How to choose a brand name

If you’re thinking of starting up a brand but you don’t know what to call it, or stuck on a 5050, this blog is swooping in with a little help out. For starters, it’s one of the top sticking points for stores – but it’s also the most fun parts too: We talked to some of the most successful brand builders about brand names and how they made the call, so you can move forward with a brand name that will last.

Before you can build a Teemill store and connect to our print-on-demand factory, you need a name. And unlike your URL and logo, which can be changed fairly easily, your name has some fundamental links to your products that make it very difficult indeed to change later. This is also true if you have any documentation, bank accounts, trademarks or social media accounts. A re-brand is a breeze. A rename is a nightmare. If you want to build a successful brand on Teemill with a free print-on-demand factory pass, our advice is simple: Work on a good brand name – and stick with it.

Luckily, when you know how, it’s easier than it sounds.

Discover your Key Word

Firstly, we must remember we’re in the 21st century and you’re a new brand. That means you are likely to do almost all your marketing on the internet – as you’re new, you’ll need new customers to be able to find you, using search engines.

The format for a search engine is to type the right words in for what we’re looking for. New brands have an amazing advantage over the old-school high street names in that we can pick brand names closer to the internet search terms that the next generation of customers is looking for.

Start with a word-cloud to write down all the words relevant to your brand and products. Experiment, and try to build a name around some of them.

If you want search results from people who’ve never heard of you but are interested in your brand themes, avoid abbreviating beyond recognition. A brand called “BVHC” is meaningless to a new customer, even if it means a lot to the creator.

Keep it punchy

Brand names often start longer and get shorter, and more punchy as the brand matures. Like the sound of Woodcutter Apparel Co? Try shortening to Woodcutter.

In “the social network” Sean Parker, of Napster, tells Zuckerberg – “hey one more thing… lose the ‘the'” And in that moment, The Facebook became Facebook.

A lot of junk is put around the brand to try and make it sound better – the reality is that great brand names are simple and confident. Mercedes. Nike. Ferrari. Just one word, if you can. Keep the name simple – let the imagery and designs do the talking.

Laughter fades. Meaning lasts

The temptation is to be clever with a brand name, which is cool – but don’t joke. Joke brand names lack the trust, authenticity and longevity that growing businesses need to keep customers coming back time after time.

Unless you’re looking to build a flash in the pan, avoid a joke name. A name that’s clever is cool, but often the best brands are something simple, neutral and authentic.

Land Rover is a great example. Well Hung Signs is not.

Names aren’t everything!

If you’re still struggling, remember, names aren’t everything! Ask yourself what McDonald’s really means to you. At the end of the day, it could have just been called Smiths.

Brand names grow as the products develop, along with the logo, identity and colour palette. The name stays consistent in 99% of cases.

Whatever you do, the most important thing is to pick one – and make sure that nobody else has trademarked it already. It’s your responsibility to check that and you will end up in hot water if you haven’t taken steps to make sure your name is not infringing someone’s intellectual property.

We already check your name against other Teemill stores: We recommend searching thoroughly online and if you’re in the UK, you can use the very handy IPO Trademark Search Tool.

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