Written by Canon Wing

I teach entrepreneurs and organizations the proven action steps to stand out within their market, improve the perceived value of their business, and better connect with their audience through naming, branding, storytelling, and communication platforms.

April 15, 2021

What Are the First Things I Need to Build a Brand?[BONUS] How to Name Your Brand!

I know how daunting it can be to break first ground, so how about I give you the first three things you need to get your brand off to a rockin’ start? The very first thing that you can do for your brand is

Start Listening to Your Ideal IndividualsNOW 

All of your income will be from listening, and it’s never too early to start getting to know your ideal individuals better than your competitors, even if they don’t know who you are yet. At the end of the day, the brand who knows them best, will be the brand that wins brand loyalty. A great way to start listening now is to read reviews for other businesses in your industry. What do they love? What do they want to see change? Follow their social media sites and pay attention to the topics that spark a lot of engagement. What do they care about? What is important to them, and what are the frustrations from which they are seeking relief? Treating every single opportunity you can get to listen to your ideal individuals, as anything less than pure gold, is an opportunity missed to expand your brand’s community. There is gold in listening. Start listening now, and never ever stop.

Name the Greater Future Offered By Your Brand.

As you grow to know your ideal individuals better, the second thing you then can do is name The Greater Future offered by your brand. Your product or service solves a problem, creates a solution, eases a frustration…that will make people’s lives better. A greater future is what your brand provides, and a greater future is exactly what all great brands are promising. What is your brand promise? Name the Greater Future offered by your brand. As you go forward with building your brand and running your company, most if not all major decisions related to your brand will revolve around keeping that promise, so identify that touchstone for yourself now.

Name the Emotion Your Brand Seeks to Inspire.

And then I’d say the third thing you do from there is to then name the emotion, the one single resounding emotion, that your brand most seeks to inspire in your ideal individual. The answer to this question, more than any other, is going to help your brand pass The Blink Test. Because the decision to buy is emotional. Once you know exactly the emotion your ideal individual most wishes to experience with your brand, you can sew that emotion consistently throughout your name, tagline, and logo, which are the first three things your ideal individuals will see when they first encounter your brand and decide whether to delete or look deeper.

 [BONUS] What is the best way to choose a name for my brand?

Okay, so as a professional namer, this is a question I get A LOT! And the first piece of advice I can offer you is to name the emotion your brand most seeks to inspire FIRST, and then choose a name that is aligned with inspiring that emotion. It’s too easy to make the rookie mistake of choosing a name that is too specific to you. Avoid the urge to get clever or inside joke-y. Inside jokes make people feel left out, and too clever can make some people feel like they “don’t get it.”  This is what I call, “branding small.” You want your brand’s name to open a wide and welcome door that feels like coming home.

My favorite example of this is Subway, because over the years they have absolutely shown us the way to their sub sandwiches and have been doing it successfully for decades. But would you believe that one of the first names given to Subway was Doctor’s Associates, Inc.? An indulgent inside joke between the owners that they thought was hilarious, but everyone else just found confusing, misleading, and even rather annoying. Last time I checked, confused and annoyed aren’t the emotions that most inspire people to eat a sandwich. It was a Blink Test fail that almost caused Subway to sink!

People often won’t remember exactly what they see, or what they read, but they will remember how something makes them feel. Use your name to make them feel welcome, included, and inspired to join your brand community. Choose a name that is clear, inclusive, and is an incantation that calls into being the greater future promised by your brand.

Thank you so much for joining me! Keep treating these articles as a masterclass for becoming an Inspiration to Millions with Branding and be sure to follow me on FB and YouTube so you don’t miss a single thing! And as always the way to becoming an Inspiration to Millions starts with our motto: Love What You Do and Love How You Do It.