They are fresh, new and buzzy. They work for companies aimed at a younger audience, or any attempt of breaking into and freshening up an industry. What is modern changes – for a while it was people’s first names, like Casper mattresses amongst others. Remember how Redfin pushed the boundaries of online real estate or Hulu came out as the cool younger brother to Netflix? These are both modern names, playing with an older industry standard.
- Outlier names appeal to curiosity! We all want to explore. We all get our heads turned by something new. Outlier brands stop you in your tracks: A cosmetics company with the word decay in it or a tech company named after a fruit! At the time, these brand decisions were huge risks, and they paid off with major impact.
- Emotionality does what it says on the tin: appeals to emotions! Mighty Call is a good example, evoking strength. The Honest Company is another. The starkness of the name feels, in itself, honest. The desire to feel positive emotions is core to human nature, and brands that align here can have a huge effect on their customers.
- Fun and Playful brands appeal both to our need for newness and our desire to laugh, have fun, enjoy ourselves. Remember, the original iPod commercials, with bright colors and dancing figures were all about pure fun! A lot of businesses aimed at Millennials and Gen z go for this kind of brand identity.
You can read the full article on Squadhelp
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Original article: Looking at different brand styles to come up with a company name
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