When considering starting up a business, the most important thing is defining and perfecting the product or service that you will be delivering. Thereafter, there are five aspects regarding the branding and identity of your company that needs careful consideration. Today we focus on the first one – choosing the right brand name.
Many organisations have more than one aspect to their business so the name choosing process can be tricky. However, do not fall into the trap of trying to bring attention to all your services and aspects through your company name. Tito Philips, Jnr, a writer for Naijaprenuersays, “[W]hat you are seeking to achieve is not ‘self-description’ of what your business, product or service is about. But rather, you are seeking to achieve ‘self-imagination’ of what your business, product or service is about.” Jacobs also advises against ‘alphabet soup’, saying. “Unless you are a GE or an IBM with millions to spend on advertising, avoid initials. Real or invented words are many times easier for consumers to remember.”
In addition to the above, you need to attempt to find a brand name which resonates and can function as an advertisement for your brand. This is according to James Dettore, president of the Brand Institute in Boston: “First, it should be able to communicate on its own without a lot of advertising. It has to be easy to pronounce and have neutral to positive associations around the world, or at least in various languages.”
Jacobs also advises against choosing a comfortable or generic brand name: “If it’s comfortable—forget it. Everyone else will. The most successful names over the long-term are often those that are initially the most controversial (think Google, Yahoo!, Chipotle, and Ikea). When you select a name, you are looking for something to punch through the marketplace clutter, not add to it.” When you are a new in the industry, the thought of choosing a name which doesn’t give your client any insight into what you do may seem scary, but once you’ve become established your unique name will be celebrated, as is the case with Google or Yahoo!
Lastly, be aware that you will need to do your research when it comes to deciding on the name that will stick. The first name that pops into your head or that of your colleague will not usually be the best choice. Bill Chiaravalle and Barbara Findlay Schenck from Branding For Dummiesadvise that you need to, “get ready to spend some time and even some money, especially if your brand’s going to span a large market area, compete against major brand names, or support a major vision that will take decades to achieve and therefore will live long into the future”.
Ideally, the best thing to do is imagine where you see your company five years from now. Then, carefully chose a name which reflects the vision and ideals which will get your company to that place.