In today's marketplace with thousands of products and services being rapidly commoditised, a brand name helps to stand out and establish a clear identity in the market. The brand name in itself signifies the existence of a powerful "narrative" link to the brand.
"You must carefully define your attitude, your particular sense of style and fashion, and what sets you apart from the other labels" says Jay Jurisich, Creative Director, Igor, a branding consultancy firm based in San Francisco.
Fashion labels mostly use the designer's name as the brand name. This helps in creating an association with the quality and uniqueness of the apparels. The value added on the name is to create a hook in order to connect the consumers with the unique identity of the designer in terms of quality and exclusivity. This would help to increase the longevity of the relationship like Giorgio Armani, GUCCI, Prada, etc.
What you may need to know before selecting a brand name
Define your audience archetype
The brand name may be created keeping the consumers in mind. A well researched name helps to associate with a large number of consumers. With a clearly defined name, it is easy to formulate ways on how to market your brand. Age, location, gender, income level, education level, family status, occupation and background are important points of consideration for creating a brand name. Below image suggests on the customer archetypes.
Establish behavioural and emotional connect
Human actions are guided by emotions. Therefore, it is always better to create a name that arouses consumer's perception so that the target consumers could be able to associate their personal feelings with the brand name.
It is very hard to neglect the emotional effect. A strong name acts as the prompting mechanism to encourage a sceptical generation and a perceptive nation to give any product a try.
Leveraging Family Name, Own name or Regional name
One could use a family name or surname which represents a tradition that follows the brand. In case of a new brand, using the name of the designer or one's own name is also a good idea, provided there is a strong differentiating factor in terms of design, fabric quality and uniqueness, e.g. Versace, Calvin Klein, Masaba Gupta, Ritu Kumar, to name a few.
A brand name based on the region is sometimes very important for associating with the place of origin. This may help in associating with the tradition of the region in accordance to the product quality for example Peter England.
Number of alphabets to use
There is a general belief that use of a minimal number of words may result in getting more consumer attention, but it is not completely true. Phrases could be used as they are easy to remember. There are several examples of brand names that use more than four or five words and are highly popular, namely Wrangler, Moustache, etc. A catchy name yields better recall for e.g. Ray-ban, Lacoste.
Easy to search on the Web
In current scenario, brands are competing for attention and ranking on the search engines, and those brand names that are easy to search on the web will have increased traffic and visibility.
Naming in different geographic regions
As the perception varies across geographies, so does the culture and language. Therefore, the approach may also vary in different geographical regions. The challenges faced could be due to the cultural, social, and political environment of a country as well. Brand names may hurt the sentiment of people in some geographical regions, if it has an inappropriate meaning in the local language.
Trademark the brand name
According to the International Trademark Association, "A trademark may be any word, name, slogan, symbol, device, packaging or a combination of these that serves to identify and distinguish a product from others in the marketplace."
If someone attempts to duplicate name in respect to font and design similar to that of one which is already trademarked, there is legal right to protect it.
One could register a business name as a trademark to be protected legally. It is not easy to register a truly 'global' right for a brand. However, the best choice is to register an International Right (IR) or a Community Trade Mark (CTM) depending on the overseas jurisdictions.
Some important specifics of trademark are discussed below:
● Trademarked name emphasizes the individuality of a firm.
● It creates a sense of belief and acceptance in the mind of the customers.
● It serves as an asset for the company by protecting it legally.
Future extension of a Fashion brand name
A name must not restrict a company with a single objective of business. Diversification could always be an option to extend the offerings in correlation to the company's products or services offered.
Jeans manufacturer, Levi Strauss & Co., launched Denizen, as a new global brand in China, with a hope to crack the fast-growing and youthful market by tailoring their products to Chinese tastes.
There are multiple brands who have taken an approach of extending their brand name for catering to the different segment. Like Allen Solly started Allen Solly Junior, Zara Kids, etc.
Even though there are many benefits of brand extension, there is a risk in creating a wrong extension. It can create confusion among the loyal consumers. Launching products beyond brand's core attributes may be avoided.
Brand names can be an important factor that could influence the customer decisions during a purchase. It would help in associating with customers and creating a brand oriented conception in their mind depicting the belief in the quality and impact on their lifestyle in the society. If customers are happy and satisfied with the products of a brand, then they would easily choose the same brand for purchasing other offerings.
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About the Author:-
Neeraj Choudhary is the co-founder and director of eShopbox.