Do you feel invisible? People look right past you? Can’t seem to make a lasting impression? Perhaps you suffer from a boring brand. The right name can put your brand on the map, while the wrong one can sentence it to an obscure existence. Your name should communicate the experience, value, and uniqueness of the product or service you’ve developed.
How do you go about choosing a name for your business?
You must know what your brand represents before choosing your name. This isn’t what your business does – it’s the way you make your customers feel. A great brand strategy is all about building an emotional connection with your users, evoking positive feelings that make people enthusiastic and optimistic about working with you.
Expert naming companies typically spend between six weeks and six months coming up with a name. While you likely don’t have that much time, plan to spend at least several weeks selecting a name.
Here’s your three-step prescription for brand name success:
Brainstorm Name Ideas.
Think about the feelings you’d like to instigate when people see your brand. Write down the words and phrases you want people to associate with what you do. Throughout this process, it’s important to think long-term. Don’t use a name that limits you in the future. You want a name that can outlast fads and remain timeless through the years.
After coming up with a list of names that are descriptive and easy to remember, you’ll want to check for availability. The first step is to conduct a trademark search to ensure that you aren’t infringing on a registered trademark. You should also research domain name availability. Ideally, your domain name should also be your brand name.
Decide On A Name And Put It To Work.
After eliminating any unavailable names, consider how the remaining ones will look on your letterhead, and how they will sound when you answer the phone. Keep SEO in mind, since more unique names have higher SEO value. Once you’ve chosen your name, put it everywhere – on your website, store, business cards, and voicemail.
When it comes to choosing your brand name, there’s a lot at stake. In the early days of personal computing, the market was dominated by machines with catchy names like MITS Altair 8800, Tandy TRS-80, and IMSAI 8080. Then, a small California startup decided on a name to match the simplicity of their product, the Apple I. Steve Jobs was quoted in the Walter Isaacson biography as saying that he thought the name sounded “fun, spirited, and not intimidating.” Those first three companies have all gone out of business, while the fourth has grown to become the most valuable brand in the world.
Don’t let a poor name result in an ailing business, negating all the work you’ve done to build a strong market position. A great name is the cure – it generates interest, establishes you as an authority in your field, and differentiates you in a crowded marketplace.
Here are some other great articles on naming your business:
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