Name Your Band
Your name is an important part of your brand because it defines for your audience (and your competitors) your personality, what you stand for, your attitude, and what you offer your fans. You also have to ensure that your band name doesn’t infringe on another brand or trademark or that it doesn’t create confusion in your online or offline marketing activities.
Naming a band, like naming a business, can be frustrating and exciting all at once. The process requires creativity and innovative thinking, combined with a good understanding of who you are, your market, your competition, and your audience. While brainstorming can result in great ideas, it more often becomes an exhausted effort to grasp ideas out of thin air. When this happens, it may be time to gather ideas from structured inspiration.
A naming process is a filtering exercise, starting with a pile of ideas that get filtered, screened, and adjusted, filtered and screened again until you finally land on that a-ha moment, and you have borne a brand.
The naming process is not set in stone but we have provided some guidelines that can help you get close to a name that is both meaningful to you and resonates with your fans in a very crowded market.
Gather the team, put on some coffee, and start your inspiration process.
Start by choosing 2-3 names.
- Try them out. How will they work with merchandise? Are they easy to pronounce, read, find? Do your friends and family think the names represent your band well?
- Make sure no one else is using the names or that they are trademarked.
Once you choose a name…
- Find a domain name.
- Trademark your name (optional).
State the emotions you want people to feel.
What does your music make your audience feel? How would they describe themselves? What do you want your audience to say about you? (You will do some of this in your Brand Toolkit)
Create a list of puns and idioms.
These can be related to your personality, your music, or not related at all. You may find a cool play on words that makes you stand out or is memorable.
List products or objects that represent your personality.
Perhaps you can switch up the words, spell them differently, or find a way of working them into your band name that is catchy and compelling.
List people and characters that represent your personality.
These could be celebrities, historical figures, movie characters, cartoon characters, fictional characters, who can be worked into a name by adding some alliteration or additional adjectives.
List books, movies or shows that represent your personality.
You can modify versions of titles to create a pun that sounds familiar but conveys your message. As always, be careful that you are not infringing on copyright or trademark.
Create a word that no one else has used.
This one can be tricky. It usually comes from some inside joke or tradition within the band, but it also can be quite personal and meaningful. Just make sure it communicates your personality and intention.
Search for pictures that match your personality.
Images can provide inspiration. Enter words into a search engine, use a thesaurus, or use a visual dictionary.
Use your first or last name.
You can use your name, but you want to make sure it is a unique or stylized version so it is distinguishable from other similar names, and conveys the right feeling for your band.
Use a name generator.
When all else fails, try one of the name generation tools available online and see what you come up with. You never know!