When naming your band, there are some key factors to consider to make it stand out above others. It’s easy to find a random name, but there are some tricks to be seen and recognized early on. It will take some time and many different options and variations until you find the right name. In this post, we will look at the most important components of choosing your perfect band name and setting off your career.
A good band name is marketable, personal, and unique, and provides a preview of the band’s image. It is ideal if your band name reveals the genre of music that you are performing. Keep the name to four words or less.
Choosing a name for your band can sometimes be like finding a name for a baby. A project that you spend so much time on should be called a name that all the members will be proud of. Let’s have an in-depth look at those aspects and see if we can find some examples within each category that made those bands unique and stand out.
Make Your Band Name Marketable
What does it mean to have a name that one can market or sell? When you think about your dream for the band. Maybe a realistic and achievable goal might be to have flyers or posters for your concerts. These posters or flyers need to pull people and make them curious to attend your show. Just another unknown or blunt name will not necessarily bring curious investigators to your shows.
This could be anything with a curious twist. Have you ever heard someone saying “don’t think of a pink elephant”? The first thing you can think of is a pink elephant. Use this as a marketing method in your band name so that it stays stuck in the minds of the public. It is incredible the amount of publicity one creates for yourself once you understand how this marketing strategy works.
Rock band names that fall in this category in my opinion would be Smashing Pumpkins, Papa Roach, In Flames, Story Of The Year, and Falling in Reverse.
Talking about advertising concerts: I have experienced that bands that add the word LIVE to their poster tend to pull eyes and turn heads. People love a good time, and the word LIVE is recognizable to the sub-conscience mind and connects it to the feeling of an unmissable opportunity.
Add a Personal Connection to the Name
Remember that you will carry this name with you throughout the journey of its existence. It should carry something that represents all of you together. Options regularly used are variations of the city all the members come from. This provides an emotional connection for the people from that city, and will also pull random people because fans are curious to hear what music sounds like from that district or county.
Being a sentimental person, a band name is too valuable to me to just mix random words. As musicians we are creative and we add a personal connection to our projects. Use the time as a band spent together to collect moments and build memories before choosing a name. This could steer you in choosing a name together based on the similar experiences you all shared together.
Sharing this sentiment as a band is like the glue that keeps everyone together and adds an emotional connection as a unit.
Examples of band names with recognizable sentiments are Korn, Parkway Drive, Slipknot and U2.
Uniqueness and Originality Make You Stand Out
Instead of adding an emotional or sentimental connection to your name, think about exposing your image as a band a bit. Using a band name that already gives insight into who you are as a group and what potential fans can expect from you can create the needed curiosity and add the extra spice to stand out.
Linkin Park is a name that comes up immediately. As soon as their hit single “Crawling” hit the charts, everybody knew their name after just hearing it once. Written differently than the normal “Linkoln” made me read this twice before moving on.
Give a Preview of the Genre of Music You are Performing
Looking at famous examples here explains it best.
If a band was called “The Garden Gnomes”, we think of peaceful music. Perhaps an acoustic vibe with some nicely harmonised vocals that will focus on a broad market commercial market.
It depends on how flexible you would like to be to cross over genres. Most names would be pretty versatile within the range of another genre.
We used to say a band with acronyms or numbers fits the punk scene. For instance NoFX, Sum 41, and Blink 182. But also names that are understandable to the target market of that genre. Let’s stay in the punk genre here. Look at Fall Out Boy, Zebrahead, Rancid and Anti-Flag. All these names give a bit of insight into what to expect.
Keep The Name to Less Than Five Words
We need people to see your name and remember it. A name that’s too long takes too much space on a poster and is not as easy to remember.
Personally, I love a four-word name. It creates a bit of authority, stands out on a poster, and it’s still short enough to remember. You also get to add a useful adjective, a noun and a type of action which adds to creating your band image.
Shortening or abbreviating such a name is also no problem. You can use acronyms or extract the most recognizable part of the name if you really need to.
A name must be flexible and should offer opportunities for growth and change within the band.
The main takeaway would be to balance the sentimental side with the marketing side. Once you feel proud and excited about the name you came up with as a group, nothing can stop you from reaching your dreams.
So since you are thinking about naming your band, you are also probably practising regularly. Don’t miss the post I wrote about 7 Tips for Productive Band Practices once you are ready to take it to the next level.
Good luck and on to the next one!