Any trip down a grocery store aisle or a cruise through the online yellow pages yields hundreds of different brand names, from “why didn’t I think of that? to “what were they thinking?”.

Ever wonder how great brand names are born?  Science? Magic? Divine inspiration?

While you’re waiting for that lightening bolt, take the time to go through a seemingly simple, but absolutely essential process:

1. Analyze your competition, study the denotation and connotation of their brand names, as well as their relative strength.

2. Clarify your positioning, with respect to your competition, your target customer and your market.

3. Clarify exactly what you want your brand name to do.  A few examples:

* Highlight a product/service attribute

* Broadcast a competitive advantage

* Distinguish you from the competitive field

* Capitalize on a person involved with the brand (founder, owner, endorser, etc.)

* Create excitement or curiousity

* Grab the attention of a specific target market

4. OK, NOW you can have that brainstorming session!

5. Run the candidates through the results of the first three steps to ensure they serve your positioning purpose.

6. Test out the name on a sampling of your target demographic

7. Trademark!

And, if you find you cannot protect that inspired new brand name, go back to step #4, and repeat!

Tracey Nelson, Co-Founder & Principal

Maven Marketing Solutions