Choosing a great name is one of the most important things for a new business. A name can say so much and is a critical element of a brand's success. The name is one of the more tangible components of the brand and something consumers will connect with the most. Everything about your brand will be anchored to its name and while the logo may be seen a lot, the name is heard a lot more. People speak about it. It's heard on the radio and often the visual logo is accompanied by a voiceover on television. It's also seen in its written form in articles on the web and in print over and over again.
The name itself gets the most exposure by far.
A name can speak volumes even if it's a generic, random word with no inherent meaning, such as the word 'klug' for example. This word is quirky, fun, strange and unique - the perfect name for an eccentric wooden furniture manufacturer perhaps? What would you like your name to say about your company or brand? Do you want it to convey speed, warmth, efficiency, care, confidence or hope?
Having said that, some of the greatest brand names don’t evoke anything on first experience, but over time their marketing messages imbue the name with plenty of meaning and substance - a good example of which is IKEA. While other names are clearly evocative of an emotion or value, such as Green Peace or Mastercard, either of these approaches can work really well when done correctly.
Keep in mind that the temptation to jump on trends when naming your brand is committing brand suicide before you've even started. It is absolutely vital to choose a name that is as timeless as possible and has no bearing on the current times whatsoever. The last thing you want is for your brand to ride the wave of a fad, only to disappear under the current in a year or two.
Before deciding on a final name, it's important to consider it's meanings in other languages as well (the fact that your name could mean poop in Swahili is not ideal). It also needs to be easy to spell if heard over the phone, the .com domain should be available (although this can be compromised smartly) and it must be legally trademarkable too.
As a brand, you want to stake out your own unique space in the world to own and dominate so don't choose a name that sounds like anyone else. Stand out, take a risk and be you, that's very important.
Factoid: Did you know that the search engine Yahoo! was first named "Jerry and David's Guide To The World Wide Web?" Do you think people would have spread that name around at the water cooler in 1994?