Questions To Ask When Choosing A Brand Name

Questions To Ask When Choosing A Brand Name

Case Study: Swiffer or ReadyMop

By David Placek, President and Founder, Lexicon Branding

Questions To Ask When Choosing A Brand Name

Choosing the right brand name isn’t easy.  You don’t always know a good name when you see it. Like many other decisions, asking the right questions helps you to make the right choice Here are questions we ask before we recommend one of our names.

1.Can the brand name carry the required load?

For a moment, think of a new brand name as a bridge between you and your customers.. Regardless of what the bridge ends up looking like (the brand character, if you will), from an engineering standpoint, it must be constructed to meet certain load-bearing requirements, certain material must be used, certain dimensions applied.  Understanding the brand name research is very important.

If all this is done properly, the bridge, in this case, the brand name, will function effectively, regardless of what it looks like.

When P&G decided to create an entirely new cleaning device, two important “materials” were required in the name: ease and speed.

2.Does the brand communicate a central idea?

Everyone agrees that focus is good for a brand.  We think it starts with the name. PowerBook, a name we created for Apple computer is an example of a brand name with focus PowerBook communicates a central idea. 

Of course, choosing what the central idea should be is as difficult as creating a name that communicates it. A bit of advice,  it is rarely the obvious one or the logical one.  For a new cleaning device, a risky idea was chosen as a creative direction – cleaning that’s fun. 

Keep in mind, the central idea doesn’t have to be obvious.  In fact, it’s better not to be.  It gives your customers a chance to create their own stories about your brand.                                       

3.Does the brand name offer a new idea?

While this might sound like a cliché, it’s a question that is often not asked. Or, at least, not answered honestly.  

The architect, Frank Loyd Wright once said that great buildings rise organically out of the landscape to capture attention and inspire. The same is true for great names.  They look and feel natural but they say “new idea”.

You can’t help a new cleaning device be new if an old device is part of the brand name.  There is nothing new about anything with “mop” attached.

Let Lexicon Help Develop Your Brand Name 

Lexicon Branding created Swiffer for P&G in 1995.  Since then, the company has sold over 10 billion in Swiffer sales, exceeding ReadyMop sales by 500%.  If you chose Swiffer, you made the right decision. If you choose Ready Mop, ask yourself this final question:  What mop isn’t always ready?

Contact Lexicon Branding today for help naming your brand. Since 1982, we have successfully completed more than 3,900 projects in over 20 countries. Fill out our form or call us today.