Naming your brand


Google Doodle celebrating Holi Festival.


There is an exciting, yet highly challenging side to brand development that is less commonly discussed when we talk about branding. If you have ever been involved in the origins of an organisation or company, you would know just how difficult it can be to come up with a great name that your entire brand identity can stand behind.

Settling on a name can be tough. A name that is available (including online) and one that has not been used for registrations and trademarks around the world. The process of naming can be highly structured, but within that structure is a world of imagination, lateral thinking and a healthy dose of right-brain exercise!

When it works

This word originally appeared in the book Gulliver’s Travels where the author Jonathan Swift used the word to describe his human-like creatures as "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth." Yahoo founders Jerry Yang and David Filo considered themselves to be yahoos, and thought this would be an appropriate name for their venture.

This name came together as a nice hybrid and abbreviation after the original product prototype was named "Sky-Peer-to-Peer". In rolling out and testing the prototype, the owners decided to shrink it down to Skyper and then eventually, to the name we all know today, Skype.

Googol is the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. Larry and Sergey named the search engine they built “Google,” a play on the word “googol,” the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. It is beautiful in it's simplicity and originality.

Is there a process?

The short answer is, yes. Working on a number of brand projects here at Mind Methods Agency, the answer when it comes to naming a brand, venture or product, has become very clear.

Although this work involves a great deal of creativity and inspiration, having a robust process is critical to ensuring that all important considerations are taken into account.

Parts of this process allow for a great deal of creativity, as the focus is on brainstorming and coming up with interesting and unique names that express brand values or tell a unique story. This part is fun!

Other parts of the process are highly structured and logical, such as reviewing the company’s positioning, defining criteria, contextual testing of options and screening potential names for trademarks and registrations (both locally and internationally).

In the end, when done well and with the right balance of structure and creativity the results can be outstanding. We're currently in the middle of a new brand naming assignment at Mind Methods Agency and we can't wait to share the results with you soon, so watch this space!

For more information on brand and naming projects, get in touch.