How to Name Your Cosmetics Brand

How to Name Your Cosmetics Brand

The right name can set your beauty brand apart and even make it go viral, while a bad one can doom it and your products to the limbo of a dusty, forgotten shelf. The perfect brand name will evoke the personality, quality and uniqueness of your products and services.

The truth is that nearly any brand name can work if it’s supported by a good marketing strategy. Here’s what you’ll need to think about to give your brand the most representative and effective name.

What’s in a beauty brand name?

Start by deciding what you want your brand name to communicate. It should reinforce the key elements of your business purpose or your products’ unifying features.  Having a good understanding of your market niche, goals and core values will help you identify the message you want to convey with your name.

These are 8 critical attributes of a strong brand name:

  1. Keep it short, sweet & concise.Customers will always shorten the name if it’s too long, so…
    • No more than 3 syllables
    • No more than 13 characters
    • No more than 3 words
  2. Clear and understandable.It should be easy to read / spell / pronounce.  Stay away from strings of numbers or characters that don’t stand for anything specific, and cute inside jokes that only you (and maybe one other person) understand.
  3. Make it memorable.Choose a name with familiar elements that conjure up happy memories so customers respond on an emotional level.
  4. It should be unique.Whether it’s your own name or something completely made up, do a quick Google search to see what pops up. If a name you’re considering is unique to the cosmetics industry, but well-known in another, it can create confusion.  For example, Spectrum sounds like a great name for a color cosmetics line, but it’s also the name of a commonly known vitamin supplement brand.
  1. Ensure that it’s ownable.
    • It’s important to always do a trademark search to ensure that a name is available for use.  Otherwise, you’ll open yourself up for a lawsuit.
    • Check whether the website domain is available – preferably .com. If not, there are ways to be creative, such as…
  2. It should have global appeal.In this ever-shrinking world, brands are becoming available for purchase to a growing global customer base, so it’s important that names are kept simple enough and pronounceable for persons that speak other native languages. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to check some translations to make sure that the name doesn’t translate into something offensive.  For example, Clairol blundered when it launched a curling iron called “Mist Stick” in Germany prior to discovering that “mist” is German slang for manure. Oops!
  3. Timeless and broad.Brand names should stand the test of time. There are some words that evoke a particular time, but may not work or even be understood by the people of today. Also, being too specific, can put your brand in a box and limit future growth.  For example, if ABC Skincare wants to launch a haircare collection, it would be confusing for the customer and hinder their impression of credibility about efficacy of the haircare products.
  4. Likeable to a large audience.Choose a name that appeals not only to you and a couple of people you know, but also to the type of customers you are looking to attract.

Creativity is key!

A cosmetics brand name can come in many styles.  Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Founders’ names: Using the names of real people, especially a founder’s name (or combination) – Lorac (Carol spelled backwards), Paul Mitchell, Redken (combines Paula Kent and Jheri Redding, who also happens to be the creator of the Jheri Curl)
  • Initials: YBF, DDF, OPI, GHD, D&G
  • Descriptive: names that describe a product benefit or function – “The Art of Shaving”, “beautyblender, “LashFood”
  • Alliteration and rhyme: Names that are fun to say and stick in the mind – “Fake Bake”, “Burt’s Bees”, “Clean & Clear”
  • Evocative: Names that evoke a relevant vivid image or feeling – Bliss, Fresh, Essence, Buxom
  • Neologisms: Completely made-up words – Illamasqua, Coola, Amika
  • Foreign word: Adoption of a word from another language – Clinique, Ojon, Capelli, Chi
  • Geography: Many brands are named for regions and landmarks – Brazilian Peel, Hampton Sun, Malibu, Hawaiian Tropic
  • Personification: Many brands take their names from myths – NYX Cosmetics (Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night)
  • Silly: Some brands create their name by using a silly pun – Supergoop!, Psssssst, Not Your Mother’s

Final thoughts…

Hopefully, after all your research and due diligence, you’ll have three to five names that pass all the tests. Now, you have a choice to make. You can go with your gut feeling and choose the name that most resonates for you as the creator. Or, you can put it to a popular vote. In any case, do not rush the naming process.  And once you do choose… embrace it! Start spreading the news and building enthusiasm for your new beauty brand, as soon as possible. 

Good luck!

Remember that Cosmetic Solutions is here to help you on this exciting journey. Stay tuned for more tips on building a strong cosmetics brand.

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