Would a Blog by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?

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  • 5/31/2018

    Start-ups, companies rolling out new products and brands undergoing a transformation all share one universal truth: You gotta nail the name.

    So, what makes a good name?

    The art and science of naming has been covered in countless previous blog posts and books, and I could easily write ten thousand words on the topic. But most people don’t really want to get into the weeds of naming conventions; they just want to know what makes us—consumers—connect with a name.

    At a high level, a good brand name should elicit strong positive feelings when the audience thinks about the particular product, service or people behind the name.

    To help deliver on this experience, the strongest names deliver on the Three Naming Commandments.

    • Thou Shalt Be Memorable—It doesn’t matter how strong the name is if no one can remember it. Just saying the name should bring up positive emotions around the use of the product or service.
    • Thou Shalt Be Unique—The counterpoint to the first command. It doesn’t matter how memorable the name is if it’s constantly confused with similarly named brands. The name should stand on its own and be indelibly tied to the experience of interacting with the product, service or event.
    • Thou Shalt Be Authentic—This is the most important commandment by far. The name must feel genuine to the product, people, service or company behind the name. If your name conjures up emotions that don’t jive with the experience of actually interacting with the product, your customers will know it and turn to a brand that does deliver on the experience.

    If your name can deliver on the three commandments above you will have a brand that connects with your audience, creates positive emotions and delivers on the experience.

    Couple of caveats:

    • Many businesses want a URL that matches the name perfectly. With the enormous abundance of websites out there, this becomes harder every day. Additionally, URL squatters may have already purchased your perfect name so they can sell it back to you for 100x the value. Be flexible and creative with your website address.
    • You have to be able to read and pronounce the name—Funky spellings may be unique, but they can result in your audience mispronouncing the name. This can be embarrassing, just ask Andy and Erin:
    Need some help following the commandments? We’re just a click away.
    About the author::Craig Israel is the Creative Director at thunder::tech. He steers creative strategy for the agency and leads a team of rock stars who regularly create crazy beautiful and stupid impactful work. Taller than average.
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