You’ve decided to go out on your own and forge your own way in business, you have a plan, you have your product or service and you have the passion, for your business, now – what do you call it?
This is where so many people get stuck and delay launching because while you can give yourself a nickname if you don’t like the name you were born into, for your business, it’s a lot more difficult – logistically, practically and just in terms of maintaining business.
Here are a few tips for choosing your brand name:
Make it clear what you actually do
A brand name that doesn’t actually include any detail about what service or product you’re providing, is just downright confusing and may mean you lose out on valuable business, just because they don’t understand what you do or who you are. If you’re adamant that as business partners, you want to combine your names, then make sure you add in something relevant to your industry ie ‘Pearson Specter Law’ or ‘Harlow Garland Weddings’. Once you’re well known enough, you may have some play with the name and be able to drop the decscriptor but keep it there until you’re a household name.
Don’t use someone else’s christian name as your brand name
Speaking of using names, something learned from Rosie Remotely Virtual Assistants and Web Design is that every client addresses them as ‘Rosie’ when they email in, even though the name is pluralised and references the reason why it is called ‘Rosie Remotely’ (after ‘Rosey the Robot’ from ‘The Jetsons’ who was their loyal assistant). Not only is it irritating to keep getting called by the wrong name but it’s also just widly confusing for your clients to think they’re contacting someone who doesn’t exist.
Choose a name that resonates
Your name needs to be consistent with your brand and what your brand represents. Imagine you’re considering plastic surgery and your options are between ‘Insert Name Here Clinic” and “Jim’s House of Noses”, you’re not likely to choose the latter because it conjures images of a sweatshop style surgery practice that appeals to no one. You’re looking for a superior service, you’re paying out the nose for it (excuse the pun) and so you’re going to go with the brand that most resonates with quality.
Choose a name that is relevant and allows for expansion
I read a case study online about a business called something along the lines of ‘Reusable Bags’ which, you guessed it, sold resuable bags. but when it came time to expand into additional eco products, the brand name didn’t reflect it. If you’re planning to expand (which all business do at some stage), you need to prepare for it. Expansion should be part of your initial business plan in how you will grow the business 5 years, 10 years from now and so you should have an idea of what your future offering will be.
Make it easy to find
If a potential client hears about you through word of mouth and doesn’t necessarily know that you spell ‘Free’ with a ‘3’ instead of an ‘e’ or that your company uses NZ spelling rather than US spelling, you’re going to run into issues when it comes to online searches, urls and SEO. Online, you can combat this by purchasing domain names that include alternate spellings and rerouting them to your actual domain but it’s easier to start out with a brand name that is easy to pick up and find in the first place.
Make your choice of brand name an intentional decision, one that you’ve put thought into and haven’t just had spring into your mind. Research it to make sure it’s not the same or similar to other brands to save yourself a headache later down the track when it comes to trademarks and make sure it’s a brand name that has longevity. Your brand name will be with your forever (or until you sell) so it’s important that your business’ name really resonates with you, with what you’re selling and the audience you’re targeting.