Naming Strategies

How To Choose Your Brand Name

When it comes to choosing a name for your business; there are some fundamental principles you need to adhere to. It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is, you can’t afford to get the name wrong. In this article, we will show you how to choose your brand name for your business or product.


This describes the nature of your business by its name. When you name your business based on the intended function it will carry out, you are naming your business base on functionality.Functionality works very well for branding, as the name already speaks for itself. You don’t need too much talking to explain what your business is about. The name does it for you. The challenge with this is that the name you have in mind is most likely being used by another brand.

Advantage of the Functionality Approach

The major advantage of choosing a functional brand name for your business, product or service is its self-descriptive nature. I like this approach to choosing a brand name because of its ability to save you time trying to explain your business, product or service.

One other advantage is that it creates no confusion in the mind of everyone that hears it. There’s a clear communication of your product or service. It doesn’t matter whether you or any of your people are there to explain to them or not. The brand name does the whole talking. This is what everyone should aim for.



The central objective of this approach to choosing a brand name for your business is stickiness. You want your brand name to stick in people’s mind. You want to be remembered. This is a deliberate and creative combination of words. This is popularly known as coined words.  You want a brand name that will attract attention, stir up the curiosity and interest of your target market.

This can be said to be the opposite of choosing a brand name base on functionality. In this case, what you are seeking to achieve is ‘self-imagination’ of what your business, product or service is about.

With functional brand names, you focus on what your business, product or service does easier for the target market. But with memorable brand names, you focus on what your business, product or service does interesting for the target market.

With functional brand names, you don’t engage the customer’s curiosity because the name says it all. You don’t stir up their interest for what you are selling. But with memorable brand names, you have their attention because they are involved in the process of imagining what in the world your business, product or service is about.

This is where the catch is. You want your customer thinking about. The more time they spend thinking about your brand name, the more sticky your brand name gets in their mind. Your goal is to imprint your brand name in their memory. You want them to easily remember your business, product or service. The more unusual they seem, the more memorable they are.

Advantage of the Memorability Approach

The major advantage of choosing a memorable brand name is its uniqueness. Nothing differentiates a business, product or service better than a brand name that’s uniquely yours. When no other company has used your business name before, it helps to really enhance your brand identity. You distinctively stand out from the crowd in your niche or industry. You can weave a compelling story around that uniqueness.

The downside to choosing a memorable brand name is that it requires more talking and that means more marketing. The more unusual the brand name, the more curiosity it stirs and the more communication [marketing] required.

Successful brands don’t just carry sticky or memorable names, they also carry specific meanings. Successful brands are living entities. People know what they represent; they know what to expect every time from them. So, besides choosing a memorable brand name, you’ve also got to put a meaning behind it.

In the end, it is not enough to be memorable; your choice of brand name has to convey a meaning. And this doesn’t happen automatically, it is a deliberate and consistent marketing effort.



The third approach is simplicity. This, in fact, is the most important points in how to choose the brand name for your business . You don’t want to have a brand name that’s difficult to pronounce and spell. You really don’t want people biting off their tongues in an attempt to pronounce your brand name. The more complex it is, the more easily forgettable it becomes.

So whether it is a functional brand name or a memorable one you choose, just make sure it’s both simple to spell and pronounce. Simplicity is the underlying principle that ties up the other two approaches stated above.

It doesn’t matter which of the two you decide to choose. But it does matter that you ensure your brand name is simple. This is overly important. People don’t remember long or complex brand names. This is one of the reasons you find some brand names as acronyms. It’s because they need to keep it short and simple.


In conclusion, if you are just starting out in business, let your brand name be:

  1. Descriptive – [functional]
  2. Sticky – [memorable]
  3. Short – [simple]

As entrepreneurs, we always come up with ideas that end up as new businesses, products or services. What other principles do you follow on how to choose the brand name for your business?

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The post was first published on AfricaX.

By: Emmanuel Oluwatosin

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