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Picking the Perfect Brand Name

Choosing a brand name is probably the most important decision you will make when launching a clothing line. With so many different brands out there, you want to choose something that sounds unique and will set yourself apart from your competition. Pronunciation, length, relation to brand image and outlining are just some of the pieces that go into picking the perfect name.

Picking the right brand name is the crucial first step in determining the success of your brand. The consumer can tell whether or not your brand name has a unique and contemporary message or if it will blend into background. The first step to picking the perfect brand name is to write out a business plan. Create a detailed outline of how you would like your brand to play out. This is where you put together a successful theme for your brand. Include design ideas, logo ideas, printing needs, shirt quality and anything else you can think of that will play an important role in your brand. When you are done, your outline should help you figure out the theme or direction in which your brand is headed. For instance, if your potential design ideas are dark and violent, try to base your brand name around similar topics. Your main goal here is to find a brand name that successfully follows the theme you are capturing.

The next step is actually putting name ideas down on paper. Write down everything and anything you think has brand potential. It is very important not to rush this process, it is perfectly normal to spend weeks, even months coming up with a brand name. Immerse yourself in subjects and media that follow your image. If we stick with the dark and violent theme, spend time watching horror movies, reading books and doing research. Write down any type of cool and unique words or sayings that you see. Once you have your notes, start testing some names out and see how they feel. Make sure to pronounce them out loud because having a brand name that is easy to remember and pronounce is always a plus. A method that I like to use is taking the words and mixing them together to see how it sounds. I found my brand name, Vicious History using this method of putting single word ideas together. If some words aren’t cutting it, narrow your search by crossing them out and moving onto the next one.

Once you have some solid brand names down, you will want to test them out on certain people. Talk to some of your family and friends to see what names sound the best. You can also try this out on certain online t-shirt and marketing communities to get a larger opinion. Make sure to take notes on what they are saying about your ideas. If some names don’t work out, go back to the drawing board with your constructive criticism. Although testing brand names out on your peers is important, make sure that you are 100% happy with your final choice. A successful brand release depends on being completely confident with your company.

If you think you have the perfect brand name, there are a few minor things to consider before diving in. First is to make sure that your desired name is available as a domain for your website. If it’s already taken, spend some time trying out some alternative domain names that still include your brand. You want to make sure that your domain name is easy to remember and not too many characters. Another recommendation is to make sure your brand name is easy to pronounce. Some brands out there have names that are hard to spell which can lead to mispronunciation. It might not seem like a big deal, but your brand website could get lost in translation when it comes to word of mouth marketing. There are some very successful independent brands out there with brand names that are confusing to pronounce, but you can argue that it might take a little extra work.

Finally, when you come up with that perfect brand name, treat it as your own and always stand behind it. The brand name is the first thing that the consumer will learn about your brand and you want to make sure that it can hold its own. In such a saturated market, make sure that it stands out and will leave the consumer wanting more. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at chazzy@vicioushistory.com

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