Every brand has a name, but have you ever wondered where did it come from?

Sometimes it might seem like a simple choice, but we can assure you that there is a specific story behind the naming of every company, whose meaning is not known to everyone but which is essential for building brand awareness and customer acquisition.

Let’s dismantle a myth right away: our brand will never have a certain name just because its founder like it or just because it sounds good. Conversely, a brand must first identify the product, direct the consumers to it and reassure them on its quality. But that’s not all: the name of a company must be able to transmit values, become a soul that evokes emotions, experiences and lifestyles. Only then it will become a brand: not just a name, but the reference point of the target.

Therefore, as said, it is also important to remember that the creation of the name is strongly linked to the mission, a set of values and objectives that define the way to position on the market. The mission itself, indeed, will be representative for customers and able to make a difference between a certain brand and the others and to create an emotional connection with its target audience.

So, once the mission and the goals of your brand are defined, it will be time to concentrate on the creation of a logo and a pay-off, which are the last pieces to build the brand identity:

  • The logo will obviously have to evoke your concept, those 2-3 guiding values wherewith to decline the brand identity. It’s recommended to opt for an abstract logo (Steve Jobs is the exception that proves the rule), easy to remember and able to arouse into your customers specific ideas and concepts, immediately identifiable in your brand.
  • The pay-off, instead, is made up by a phrase that symbolically holds your values and which is recognizable and associable with the brand.

Probably when you are at the beginning of your business activity you are looking forward to start, not giving the right importance to the corporate identity. Don’t do that. These stories of companies for which the rebranding became a mandatory and not at all inexpensive choice explain you why:

  • AdNear, a startup based in Singapore, has started by launching a geographical identification system capable of tracking mobile devices without using the GPS technology, used by large companies such as Volkswagen, Toyota, Samsung and Coca Cola to send targeted marketing messages based on geolocation of consumers.
  • In October 2014, it has received a Series B round of funding amounting to $ 19 million which allowed an expansion of the mission beyond mere advertising, moving on to all that includes the data-driven marketing. Therefore, it has been decided to remove the prefix “Ad” and change the name to “Near”. “This was a big step for us, but it is also a natural progression as things have changed tremendously over time” said Anil Mathews, founder and CEO of Near to TechInAsia. The renaming was not without pain, because AdNear was a unique name, while Near is a common word. Can you imagine how this would affect the SEO, just to give an example? “We lose a lot of brand equity with the name change, but we do think the new name reflects where we are, and our direction” says Mathews.
  • Robert Laing, one of the founders of the translation platform Gengo, which in 2012 eliminated the prefix “my” from its name, talked about how expensive the rebranding process is on his blog. “You’ll spend roughly the price of a luxury car if you use an agency. If you need them to do naming too. It will cost 10-20% more still. It will take at least 8 weeks for the branding phase, normally longer” – writes Laing – “It will take at least 80h of management time in meetings, travel, implementation. Trademarks can be $5k to $20k+ depending on complexity and region choice”.
  • The necessity for rebranding happened to an Italian startup as well. Waynaut, initially named Youmove.me, had to change its name when it decided to move the target (and thus the business model) from the end user to tour operators that can make use of the platform for a complete planning travel. The name was to specifically linked to a B2C company and wasn’t suitable to be used for a B2B business.
  • It also occurs to stumble into real semantic horrors. An American chromatographic company of analysis relied on a specialized agency to have a winning brand. From the words “analytical” and “technology”, it came out AnalTech. No one noticed the error/horror until it was too late. Fifty years later they changed the domain in ichromatography… but the name of the association still remains AnalTech!

And you? Have you thought about naming your startup? Are you sure it is the right one?  We are here for this and we are looking forward to meet you.