What a difference a name makes

One of the first steps a new company will take towards establishing their brand is to decide up on the company name, and it’s also one of the most important steps in company branding and company brand design.

Resonate with your target market

Customers are first prompted to purchase products and/or services by emotional triggers; not because they need something, but because they ‘want it’, they then rationalise their decisions with practical considerations. If the rationale is able to back up the emotion…this then leads to the sale. But if the want and emotion isn’t there, the sale won’t come at all as they will never reach the stage of rationalising their wants.

The whole purpose of branding is not only to promote brand loyalty, but to create a brand that provokes an emotional response, and in this respect the name is just as important as the imagery associated with it. It’s just another tool in ramming home that emotional point you want to make.

A strong name is an excellent base for a strong brand if the right imagery is linked with it.
Some examples of excellant company names include;

  • Gentleman & A Van
  • Skinny Cow
  • You Tube
  • itunes

These names put the company in a very strong position before they even add imagery that the customer then links to the ‘brand behaviour’. Brand behaviour plus brand imagery is what creates a brand image.
A brand design is the image that a customer will grow to link with the brand behaviour. It’s up to the company to ensure that the correct brand behaviour is linked to this image or logo – obviously if your brand behaviour is rubbish, a good name isn’t going to save you

How can you ensure your brand name is a good one?


Ensure the name is catchy, can be pronounced without pain, and is easy to remember, this is especially important for businesses that need customers to visit their website and easily remember their domain name.


Try to be different, it’s hard, but please try. I find that nowadays the lack of domain name availability is forcing businesses to be unique in their company naming which is a good thing. I am beginning to feel that ‘company naming specialists’ must be reaping the benefit of this issue or soon will do.


A good brand name should peak interest and invite the viewer to find out more.


If you aim to trade internationally and really want to do your homework…it’s a good idea to check what your intended name means in the countries you plan to trade with, or may possibly trade with in the future. Avoid negative connotations.


Don’t trap yourself in your company name by choosing one that too narrowly describes your products and/or services. Make sure there is room for future development and changes without having to dissolve into a full rebrand as a result. For this reason geographical names should also always be avoided.
Finally, keep yourself out of court with the following tips;

  1. Do not be tempted to borrow or modify existing brand names, especially famous brands with big pockets for expensive law suits.
  2. Avoid words that imply you are something that you are not, the types of word inclusion that you will need authorisation before using include words such as; British, International, England, Ireland, Great Britain, Scotland and anything similar to these related to other countries. In addition to name just a few; Association, Council, Federation, Institute, Co-operative, Society, Chamber, Registered, Provident, Trade Union, Trust, Bank.

Domain Names

It is worth thinking about your website domain name as well. The domain name needs to be either memorable or connected in some way to your company name to make it easy to find.


You can obtain some useful legal information about company naming at Companies House. You can also see if your company name has been registered already.

Check with the UK Intellectual Property Office to see if the name has been trademarked in anyway

Check if your domain name is available. NamesCo is a good resource to do this as they have a thesaurus function as well so can give you options

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.


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