Naming—charting out a list is easy, zeroing on one is tough. Ask a new mom/dad to be or a newbie entrepreneur, they’re all struggling to name their babies.

For all those who’ve been Googling for a Brand name generator, do you know how the name Google came up?  Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had initially thought of naming their search engine BackRub because it could examine backlinks to measure a website’s importance. A few rounds of discussions later at their Stanford University office, they zeroed in on Googol, which is a cardinal number represented as 1 followed by 100 zeros. Then, while checking the domain name availability, a grad student, Sean Anderson spelt it wrong and typed ‘Google’ instead of ‘Googol’. The rest as they say is history.

Googol or Google, the philosophy apparently behind it was to sort out immeasurable amount of  information and data present on the web.

Let’s figure out some key elements before giving birth to a catchy, distinct and memorable brand name.

1) Brand Name Should Conjure up the Images of Your Brand!

Your ‘brand name’ is connected with your brand (its values, credibility, experience and everything it stands for) through an umbilical cord. A good brand name must make your brand stand out, engage your customers emotionally and perk up their interest. Its mention should bring up the images of your brand into the customers’ minds.

Hearing the word Apple (in most settings) invokes images of iMac, iPad even iPhone, instead of apple, the fruit, that’s been around for ages. This is where the magic lies. The word is still just ‘Apple’ but our mind makes up a connection lightning fast.

Whatever technique you apply to invent a brand name, see that this connect isn’t left behind.

ASUS that takes its name after Pegasus, lets us make our mind make a quick connect with the pioneering position it holds in IT products.

2) The Real Strategy before christening your venture

Before getting creative and naming your venture, you need to ask yourself a few questions to streamline your thoughts-:

i.  What are you really naming – Fathoming the impact your product is going to make is not as easy as it looks. Get to the core of your product. The name has to be according to its personality.

ii.  Define the turf you’re competing on– If you’re launching a honey induced sweetener as an alternative to sugar-free, then sugar-free manufacturers become your direct competitors along with sugar manufacturing companies too. You have to find a name that positions you apart from both of them.

iii. What names are your competitors using– Draw a list, understand the existing naming patterns in your core industry, and see how you can sound different.

iv. Who are your buyers – Are your customers—young business owners, teenagers, housewives, millennials, etc.?

v. Why should customers care about you  If you’re doing something unique, something that your competitors aren’t, how can you bring it forward so it can reflect in your brand name.

vi  How to incorporate your brand message in it The tonality and construction of your brand name should be in sync with the message your brand wants to communicate.

3) Brand naming architecture—Take brand, Sub brands into account!

A naming architecture may have to be formulated, if not now then in the future, as you grow. Your brand name will expand and give birth to sub-brands. Eventually, it would become an interdependent, interlocked network of systems and conventions, much like the solar systems.

Imbedding a simple, relatable and memorable philosophy into your brand name can help your target market identify with your core brand immediately and assume that your sub brands come with the same values.

AUDI’s symbol of four rings is a sign of superior automobile engineering. Its variations A3, A4, A5, A6 are the names stemming from the same family, carrying its core values. Similarly, Microsoft has so many sub brands MS Office, Windows, MSN, Bing, XBOX, Internet Explorer, etc. Creating or at least mulling over a brand naming architecture should be at the back of your mind, before hunting for a name.

4)‘Creativity is NOT enough!

Your resident copywriter can’t single-handedly crack this one, no matter how good are they at their craft. Names don’t emerge from a game of scrabble or spirited discussions at  cocktail parties. It’s beyond mixing and matching of vocabulary, finding acronyms, portmanteaus, inventive, playful or descriptive words.

Naming should not only bind the company with a common thread, but bridge the gap between the company and its customers.

Another thing that needs attention is your audiences’ intelligence. Even if the name sounds familiar, don’t fret. In business, familiarity breeds attachment, not contempt.  However, do get a legal screening of the name done; make sure it’s not already taken.

A name has to be evaluated on parameters like-:

 i.   Uniqueness
 ii.  Messaging
 iii. Sound
 iv.  Construction
 v.   Tone
 vi.  Appearance
 vii. Positioning
 viii.Name Length
 ix.  Domain availability (no point if a web domain is unavailable with that name)

Final Thoughts

In the past, many brand names have been ‘verbified’, i.e., they became so common in usage that they started being used alternately with the verbs describing the activity, example FedEx, Jacuzzi, Band Aid even Google itself. Such names have always attracted mixed reactions.

No name will be readily liked by everyone, there will disagreements too. The name ‘Virgin’ came across as outrageous and provocative to some. But later in time it stood out as a cheeky, dynamic, cocksure brand. Its image came out clear and broke through the clutter (the brand too lived up to its name).

Great names have a kind of recall value that’s rare. Be crystal clear about what matters the most to you, while being open to uncomfortable suggestions.  And then maybe you can Google for a brand name generator.