Being an entrepreneur and starting a business is difficult. However, as a creative individual, I’m finding the process of finding the perfect brand name to be much more of a challenge. While I still haven’t settled on a brand name for my web design business, I wanted to write this post now to take you on the branding journey with me. I’ll walk your through the ins and outs of finding a brand name, from the perspective of someone who is still searching.
Finding a Brand Name is a Tall Order
Right now, it seems like I will never find a brand that is perfectly suited for the web design services I wish to offer and the vibe I wish to exude. I’m looking for something that’s:
- Easy to Remember
- Easy to Spell
- Exudes some combination of expertise, digital, collaboration, fun, amazingness… (the list goes on.)
- Available as a .com
That’s no simple list to fulfill. On top of that, the .com must be available without any addons (like creative, media, agency, marketing, etc.). I must find a brand name that allows my company to pivot if I choose to take on other ventures in the future, like app development or developing a software platform.
As I continue on the journey of finding my perfect brand name, I wanted to walk you through my process. This process has worked for me in the past and I know it will work for me as I continue searching for that perfect brand.
Brainstorming Your Way to Better Branding
The most efficient way to get started is by brainstorming. There are many forms of brainstorming you can partake in. My favorite is what I love to refer to as the brain-dump method. This form of brainstorming takes 4 steps:
1. Literal Brain Dump
I grab my notebook and literally dump every word, phrase, and idea from my brain onto the page in front of me. I make sure to cover words and phrases that convey…
- What my brand/company does
- What I want my brand to be
- How I want my brand to be perceived
- What I plan to offer my customers beyond basic services (piece of mind, expert service, add-on dashboards, etc.)
- Who my brand will service
- The overall picture of the marketplace I’m looking to enter
Here’s my current brain dump in progress:
2. Categorize the Brain Dump
Once I have all of the words and phrases down on paper, I start to make connections. I’ll use circles, lines, boxes, and other graphics to tie ideas together that can help to form new ideas.
3. Form Brand Names
From the connections, we can now start to identify some brand names. Are you a digital marketing agency looking to generate buzz for your clients? What about Buzzr?
4. Check For the .COM
Don’t fall in love with any of the brand names you’ve identified yet. First you need to see if the .com is available. Establishing yourself as a .com gives you more authority in the industry just by nature of your TLD (top level domain).
Now, if you fell in love with Buzzr – and Buzzr.com is not available, you can opt to go with something like – Buzzrcreative.com, Buzzrmedia.com, Buzzrdesign.com, etc. I personally don’t like these types of domain names, as they are long, harder to remember, and don’t let you pivot. So if you choose Buzzrmedia.com and then decide you want to go into app design instead, you’ll need to acquire a new domain name and start from scratch. But, if your set on a brand name, don’t plan to rely on word of mouth to spread your business, and don’t plan to pivot – Buzzrmedia.com may be for you.
Sometimes your initial brain dump doesn’t result in finding your perfect brand name. Don’t give up! I’ll often go through several cycles before I find the best brand to fit my current needs.
Successful Brand Brainstorming
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had success with this method in the past. Here’s a few brands that developed from this brainstorming technique. I’m afraid they are no longer live today, though Infographix is due for a re-birth soon!
Infographix – I wanted to create a site that pooled together all of the best infographics on web design and digital marketing. My goal was to be the one-stop source for digital marketers looking for both inspiration and data. Infographix was a cool way to say exactly what I do – I provide/collect infographics. However, I broke my cardinal rule: I purchased a .co instead of a .com because I was so in love with the brand name. Sometimes you have to make exceptions when you fall for a brand. Though, I still feel very strongly about the significance of a .com.
There’s no better time to start than today. Just grab a pen and some paper and start brainstorming. You never know when you’ll come up with your next venture.