As someone who’s gone through several naming and branding exercises in business, I believe I have a sense of what to look for in a name, at least traditionally…like that it should be short, easy to say, easy to spell, memorable, etc.
Now, when you’re going through these naming exercises, you are generally thinking of consumers, and specifically consumers who can read, or at least speak. But, a recent experience makes me think maybe not!
While on holidays recently with my youngest (2 year-old) granddaughter, she was having a hard time saying my “name”, Granny Annie. Instead, she was calling me “Granny Granny”. She got the double-barrel part right, but not the distinction between the two names. It was interesting that she got the hard part right with the “gr” sound, but not the easier “Annie” part. I thought it was quite cute, and it also intrigued me why this might be the case. While I’m not an early childhood development expert, and there’s probably some explanation for this from that perspective, it did make me think about branding/naming in general.
If your name is not easy to pronounce, then people won’t get it right. Instead, they will put their own spin on it, which you may or may not like (I’m OK with Granny Granny, for now!), and you will perhaps be creating a potential “barrier” for you in building your brand. As an aside, I also wonder about this in the world of online branding and naming, with the proliferation of odd spellings and names that are created…will this be a branding hurdle/barrier, or is it in fact part of the brand?