Katarina Nilsson is an entrepreneur, naming strategist, artist and certified Joy of Business facilitator. Through her business, Eqvarium, she has helped create names for some of the world’s most recognisable brands such as Sony Ericsson, H&M, Toyota, Electrolux and Babybjörn. A renowned expert in naming strategy, Nilsson has been a keynote speaker at universities and organisations around Europe.
We asked her for her advice on how to create a brand name that rocks!
1. What’s in a name – your top tip to create a brand or business name that sticks
Be brave! Basically, it’s innovate or die in Business. Most businesses and products suffer from a short shelf life, but a solid brand name will certainly help you survive. If you’re a small business, it’s even more crucial to stand out in every way possible, since you can never compete with the budget of a larger company. Traditionally, companies have chosen a more descriptive name, but these days people want to feel something for the brands they choose. Therefore, it’s a good idea to focus on the emotional core of your business, rather than functional aspects. Also, doing the latter will most certainly limit your business the day you want to expand and include new aspects in your brand.
2. Why is a business name a company’s most valuable asset?
Products, employees and even CEO’s will come and go. The only thing that will stick with you during the whole life-cycle if your business is your name. If you pick one at random, chances are you’ll regret it sooner than later. If you think things through and do your homework, your name can most certainly help you become iconic. Look at all the big ones that started out from scratch as well – their names are now larger than life and stuck in our DNA forever. Also, you need to live with your name day in and day out as long as you run your business, so why not get it right from the start?
3. How do you communicate through a brand or product?
A good name won’t do much for a bad product. If people don’t want it, it’s doomed anyway. If the product is good enough, on the other hand, a good name will always reward you and add to your business. Names are very delicate things and we all have our different opinions, but if you create a name that somehow explains your core values and the way your product will change people’s lives for the better, you’re certainly on the right track. Communication is so much about knowing your target audience, so it might also be a good idea not to drift too far off from who’s actually buying what you’re selling.
4. How to add value to your business?
By not limiting yourself. To keep an open mind is crucial to any business, and a part of that is to think strategically and long term around your business and product names. For many, reaching success isn’t something that happens over night. You want a name that’ll feel just as strong, smart and unique in at least ten years from now!
5. How can you make your business the most memorable in a landscape of competition?
By choosing a name that sounds like all the rest. Kidding. Do not fall into that trap, because it will definitely make your brand feel outdated in no time. After Spotify, every other startup chose to fy their own brand. Google it and you’ll find the list is endless! Today, it already feels ancient. If you really trust in your brand value, go your own way and let your business grow over time.
Katarina Nilsson is an entrepreneur, naming strategist, artist and certified Joy of Business facilitator. Through her business, Eqvarium, she has helped create names for some of the world’s most recognisable brands such as Sony Ericsson, H&M, Toyota, Electrolux and Babybjörn. A renowned expert in naming strategy, Nilsson has been a keynote speaker at universities and organisations around Europe. She has a Master of Arts degree, has studied Branding and International Property Law and speaks several languages fluently, including Swedish, English, Spanish and German. A passionate change agent, Nilsson draws upon the tools and teachings of Access Consciousness and Joy of Business to support positive change for individuals and groups, whether it be expanding a business, unlocking creativity, inviting play and lightness into life or making changes for the better in the body.