Guest Blog: How to Name Your Business For Long-term Success
For our Partner Blog Series we like to highlight the relationships we have with our peers and business partners from across all areas of the telecommunications industry. We know that when it comes to relationships, the whole really is greater than the sum of the parts. That’s why we want to share with you the wisdom, experience, and perspective of the companies we work with.
This edition of the Partner Blog Series comes to us from Grant Polachek of Squadhelp.com, the online community crowdsource solution for branding challenges. Here he covers some of the key considerations for identifying, naming, and positioning your brand.
A strong brand name is the cornerstone of any business. When launching a new business, a strong name can help you attract and connect with customers. It can lead to buzz, increase recall, and encourage referrals, as a name that is hard to say, spell, or recall is also hard to share. A great business name helps you across many key communication and marketing goals. Moreover, a superior name serves as the foundation of your brand and can have exponential effects throughout the lifetime of your business.
When the owners of a small business use a great name, they are likely to attract more customers from their marketing and advertising than their competition who is using a flat, uninteresting name. And no one wants to be the business that causes this awkward situation:
“Your business is doing great. What did you do?” – “Oh, there’s a local agency that helped me with our marketing … but I can’t remember the name of the firm right now.”
With this in mind, follow these guidelines to develop your owner amazing consulting name ideas and finding a great name that will help you succeed.
OnPoint is a great example of a pragmatic, easy-to-remember name. It demonstrates one of the key principles of the firm, helping clients build strong strategies and stay ‘on point.’ The name easy super easy to remember, and you’ll immediately know the essential principle of their consulting strategy.
Where Do You Want to Go?
Honing creative process – think about the brand that you’re trying to build, and determine some core concepts essential to your success. Ask yourself, What do I want people to know about my business immediately? Here are some common answers:
- It is High-End
- It is Modern
- It is Unique
- It is Fun
Build On What You Need
Now that you’ve decided on a central direction, create a one or two sentence statement to keep your naming efforts laser focused. Here are some examples:
- We’re looking for a modern name that helps to guide our key needs – connectivity, reach and growth.
- We need a name that’s descriptive and captures the values of the company – that we can offer excellent business-building services.
- We want to create a name that evokes strength and makes us the best option for even more experienced standards.
- We need a stylish and timeless name that will immediately make someone think of improving their business.
A lot of people dive into their naming project head first without taking the appropriate time to set the stage for success, hoping that “creativity” and “inspiration” will swoop in and provide an amazing outcome. This is a big mistake. A systemic and strategic approach will result in a much more effective outcome.
Here is an example of a brand name that really evokes feelings of being popular, vibrant, and well known. It’s a memorable name, a hip name, and definitely something that will get people talking.
Why Do You Do It?
Now it’s time to put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard … stylus to tablet). However you like to work, it’s time to brainstorm ideas.
- Research your competition – Understanding the companies you’re competing against is an important aspect of developing effective name ideas. One of the major decisions you’ll want to make when naming your company is, Do I want to fit in or stand out from my industry?
- Develop an Inspiration Deck – You can find inspiration for your business name ideas in so many places. Take a drive around town writing down your favorite names that you find, get a list of successful brands across any industry you can imagine using your go-to search engine, or explore winning brand names ideas from crowdsourced branding contests. Building a list of inspiration is a well respected copywriting technique, and it will certainly help you develop great business name ideas as well.
What Your Name Needs
From a technical naming standpoint there are some important principles that you want to keep in mind:
- Is it easy to say? Unfortunately, you may have to pass on a meaningful name if it’s difficult to say.
- Is it easy to hear? Try this thought experiment. If you’re standing in loud bar and told someone your name, would they be able to understand you?
- Is it easy to spell? Simple misspellings such as Lyft, Flickr, Xero can work really well for a brand. But names that are very hard to spell will hinder your marketing and communication efforts.
- Is it appealing? Is your name pleasant to see and hear? Many times, in a quest to be unique or edgy, companies will select a name that lacks appeal with the target market. Consumers should like how your name looks and sounds. If they do, it’s much more likely that they’ll want to learn more about your business and talk to friends about your brand.
Also make sure you never use obscure names: Can your name only be understood by a few people? Don’t go for an obscure name that only a handful of your target audience will be able to recall quickly. While a small number of your customers may appreciate an obscure name that only they understand, the rest will be confused and move on.
When searching through business name ideas, you might be surprised and inspired by an outside the box approach like When searching through business name ideas, you might be surprised and inspired by an outside the box approach like Fifth & Flow. This modern, high-end naming convention for a yoga studio is wonderfully unexpected.
What is Your Brand?
A great business name will always be less appealing than your competition’s mediocre brand. It’s very hard to look at a list of names and get excited about them. One, two, or three words on a page can often feel flat.
The ability to bring a name to life in your mind is critical to the naming process. Imagine the story. Visualize the logo. See it on your products and packaging. Without envisioning your brand, you’ll have trouble getting behind any of the business name ideas that you’ve generated.
The Hard Stuff
Developing business name ideas is only the beginning of the process. There are important name validation steps that you’ll definitely want to complete before deciding on your business name.
Running into legal issues after finally deciding on a business name can be devastating to your business. In order to reduce your risk of run-ins with another company’s legal teams or issues with Trademark filing, it is important to check for Trademark Risk before making a final decision on your name. consider that you may be infringing on someone else’s trademark. Depending on your experience with the Trademark process, you can perform this due diligence of your own. However, it’s often best, especially when the consequence could be a receiving a cease-and-desist letter, to have your potential business name ideas checked out by a licensed professional.
It’s All For You
Though you may be eager to begin marketing and operating your business, taking the time to ideate an effective name is an important component of developing your brand’s image. By using these straightforward tips you will have a much easier time coming up with a name that is capable of helping you succeed!
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp.com, helping entrepreneurs and marketers develop brand name ideas, create strong brands, and grow faster through a disruptive crowdsourcing process.