Naming + Taglines
What’s in a name? For BFM Brand Lab, the answer is
strategy, thought, inspiration, and a lot of loving care.
Sometimes, the perfect name or tagline comes to you in the shower and the whole company embraces it immediately. We’re here for all the other times.
If you’ve ever chosen (or argued about) a baby name, you’ll know it’s one of the most personal, subjective, and yet consequential decisions you’ll ever make. A brand naming exercise may not be the same as naming a baby, but it’s still your baby.
It’s easy to reject names or taglines that feel wrong. The real challenge on any naming or tagline project is committing to a name or phrase with confidence, and bringing key stakeholders along with you (come to think of it, this is also true of naming babies).
At BFM Brand Lab, our job is to help you find the name that feels right, and help stakeholders feel right about it. Combining verbal agility and strategic acuity, we take a rigorous approach to staking out naming and tagline territories. That helps us stimulate well-directed creativity, and helps you build a case for your new branding.
Let’s be honest: we’ve all judged a brand (or a person) by their name. Friendly or forbidding, long or short, names generate associations and hint at the personality behind a brand. And a brand name is a key contributor to that all-important first impression.
But naming is more than a necessity: it’s an opportunity. Names can be powerfully expressive, and what you name, you own – be it a process, a service offering, or an initiative.
The same goes double for taglines. The smartest company slogans define your brand, secure your desired positioning, and worm their way into the minds of your audience. For that reason, across any engagement – branding or otherwise – we’re alert to naming and messaging opportunities, even where they may not be obvious.
Working with BFM Brand Lab
When naming a brand or looking to capture its essence, we agree: there’s no substitute for inspiration, and we have a team capable of generating those eureka moments.
But before you can get that ideal name or pithy phrase, you need to know exactly what your advantage or brand promise is. Taking a strategic approach ensures that creative energy is directed where it can have the most impact.
Strategy helps to define naming territories and strategic goals, giving everyone an agreed framework in which to evaluate the range of options on the table. That doesn’t eliminate gut instinct and feel, but it does allow decision-makers to have confidence their decisions have a clear basis.
Fundamentally, we approach naming and taglines as we would any brand strategy, with the four Cs: Core (who you are), Customers (who your customers are), Competition (what others in the space are doing), and Context (wider social trends).
But while time to research and reflect is valuable, we get that it’s not always available. We’re not shy about generating ideas and options fast and collaborating with clients to brainstorm our way to a quick decision, should an upcoming launch or business imperative demand it.
Theory Meets Practice
We also ensure that many of the unexciting, but important, practicalities of naming and brand taglines are taken into account as early in the process as possible.
For example: how is a name going to be used? Does it need to be short, or easy to spell? Does it need to be acceptable in other languages or cultures, or pronounced by foreign-language speakers? Is the .com available, and if not, is there a good alternative? Is a tagline already trademarked? We start taking these considerations into account early in the process, to avoid everyone falling in love with an option they ultimately can’t have.
With the right words chosen and due diligence done, for many clients it’s time to consider a new visual identity to match your brand’s new tagline or name.