“What’s in a name?” This Shakespearean quote doesen’t hold any meaning when it comes to getting a business name idea today. Your journey to getting the business off the ground will start with this crucial step. Picking the right name is as important as choosing the business you want to do.
A brand is how the customer differentiates one seller from the other. An appropriate name triggers the awareness and the recall process in the customer’s mind. You need to ensure that the name matures with your business and is not confined to what you have got to offer the customers at present. You will want a name that is catchy and easy to recall.
Every time the customer is about to make a purchase decision, he thinks of your brand as an option. So, when you want to pick a name, you need to call on your friends and trusted people for a brainstorming session.
Ivana Taylor, CEO of Cleveland marketing company Third Force and founder of DIYMarketers, says it is imperative to have a clear message and a story behind your small business name. The name that you pick serves as a killer marketing message and ensures maximum return on the marketing spend.
Think hard about what message you want to convey about the company through your brand name before starting a business. Eventually, the name is what appears on all the marketing communications. So, if you are looking for naming your business, the following guidelines may come in handy for you:
Easy to remember, easy to spell and recall
Keeping it simple and easy to spell aids the brand recall. You would not want your customer to start struggling with remembering spellings while searching for services or products online. In the words of researchers T. Clifton Green and Russell James, ease of pronunciation has an impact on fluency and decision making. You may want to have a unique name, but unique should not turn into unsearchable.
A complicated name will narrow down the chances of recall and will lead to confusion in the minds of your customers. Avoid using hyphens as it may lead your potential customers elsewhere while searching you. As you will need a strong online presence, a short name will help in locating your business across various social media platforms. With a long name, you will end up with a string of words in your domain name.
Conveys what you do:
It would be best if you aimed for a name that is brandable and makes it easy for the customers to understand what you do. For example, www.planmytrip.online gives a clear message to the customer that the business is about planning travel.
You will have to be careful about the connotative meaning of the name you choose. Humans associate the words with emotions, and a positive connotation word creates a happy feeling in the minds of the customers. For example, the name “Reliable couriers” talks about reliability in their services. As a customer, you like to choose a reliable courier service.
It takes some time for the customers to recognize and recall your logo. A descriptive logo with clear visual design elements emblematic of the nature of your business helps in making a statement.
Establishes a “Visual Impact”:
Creating a strong visual impact in the minds of the customers is imperative for the success of the brands. As humans associate the names with visuals in their minds, creating visually impactful imagery is the key to winning customer’s minds. For example, the name Kizashi securities will create little in the minds of the customers. On the other hand, Ninja securities lead to an image of a person who is deft in a particular skill or activity. This helps in the recall of the brand at the time the customer makes a purchase decision. Customers are known to associate colors with brand names and logos. You will associate the red color with the brand Coca-cola. In 1931 the Coca-Cola company commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to depict Santa Claus during the Christmas times. He used the figure of a happy character wearing a red color dress with a white beard, the same as we see today. You can not imagine Santa Claus ever wearing a blue dress in your mind. The uniformity of colors across the name, the logo, and your website will create a strong mental connection with your customers.
See if it is available:
You are all gung-ho in naming your company. Before you zero-in on the name, ensure that the name is available for you to take. You will not prefer a name that is already being used by your competitor. Going ahead, you will have to purchase a domain and register a trademark, pick up a name that is available, and can be registered easily. You will see that other businesses are using similar names from different industries. The last thing that you want is confusing your potential customers when they search your business website online, as search engines throw up various options when a keyword is searched. A good way to stand out here is to use new domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, .SPACE, .ONLINE, .SITE, etc. They add a layer of meaning to your name and make it more brandable.
Register and protect the name:
Once you have decided on the name and checked its availability for the domain, it is time for you to register and secure it. You can register your business as a sole proprietary or partnership, but this will not ensure brand name security. You will have to incorporate it and register with the Federal Incorporation. This will provide you with the right and security to use the name nationally.
To ensure complete protection, you will need to go for trademark registration. The trademark registration ensures that no one uses the name nationally and gives you priority when you take your business overseas and need a global trademark.
As an entrepreneur, you want your business to grow and remain forever. All large organizations started as small businesses and grew over time. You will not want a situation in the future where you need to change the name because you want to get into different products or services. You may get into newer products and offerings as your business grows. The product or services that you offer today may change due to technology, consumer preferences, or buying behavior.
You will need to get into newer markets nationally or globally. This will require a successful brand extension strategy. You will be using the reputation and your knowledge to embrace newer markets or offer more modern offerings to customers. The name you pick should not be a limiting factor in carving a brand extension strategy in the times to come. Hence the time spent in picking the right name before starting a business is crucial and needs a keen eye. The process might seem time-consuming and frustrating, but it is worth the effort. So remember that your journey towards setting up the business of your choice starts with “THE NAME”.