Brand Naming Research: How to Choose the Best Business Name

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Finding the perfect business name is no easy feat, and it requires a strategic approach that combines creativity, market research, and a deep understanding of your brand's values and objectives. 

In this blog post, we will walk you through the essential steps of brand naming research, providing valuable insights and practical tips to help you make an informed decision that resonates with your audience and sets you apart from the competition.

Interested in conducting brand naming research? Drive Research can help. Contact our team by filling out an online form or emailing [email protected].

Importance of Brand Naming

Brand naming is a crucial aspect of any business's marketing strategy. A well-thought-out brand name can help a company establish its identity, differentiate itself from competitors, and build a strong reputation over time.

In this section, we will explore the importance of brand naming and its impact on a new or existing business. 

Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is the extent to which a customer can identify a brand by its name, logo, or other visual cues.

A strong brand name can help a company create a distinct identity that customers can easily recognize and remember. This can be particularly important in crowded markets where consumers are bombarded with a variety of product choices.

Customer Engagement

A brand name can also play a critical role in engaging customers and building a loyal following.

Therefore, a well-crafted business name can evoke positive emotions and associations, making customers more likely to choose a particular brand over others.

Additionally, a strong brand name can help establish trust and credibility with customers, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Competitive Advantage

Finally, a strong brand name can provide a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace. By creating a unique identity and reputation, a company can differentiate itself from competitors and stand out in a crowded market.

This can be particularly important for small businesses or startups that are trying to establish themselves in a competitive industry.

How to Conduct Brand Naming Research

Conducting brand naming research is a crucial step in creating a successful brand. It helps to determine the right name that resonates with the target audience and conveys the brand's message effectively.

Here are some steps to conduct brand naming research:

  1. Define the Objectives: The first step in conducting brand naming research is to define the objectives. What is the brand trying to achieve? What message does it want to convey? Defining clear objectives helps to narrow down the focus of the research.

  2. Identify the Target Audience: The second step is to identify the target audience. Who is the brand trying to reach? What are their characteristics and preferences? Understanding the target audience helps to create a name that resonates with them.

  3. Conduct a Competitive Analysis: The third step is to conduct a competitive analysis. This involves researching the names of competitors in the same industry. It helps to identify naming trends and avoid duplicating existing names.

  4. Brainstorm Names: The fourth step is to brainstorm names. This involves generating a list of potential names that align with the brand's objectives and resonate with the target audience.

  5. Test the Names: The final step is to test the names. This involves surveying the target audience to determine which name resonates with them the most. It helps to identify the most effective name that conveys the brand's message and resonates with the target audience.

Recommended Reading: How a Survey Can Test Branding (+15 Example Questions)

Case Study in Brand Name Testing

Our market research company recently conducted a brand naming research project to understand how much value stakeholders had in the current brand name. Plus, they wanted to assess the need for a potential brand name change. 

In this section, we dive deeper into the project’s objectives, approach, and results. 

The Challange

What’s in a name? Well…names can have a lot of brand equity that can make an organization think twice about updating its branding/brand name. 

Recently our team conducted a study on behalf of an organization that sought to grow its business from regional to national. The overarching goal of the study was to assess its brand equity with its stakeholders.

Objectives of the brand naming research included: 

  • Assess the need for potential changes to the brand or name
  • Evaluate the brand equity of the name with specific stakeholders types, which included measuring:
    • Brand perception
    • Competitive brand perceptions
    • Impressions of the name 
    • Products/product lines associated 
    • Understanding strengths and weaknesses 
    • Understanding brand associations

Understanding the challenge for an organization is crucial to the success of a market research project. During this phase, the team will try to learn as much as possible about the problem and how the team plans to use the results.

The Approach

To address the objectives, our team conducted an online survey. Online surveys are great for measuring brand perception, impressions, usage, understanding strengths and weaknesses, etc. 

Here’s more on the process of the brand testing survey:

  1. Kickoff: The kickoff meeting is the start of market research projects. It typically includes the main client and research team and lasts 30 to 60 minutes depending on the scope of the project. The conversation usually covers the objectives, process, timeline, project details, and next steps.   

