There is an English proverb that says: Give a dog a bad name and hang him.

Its meaning is that if a person’s reputation has been besmirched, then he will suffer difficulty and hardship.

A similar proverb is he that has an ill name is half hanged.

A bad name or a name that has been besmirched will suffer hardships.

Corona beer is one such name.

The company that owns Corona beer is facing its worst quarter in 10 years following the coronavirus outbreak.

Anheuser-Busch In Bev owns some of the world’s most famous beer brands, including Budweiser, Stella Artois, Beck’s and Corona.

But in the last two months since coronavirus has been spreading throughout China, the company has suffered a $170m [£132m] loss in of earnings in the country, at at time when they were expecting strong sales because of lunar new year.

This brings an interesting dynamic to how we name our brands or businesses.

How do you come up with a name for your brand?

Here is what I think:

First: the main point: a brand name is a peg that people use to hang all the attributes of your business. The LESS it has to do with your category, the better.

If you call yourself International Postal Consultants, there is a lot less room to hang other attributes.

Some names I like? Starbucks. Nike. Apple.

Second: please pick a real english word or if you choose a local name, let it be simple to pronounce. Axelon and Altus are a challenge. Jet Blue, Nandos, Ambient and Amazon are good.

Third: be sure it is easy to spell AND pronounce. Prius is a bad name. I cannot tell anyone to buy a Prius because I’m embarrassed I will say it wrong.

Fourth: don’t obsess about getting a short web name. If you want to name your venture capital firm Nickel [a great name, imho] then you could have http://www.NickelVenture.com and that would be fine. The only way this turns into a problem is if the current owner of the URL is a competitor [which will not happen if you pick a non-obvious name, as I wrote in #1 above].

If you follow these pieces of advice, you will discover that there are literally millions of names available to you [lemonpie, for example, is perfect for a tour company. So are orangepie, melonpie and kiwipie].

You will have far fewer trademark hassles.

You will have no trouble coming up with a cool name that means nothing and makes it easy for you to hang a good brand upon. And you will have fun.

BUT, do not forget to come up with a great tagline: “lemonpie, the best way to tour Soweto,” for example.

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