Tips on connecting your brand’s name to its story

If you choose a safe name for your brand, you’ll miss an opportunity to make it stand out from its competitors. Be too clever, however, and you might puzzle your target audience with rejigged spellings and invented words.

Done correctly, a good name can help make brands, and their value, memorable and relatable. For nonprofits, start-ups and small businesses in particular, the right moniker could lend some micro-storytelling power — if the name pays homage to your company’s backstory or purpose.

How do you pick a name that’s meaningful and still sensible? Read on for a couple of helpful tips.

  1. Don’t make-up words- Though this strategy was successful for Twitter and Adidas, you might have a hard time starting out if your made-up name doesn’t say what your brand stands for or the work it does. Instead, get creative with puns or phrases, like the pet food and supply company Healthy Spot or the PR blog SpinSucks.
  2. Don’t forget to think about the future- If you plan to grow your brand into other markets, avoid adding a region to its name (and later confusion), even if it represents where your company started from (e.g., Kentucky Fried Chicken is now referred to as KFC). Also, try to pick a name that will still work when your company starts to get bigger (e.g., the name Two Men and a Truck doesn’t convey the company’s ability to staff large moves).

Don’t forget to make your name/logo visually distinctive and symbolic as well. See some great examples here.