Choosing A Brand Name

The Do’s and Don’ts of naming a brand. 

So, you have a business idea. That’s great! Now it’s time for the hard part: giving your newly formed brand a name. With the number of active businesses growing in Australia each year and trademarks soaring to a record high of over 79000 applications, a strong and memorable name can be the difference between succeeding in your industry and closing the business’s doors.  

Like anything, brands are defined by their names. These names provide businesses with the ability to implicit meaning, evoke positive connotations and even stand out from competitors. But don’t fret. Here are four core Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to establishing a brand name that hits the mark! 

Do: Explore a Variety of Naming Techniques  

With a world of possibilities (and limitations), selecting a brand name that perfectly captures your business’s identity and values can feel practically impossible. But luckily for you, there are a variety of ‘tricks’ that you can employ when creating that seemingly elusive brand name: 

  • Descriptive: This is a name that acts to describe the nature of your business. When using this technique, think about the core attributes of your business and the products/services it provides. Examples include China Mobile and General Electric.  
  • Etymology: Consider examining the origin of words associated to your business. Did you know that the brand name ‘Lego’ comes from the Danish phrase leg godt meaning “play well”?  
  • Portmanteau: These brand names blend two or more concepts to establish a new word. Facebook is a common example of this technique: Face + Book = Facebook. 
  • Other Languages: Exploring other languages is a great way to develop a unique and interesting brand name. For instance, Sony is derived from Sonus; the Latin word for sound.  

Don’t: Make it Too Similar to Big-Name Brands  

Brand names are built to be distinctive. Consequently, when you brand name has commonalities with big players, you may be reducing your business’s recognisability and performance. In the worst cases, you may even find yourself in the heart of an expensive legal battle. This was the case for small Australian burger business, Down’N’Out, who were accused of trademark infringement by America’s In-N-Out Burgers! That would be a risky situation to be in. Further to that, always choose a name which Google doesn’t interpret as a misspelling of a bigger brand and tries to auto correct. 

Do: Ensure that Your Brand Name is Available  

When developing your new brand name, make sure it is available. To ensure your name is truly unique, it is recommended that you check that your brand name is available from key databases such as ASIC and the Australian Government’s IP registry. There is nothing more frustrating that developing a brand identity for a name that is already taken! 

Don’t: Forget to Cross Check the Domain Name  

Your new brand name may sound great, but does it sound great as a domain? Words can often come across differently when paired incorrectly. In fact, Susan Boyle experienced this same issue in 2012 during the release of her album. The infamous campaign invited the public to listen through the unfortunate hashtag #susanalbumparty.  

Do you see the problem? In today’s viral digital culture, it is critical for you to protect your brand name from potentially destructive mishaps. Before releasing your brand, ensure that you check all potential topics, ideas and businesses connected to the chosen brand name and its various domain combinations. This includes phonetically similar words and common misspellings.  

The Bottom Line 

Establishing a strong brand name should be a core focus for any rising business. It does not only increase your brand’s recognisability, but also becomes a core component of future branding and business operation.  

If you need help when creating your business’s name, contact Link Pixel today! 


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