When I meet someone for the first time, we usually exchange names and pleasantries. A handshake, a nod, a smile. But what’s going on inside my head is this, “Bernhard? Really? He’s not a Bernhard, he seems a little too rough around the edges for a name like that. He’s more like a Gazza, or a Davo.” We all do this, whether we admit to it or not. I’ve already made presumptions about poor old Bernhard without really getting to know him. But Bernard is actually a good bloke, and as I spend more time with him, get exposed to his personality, the more I realise he couldn’t be called anything but Bernhard.
When it comes to brand name generation, it’s just as important not to let knee-jerk reactions, personal opinions or idiosyncratic associations get it the way of developing a great brand. Without context, a brand name is just simply a word. And yes, that word is probably the first thing you are exposed to, but it never stands alone. There will always be context that helps you get to know the brand better. The logo, advertising, corporate style, website etc. All these things make up the brand’s personality.
So before you judge that name, get to know the brand behind it. And I’ll try doing the same with people named Gazza and Davo.