This article is a part of a new series on starting a watch company. Each week we’ll be sharing updates as a small team of us launch a new brand from scratch. Catch up on the whole journey on our building a watch company page.
Picking a good name for a brand and then designing the logo for it is of huge importance, yet it’s the first thing you need to do, often before you know the full direction your company is going to take.
Until you’ve got a brand and a logo you can’t make prototypes, you can’t build a website, you can’t get active on social media, and so it’s hard to start finding your audience.
The brand and logo you pick now will be with your brand at least through your first year or two of business and will be on your first (and most important) products. It’s something that I’ve always found really hard to get right, and yet you have to do it before your business has really started to grow into anything real.
Here’s how we went about it for this project.
There are 3 people behind this new brand but the majority shareholders are me and a friend of mine, who at least at this point doesn’t want his name shared. If the brand is a success and he can leave his job, he’ll become more prominent.
This friend, who for the sake of the narrative I’ll call Fred to avoid the linguistic gymnastics around talking about someone without using a name, lives in the South of France. Lucky him, right?
As it was his idea to start this company, and as I spend as much of my life as humanly possible in the South of France, we decided to focus on that area for our branding. It’s his home and my favourite place. This is the same technique I used when starting my primary business, which focusses on my home city.
Picking a brand name
Once we had agreed that we were going to focus the business around his home, we started looking for words that we could use for a brand name and that had some association with the area.
We had a few requirements:
- It needed to sound good. This is subjective for sure, but some words just have an uglier sound than others
- It needed to not be already associated with any kind of fashion brand at all
- It needed to be available as a .com domain name in some format
- Ideally, it would have some kind of meaning to at least one of us
So we hit Google Maps and wandered around the areas we love and the surounding towns, looking for place names that could become a good name for a business. Between us we shortlisted about 50 options, then went through them together vetoing any that either one of us didn’t like.
With that complete, we had 6 potential names remaining. We used Google to look for existing brands, availability of domain names, other uses for the words, or anything that could be a problem down the road.
The process finally left us with just one brand name left! That was easier than expected. We quickly grabbed the .com domain name and registered the closest social media names that we could, and just like that we had a brand.
I guess you’d like to know what it is? Well sure! Our new brand is Baumette or Baumette Watch Company and we own baumette.com as well as a load of other similar domain names.
What is Baumette? If it matters, it’s most of the name of an area near Marseille. Does it actually matter though? Not really. It’s a word that we like, based on a place that we love, that feels like an appropriate brand to us.
Almost exactly one week since we started talking about working together we have a brand name, a domain name, and a far better idea of the direction the business will take. My previous companies have taken me months to name, so it was great to have someone to work with for once.
With a brand name in place, it’s time to start creating some visuals. Mostly that means putting together a logo that will do a good job of representing the image we want to get across.