  2. Drafting: After the kickoff meeting, the team will begin drafting the survey keeping the objectives and discussion from the kickoff meeting in mind. This process may include just one or a few drafts before the survey is deemed final by the client. 

  3. Programming and testing: After the survey is deemed final by the client, the research team will then program and test the survey. Once fully programmed and tested, fieldwork will begin. 

  4. Fieldwork: Fieldwork typically begins with a soft launch to ensure everything works correctly and questions are comprehended as intended. The soft launch typically lasts 1 to 2 days, and then the full launch of fieldwork begins. 

  5. Analysis and reporting: After fieldwork is completed, the analysis and reporting begin. The deliverables for this project included a comprehensive summary report, online data portals with question-by-question results, a raw data file, and a debrief to discuss the results. 

The sampling plan for the online survey included invites to employees, customers, and prospective customers.

While the process stays the same, our services are customized to the unique needs of your organization. Our team works hand-in-hand with client teams to ensure objectives are met in a way that’s usable for the organization. 

Brand Naming Research Questions

Below are a few example questions to conduct brand naming research:

  1. How familiar are you with each of the following brands? Select one in each row.
  2. Thinking about the following brand name(s), describe the first image and/or word(s) that comes to mind for each. Enter a response for each. 
  3. Based on your knowledge, what is your perception of each of the following brands? Select one in each row.
  4. Which of the following words/phrases best describe [Brand 1] as a company overall? Select all that apply. 
  5. Based on your knowledge, how strong of a connection does each of the following have with [Brand X]? Select a rating for each. 
  6. Based on your knowledge, how much value does the [Brand 1] brand name add to each of the following? Select a rating for each.

These example questions provide a good overview of what a few questions in a re-naming survey could look like. Remember, these questions should be updated to meet the needs of the specific project.

The Results

Preparing the results is a key task for every market researcher.

At the end of the project, that document or deliverable is what the client will remember the experience most. It’s crucial to use organization, recall past objectives, and use data visualizations to support findings.

As a reminder, the deliverables included a comprehensive summary report, online data portals with question-by-question results, a raw data file, and a debrief to discuss the results. 

Questions and topics addressed in the report included:

  • Brand perception and competition 
  • Brand impressions 
  • Brand classification
  • Associated product lines
  • Strengths and weaknesses 

Ultimately, the survey gathered 309 completes, included 43 questions, and took 15 to 20 minutes to complete. The results remain confidential with the client. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Brand Naming Research

How to do brand name research?

To conduct brand name research effectively, start by defining your brand's core values, target audience, and unique selling points.

Brainstorm a list of potential names that align with your brand identity, then assess each option for availability, trademark conflicts, linguistic considerations, and potential associations with online searches and social media.

Finally, gather feedback from focus groups or surveys to gauge the appeal and memorability of your top choices among your target audience, helping you make an informed decision and choose the best business name for your brand.

How do you brainstorm a new name?

To brainstorm a new name, begin by exploring keywords and concepts related to your business, products, or services. Utilize word association techniques, mind maps, and creative exercises to generate a wide range of potential name ideas.

As you generate names, consider their relevance to your brand, ease of pronunciation and spelling, and the emotional response they may evoke in your target audience, narrowing down your options to a shortlist of strong contenders.

What are the steps in the brand naming process?

The brand naming process involves defining your brand's identity, brainstorming potential names, evaluating their fit and availability, gathering feedback, and ultimately selecting the most suitable name that resonates with your target audience and aligns with your brand's values and objectives.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best business name is a crucial step in establishing a successful brand identity. Through meticulous brand naming research, you can uncover a name that reflects your brand's essence, resonates with your target audience, and sets your business apart from competitors.

Remember, a well-chosen name has the power to leave a lasting impression, so invest time and effort into the process, and let your brand's name become the cornerstone of your future success.

Contact Our Market Research Company

Drive Research is a full-service market research company specializing in various qualitative and quantitative methodologies including those that are included in brand naming research.

Our team has a combined 80+ years of experience helping B2B and B2C brands utilize data-driven decision-making to increase revenue, awareness, and customer satisfaction.

To learn more about our services, contact our team today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Research Manager, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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