How to Find the Perfect Name for Your Brand

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When it comes to naming your brand, there are so many options and ideas floating around that you can find yourself easily settling for the sake of being done. We’re excited to help simplify the process, and find the perfect fit for your brand personality, style and ideal clientele. Before we dive into finding your name, let's chat a bit about the types of brand names that we’re working with. Conveniently enough, 95 percent of brands fall into one of three categories: literal, suggestive and fantastical. 

  • Literal is just as it sounds, a straightforward description of the business or product offering. These brand names are both functional and tangible.
  • Suggestive brands evoke a thought process, creating a new line of thinking beyond simply what your brand does. These are important for brands that want to focus on their personality and experience, as well as their offering.
  • Finally, we have fantastical. Fantastical brand names don’t usually mention the product, service or even industry, but they go into cultivating a brand’s personality.

While each brand name type has its place, some might be a better fit for your business and goals than others. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each type while we look to understand them more.

Literal or Descriptive

Pros

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  • Easy for Search Engine Traffic. 
  • Easy to communicate to your customer what you’re bringing to the table without “the pitch.” You’ll find this a lot in our industry’s Instagram names, like @XYZdoeshair or even simpler, @XYZhair.
  • Great for traditional brands that can lean on their product or service quality for its innovation.

Cons

  • If you’re building a brand from the ground up, having a name without some personality is going to make it even harder for you to create that identity and personality for your brand.
  • Often times, literal branding can lead to saturation. For example, if you use your name in your branding, you face a few possible issues:
    • People searching your name and finding that Myspace profile from high school.
    • If your name is difficult to spell, you face the issue of people misspelling your name and giving up before ever tracking down your glory.
    • If your name is more common, there’s a chance that there is another person by your very name with an affinity for hair.
    • Lastly, people love using their names on Instagram. So chances are your name has been swiped up if your mom didn’t reserve it at birth and that will leave you with a name filled with underscores, periods or extra vowels to keep your namesake. 

Suggestive

Pros

  • Great for imprinting a personality right out of the gate as you speak about your brand
  • These can be playful, and for those that are lovers of alliteration like us, you can find something that will speak to your function while exploring what you bring to the table in some simple words. For example, Lyft: While lift, even spelled correctly, doesn’t directly relate to ride sharing, the idea of hiring someone to give you a lift doesn’t take too much thought.
  • Saves marketing time because your name does most of the pitch.

Cons

  • These names often times receive the most “copycats”—people who are “inspired by what you do” and decide to create something “brand new” and happen to rip off your name and hard work.
  • Different words mean different things to people. So be delicate with your selection and abuse your online thesaurus and seek double the input from friends before settling on a name.

Fantastical

Pros

  • Trailblazing companies like Google have had huge success setting themselves outside the lines of their industry by focusing on their personality rather than their function.
  • It saves tons of time on marketing because you’re diving deep into your brand identity.
  • It can be fun!

Cons

  • It’s going to be super hard to target and attract people when you’re starting from scratch. So prepare to devote time and effort into your website and SEO.
  • If you’re targeting anyone above the age of 35, chances are they are going to struggle with understanding your branding because they’re conditioned to seek out the functionality in the name.
  • Fantastical brands have to work double time on presenting their purpose and perfecting their pitch, because their name doesn’t do it for them.

American Salon is pleased to welcome the Business of Balayage, a collective of brilliant independent educators, as they share a series of business-building blogs on americansalon.com. For more information, visit www.thebusinessofbalayage.com.

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