Naming a brand: Can it be easy?

by The Katapult team on 16-Feb-2018 14:10:00


At the start of the month, we were faced with the task to come up with a name for a brand that had a very specific set of goals and ideals. We needed a name that matched those ideals that no one else had used. Creating a sound brief and using a good workshop structure kept us on track and delivered a great result.

The need for a brief

The first thing we needed was a brief. Who was this brand talking to and what did it have to say? What did it sound like? What did it look like? Was it one word or a short phrase? What message did this name convey? How would it be used practically?

Our workshop structure was based around defning the proposition.

  1. After reading the brief everyone delivered their spoken brand elevator pitch out loud. This help to define tone of voice, rhythm, sounds and actions.
  2. Then we asked the team to think of names that fitted into themes such as; what the brand does; how it acts; what results it achieves; abstract words that 'just sounded right'. No ideas were bad ideas and everything was written down and stuck on the walls.
  3. From here we went into 'keep, kill, combine' - a tactic we use in our meetings every week. Which names would we combine with others, which had legs and which were so bad we coudn't bear them?
  4. Hurrah! We had a longlist. 
  5. Next: re-read your brief! This is a great chance to remind yourself what your brand is really all about.
  6. Review your longlist and keep, kill, combine once more.
  7. Yay! we had our shortlist.
  8. We then voted for our top and bottom three choices. Anything without a vote was ditched, anything with a positive vote (even if it had a negative) was kept.
  9. We were then down to our super-shortlist. From here we investigated if the names were usable - were they registered or competitors already?
  10. Down to our final three choices and our instincts took over to choose the right name. 

Be original. Be relevant.


The key thing for us was to be both orginal and also relevant. This led to some hot-debate but that only fuelled the creative fire! Don't be afraid to go out to the edges - you can always bring the ideas back.

Naming a brand or product is much like naming a child, you could be searching for months, read all the baby names in the world, think of a first choice, second choice, 23rd choice. But the truth is the minute after you name that child, that’s its name, always has been and always will be. If you find a name you like for your brand/product (and it's available) go with it. Before you know it you can’t imagine it being anything else.

If you need help in naming a brand or product get in contact with us! Our experienced team can guide you through the best practice for discovering that unique name, or if you are at a dead-end we have some creative brains that can help you out.


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This post was written by The Katapult team

We’re Katapult, a marketing agency where creative ideas and commercial thinking help our clients to build brands, hit targets, drive growth and deliver a better experience for customers.

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