Basics of Branding: Lecture 3

Deciding on a brand name

Your name plays an important role in immediately setting the tone of your brand.

While the name can be generic and meaningless, it’s an opportunity for you to evoke an an emotion and set initial perceptions.

Keep your name simple: While you can evoke an emotion with a phrase, it’s important to keep things simple. Ideally it be limited to two or three syllable word, which are most memorable

Brainstorming: Start with a few simple words that you want to associate with your brand. Use word association games and tools to find other related and similar words. When brainstorming, you want hundreds of choices to think about. A Thesaurus is very helpful in this process, which can be used to identify words related to other words.

Consider foreign language words: An interesting option to add names to your name list is to use translation tools to translate the word into a foreign language. It will still retain it’s meaning, but may result in more interesting options.

Make sure your chosen name is available: Check if the domain for your chosen name is actually availble. Ideally you want the “.com”, which may be for sale if not already in use. Another think to look into is trademark usage around the chosen name. You don’t want to end up in a legal battle if another company already owns registered trademarks for similar use cases.

Brand logo design

Similar to coming up with a brand name, you need to put effort in to come up with a logo design that fits your brand, evokes the right emotions, is unique and is memorable.

Brainstorming: Similar to coming up with a brand name, start with words that can be used to visually represent the emotions you want to evoke.

Sketching: Make lots of sketches based on the visual concepts that the words are leading towards. These don’t need to be super detailed illustrations. Just rough sketches to set done and direction of your logo concept.

Colors: Depending on how and where your logo will be used, it may make sense to have a colorful logo or one that represents a concept in 3D. However, most flexible logos are flat and in a single color.

Testing your brand name and logo

Once you have an idea of what your brand name and logo could be, ask people what they think the brand sells.

Ideally these are people who are unfamiliar with your company and what you do.

The results can be very interesting:

  • Is it evoking the right emotion?
  • Are they able to identify what industry the company is in?
  • Does your brand concept accidentally hint towards something you haven’t thought about yet?

Continue to Lecture 4 →