The following is an edited transcript of my book video Building a Bold Brand Chapter 1: Choose Wisely.

Bold brands begin with great brand names, but brands are much more than just names. They are the sum parts of a company and the customer’s relationship with its products or services. When consumers form a relationship to a brand, the relationship focuses not just on the product or service, but also on quality reliability, the consumer’s perception of what the business represents and how it operates. Brand names are at the core of a brand’s persona. While brands help identify a business and its products or services, the trademark is the legal protection that attaches to the brand’s name, logo, or other symbols to help customers differentiate it from its competitors.

What makes for a strong name that can help build a brand with strong trademark protection? It begins with the selection of a creative name combined with trademark. Registration is a strong foundation upon which to build a brand because it is more likely to be unique and protectable.

A brand built upon a name that is not unique in the industry or that is made of solely descriptive or weak terms is on a weak foundation and is therefore much more at risk for being less memorable, less protectable, and less distinctive.

A creative name is valuable for multiple reasons:

  • The more distinctive a brand name is, the more likely to stand out among the competition.
  • A name that is easy to remember and spell is important for building a bold brand.
  • A strong, distinctive brand name is also more likely to achieve strong protection under the law and is generally easier to remember.
  • Cast a very wide net and come up with a variety of options at the outset.

Brainstorming basics:

  • Brainstorm for names with characteristics, prefixes, and suffixes in mind.
  • Consider a variety of different ideas or pieces of a name in dozens of variations or combinations.
  • Be creative. Some of the best brand names are coined unique names – they’re the easiest to protect and make the strongest trademarks.
  • Creative spellings or combinations of symbols and words make for good trademark possibilities.
  • Send a message. What message are you trying to communicate to consumers with your name?
  • Think big. If you prepare for the possibility that your brand will be hugely successful, you will have built a bold brand equipped for such success. Customers and investors are less likely to get behind a brand name that is boring or weak.

More Brainstorming tips here: 

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