4 Tested Ways To Avoiding A Cringey or Embarrassing Brand Name

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Although giving your business an embarrassing name is like sending it down the valley of death where the open jaws of the market are waiting to devour it, a lot of entrepreneurs still start their businesses with cringe-worthy names that annihilate them from their target audience.

Businesses like Ayds Diet Candy, i.Beat Blaxx, and ISIS, the Belgian chocolate company, all suffered serious backlash because of the humiliating nature of their brand’s name.

So, if you don’t want your business to suffer a terrible fate because of a faulty brand name, then be sure to avoid these mistakes while naming your business.

Avoid Names with Negative Foreign Implications

It’s critical to remember that the entire world is watching you choose a brand name for your business, and they won’t hesitate to remove your items from the shelves if you make a mistake that offends them.

When it was learned that ‘La Puta’ in Spanish meant ‘The Whore,’ Spanish buyers wasted little time in dumping Mazda’s Laputa. A similar situation happened in Finland when customers abandoned Fiat’s Uno because the Italian term for ‘One,’ ‘Uno,’ also meant ‘Fool’ in Finnish.

Although foreign names are intriguing and perfect for providing your brand with a unique flavor, do your homework before picking a foreign name for your business or product. This would help you ensure it isn’t offensive to customers from other cultures or countries.

Avoid Names That are Difficult to Say, Hear, or Spell

Stay away from brand names that are difficult to pronounce because customers would find it frustrating if they have to waste their valuable time attempting to say the name of your brand. 

Businesses like ‘Susan’s Special Shoe Selling Shop’ would have to choose a simpler name if they want their audience to love and recommend their brand.

Customers always prefer short and distinctive brand names over longer ones because they are easier to say, recall, and search online. Long names have several drawbacks, one of which is the risk that clients would misspell a letter when looking for your store online.

Your name provides the critical first impression that your business needs if it must get a strong footing in the minds of your customers. So make sure you get a name that’s short, easy to say, spell, pronounce, and sounds nice.

And one of the easiest ways to get a unique brand name that’d help your business establish a great first impression is by using a reliable business name generator.

Not Treading Carefully Around Politics

group of person waving

Understand that insulting clients is a tried-and-true formula for brand failure. Many brands make the mistake of showing their originality with a cheesy brand name, and it never ended well for them.

And in times like this, when customers are much more aware of the brands they buy from, sending a wrong message, through your brand name, about issues of culture and politics will certainly create a massive gap between your brand and its customers, much like Aunt Jemima’s name did before it was renamed to Pearl Milling Company.

So, even after you’ve got a unique name, don’t do anything that would make your customers cringe. When dealing with political challenges, entrepreneurs must exercise extreme caution.

Mike Lindell became so interested in politics that customers couldn’t tell the difference between his business, MyPillow, and his actions. And the result was that it damaged his client base and even motivated David Hogg, a Parkland massacre survivor, to launch his own pillow business in an attempt to knock MyPillow out of business.

Not Testing Your Brand Names

A group of friends at a coffee shop

Not testing your brand name with an audience is another sure way of creating a name that’d be cringey and embarrassing to your customers. 

Testing your name would help you know if it resonates with your target audience. It can also help you know if the name would lock your business in a niche or let it scale.

Now, one thing we must note is that most business owners don’t see the need to continuously test their brand name to be sure it still supports the growth of their business. It was this failure in retesting its brand name that led to the death of Ayds Diet Candy.

A simple test would have revealed that it was time for the brand to shed its name so it doesn’t get affected by its similarity to AIDS, the deadly disease.

Be Different

Any name that’s too similar to those of your competitors must be avoided. Leveraging some brand power from a successful company may appear to be a good idea, but it will cause confusion amongst your target audience and make your brand appear unoriginal and lazy. 

So get a brand name that’d help your business stand out in its industry even if it’s surrounded by countless rivals.

Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with 30,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning business name ideas.

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