Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Naming Your Business

Note: This is part 2 of a 2 part series on naming people and businesses. To read part 1 click here.

If I had to list all of my hobbies, naming things would be towards the top. It may seem like a very simple or silly thing but there is a lot involved with finding a name for anything. This is particularly important when naming children and businesses.

Naming a Business
Choosing a name for a new business, or re-branding an existing business, can be one of the most complicated things to do. Often new business owners will try to come up with the name first but this is usually a bad idea. The reason being that once a name is decided on then there is a tendency to try to make the company fit the name. It's always better to determine the details of the business and then find a name that fits.

This is not as easy as it sounds. Not only are their trademarks and competitors names that need to be worked around but, in the modern digital world, there are also domains and email  addresses that have to be considered. Many companies will turn to consultants for help in finding the name that will represent their product.

When looking at a name keep several key points in mind.
  1. Who are you talking to? Think about your target market and who they are. What style of name would appeal to them? Would they understand an acronym? Are they looking for something edgy or something softer? If the name doesn't appeal to your target market then it may be harder to convince them that they need what your selling. 
  2. What are you selling? Some companies need to spell out their product in their name to avoid confusion. For example Dick's Last Resort, a restaurant chain, doesn't want to be confused for Dick's Sporting Goods. Other companies are selling products that are so unique or different that they can use made up names or acronyms. 
  3. Consider the competition. Some companies deliberately choose names that are designed to confuse customers. They think that any person who mistakenly lands on their webpage or in their store will be happy to just purchase from them, rather then the company they were looking for. The reality is that even if the customer does purchase from the company with the misleading name - it will most likely be the last time they do, unless there are other factors at play (ie the original company has poor customer service) This practice does not build trust in the company and can lead to lawsuits if the name violates trademarks. Instead of trying to confuse customers come up with a name that is unique, memorable, and promote it to appeal to potential clients.
  4. Check trademarks and acronyms. Once a name has been chosen search for it on Google, domain registries like GoDaddy and the trademark registry. Chances are that the name itself will already be registered as something. If this happens then consider alternate spellings, adding descriptive words, or using an acronyms. 

Using these guidelines will help to create a unique name that can help to create the brand and reputation for your product.