Your name is the first contact people with have with your brand. It will conjure a vision in your customer’s head and that vision will only be successful if it’s the same as what your brand stands for. So before you start writing down words or your name in different fonts, you need to define your brand. This means that you need to understand what your brand stands for and what you want it to represent. Is it eco-friendly, classically styled, fast fashion, Sporty, Feminine, or Quality Fabrics? None of these are right or wrong, but you need to be honest when you define them.
Once you have this list of attributes you need to consider how the design will look. It might seem odd to think about the design before you even know the name, but by doing so you’ll be able to make the selection process easier. For example, people usually decide on a font because it looks great on paper. However, you have to remember that your name will appear on all aspects of your branding. This includes your product labelling, swing tickets with product information, invoices, website, marketing, social media pages, and occasionally even your products. Something ornate and detailed will look great when it’s a metre long, but how will it look when it’s only 4 cm long on a garment label?
You should also consider the length of your name. Shorter names look better graphically and are easier for people to remember. It’s also good to consider whether you can represent the name with an anagram, especially if the name is longer. ASOS actually stands for ”As Seen On Screen”, but most people will call it ASOS because it’s easier to remember and shorter to say. Plus the abbreviation makes the labelling of products more flexible.
What Your Name Represents
What about the name itself? Do you choose your own name or go with a generic brand name? This really depends on what you’re going to sell and who your customers are. People use their own name because they’re literally selling a piece of themselves. They are promoting the fact that their products are created by them or the products represent them and their beliefs or lifestyle. If YOU are the main focus of your new brand then your own name will add value to each product.
If you are not the focus, at the moment or in the future, it’s probably better to create a generic brand name. Consider the attributes and values of your brand and think about names that create that vision in people’s minds. It can be a combination of words, an alternative word with the same meaning, or a word that represents a feeling, attitude or theme. With this in mind, it’s time for you to make a list of potential names. Once you have this list, you can use the tips below to narrow down your choices until you have a winner.
Is your name legal? You need to make sure that no one else has your potential name trademarked. If it’s trademarked, cross it off the list. In some cases you may find that a name you like is being used, without a trademark, by another business. While this means that you can legally use the name as well, it’s not a good idea and should be avoided.
As a side point, if you’re thinking about using your own name, then regardless of other brands using the same name you can still legally use it. This depends on the country [ please check where you live ] but it’s probably not a good idea to try and compete if the company using the same name as you is large and well established.
Is it rude? You should check to see if your name translates into something offensive or rude in any of the countries where you plan to sell your merchandise. Whoever came up with the term ”fanny pack” didn’t understand English very well, considering they were American. Everywhere outside of America, the term fanny means something very different from bottom, and it’s quite rude I might add. Although, considering people tend to wear them at the front of the body these days, the description is probably right. In Hong Kong, the store ”Wanko” always creates a few laughs.
Pronunciation is also important. Some brands change their names because it can’t be pronounced in other countries. The bathroom cleaning product ”Cif”, actually used to be name ”Jif”. However, because of some European languages and the difficult pronunciation of the ‘J’, it was renamed to ”Cif”. Although I believe it remains as ”Jif” in Australia.
Does it reflect your Brand Identity?
Every brand should have some core values that it believes in and sticks to, and your name is a reflection of those values. It should illustrate the image that you are trying to get across to your potential customers and reflect what you believe your Fashion Brand stands for.
Is it timeless?
If you jump on the bandwagon and name your brand after the latest craze it will help with sales and promotion. However, the minute that people move onto something else, and this WILL happen quickly, you’ll be stuck with a name that is tied to an old fad. Make sure that your brand name is something that reflect you, your brand, and your lasting values.
You should ask these questions about your potential name………
- Is it simple?
- Is it relevant?
If any of these issues come up then you can start crossing off names from your list.
Finally, TEST IT…..
Really look at the name. Does it represent you brand? Does it create the right first impression?
You should ask people to tell you what image your name creates in their mind. With no previous information or details about what it represents, find out what impressions people have of it. Don’t say anything that might influence their answer. When you do this, you’ll gain an honest answer from people about what they think about your brand, based on the name alone….
Don’t ask close friends and family, they will always say it’s good because they want to agree with you. Instead, put it on a forum, ask a Facebook or G+ group, or even Twitter…… just make sure that you are getting honest feedback.
My last word of advice is that you should never rush this process. Your brand name is like a child and will be with you for life, so it needs to be right. Take your time and make sure you get it right. If you don’t, the lack of sales will.
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