Branding and your name

What’s In A Name? The Six Essential Elements You Need To Know

What’s In A Name? The Six Essential Elements You Need To Know

By: Susan Friedmann

Selecting a name for your new business is not easy. A name does more than identify your company. It tells customers who you are, what you do, and more than a little about how you do it. Your name differentiates you from your peers, peaks customer interest, and invites further investigation — if you do it right.

I didn’t do it right. At least, not at first.

All entrepreneurs make mistakes, and I made one of my first ones right off the bat. Thrilled with the fledgling business I was starting, this precious enterprise so near and dear to my heart, I christened my company Diadem Communications. Diadem means crown– a fitting name for what I felt was a

crowning achievement.

What does Diadem say to you? Does it evoke thoughts of me coming into your company, training your sales team to be the best booth staff ever, ensuring that every single trade show you attend turns out to be amazingly successful? Does it make me sound so good that you just can’t wait to hire me?

No. It doesn’t say that to me either. And even worse, it didn’t say that to any of my potential customers. Going by name alone, no one would be able to determine the least bit of information about me, my company, or the services we offer. The name said nothing, and it did nothing for me.

The name had to go. More importantly, it had to be replaced by something effective. How do you come up with an effective name? Consider these six elements:

An Effective Name:

1. Tells Who You Are: Your name should reflect your identity. This is an essential aspect of branding. You’ll be promoting this name, getting it in front of as many eyes as possible as often as possible. How do you want the public to think of you?

For some, that means integrating your personal name into the name of your business. This is very common in some professions: legal, medical, and accounting leap to mind.

Others prefer a more descriptive name. One successful small baker runs her business under the name “The Cookie Lady” because that’s how her first customers identified her. It’s doubtful that most of the customers even know her first name (It’s Pat) but everybody in her market knows “The Cookie Lady”.

2. Tells What You Do: It’s incredible how many company names give little, if any indication of what type of work the organization actually does. Take the following examples:

  • Smith and Sons
  • Hulbert Brothers
  • Only One

Can you tell me what any of these companies does? Of course you can’t. They’re relying on customers already knowing who they are (a tricky proposition for new businesses!) or by having their name found in ‘context’, such as a yellow pages or on-line business directory.

3. Tells How You Do It: Words are very powerful. By carefully selecting what words you use in your name, you can convey a great deal about your company’s image. Consider the names of three different massage and bodywork centers:

  • Champlain Valley Therapeutic Massage
  • Clouds Above Massage
  • Speedy Spa

All three companies are providing the same service: massage therapy. Yet the first appears to favor a more medical approach, the second, a dreamy, luxury approach, and the third focuses on fast service.

4. Differentiates You From Your Peers: Your company name is the first opportunity to tell customers how you differ from the competition. This can be done by emphasizing what makes you unique, pinpointing what aspect of your products and services can’t be found anywhere else — or that you do better than anyone else.

Consider the massage therapy example we looked at in number three. Each organization clearly has a different focus and approach to their customer base. They’re attracting different types of clients, who are seeking fundamentally different approaches. All of which is conveyed in less than five words.

5. Peaks Customer Interest: Creating customer interest is an art and a science. Think carefully about your target audience. What qualities of your services are of the greatest import to your customers? What kind of words are likely to appeal to them?

Emphasize the important qualities in your name. For example, busy homeowners are drawn to the inherent promise of speed offered by “Bob’s Instant Plumbing” while a reader in search of a good mystery will gravitate toward “Crime Pays Books”.

Word choice is also important. Two yarn shops can both specialize in specialty fibers, but the one who labels themselves “All Hemp All the Time” will draw in a decidedly different crowd than the one named “Natural Beauty: Organic Yarns”.

6. Invites Further Investigation: Customers are funny creatures. What one group finds to be funny and engaging turns another group off. You want your name to be inviting and approachable — as those qualities are perceived by your target audience.

The best example of this may be seen in the individual investor segment of the financial services industry. Charles Schwab has spent years cultivating a classic, formal image — but now that the consumer base is changing from ‘old people with money’ to ‘everyone with a 401K’, Charles Schwab has launched the “Talk to Chuck” campaign in an effort to be more approachable.

Make sure your name doesn’t intimidate customers away! Some industries are more formal than others, but adopt pretension at your peril.

After following a series of simple step-by-step instructions to match my corporate identity with my service offering, I came up with the quintessential name: The Trade Show Coach. This name instantly tells customers what I do – assist companies with trade shows – and a little of the manner in which I do it – coach, rather than dictate, direct, guide, or organize.

See the difference? So did the buying public, some of who quickly became my best customers. The same thing can happen for you — if you pick the right name.

 

Author Bio

Written by Susan A. Friedmann,CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies,” working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. For a free copy of “10 Common Mistakes Exhibitors Make”, e-mail: article4@thetradeshowcoach.com; website: www.thetradeshowcoach.com

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content

Advertisements

About Granger Whitelaw

Granger Whitelaw founded the Rocket Racing League along with partner, Peter Diamandis in 2005. See more information at http://www.grangerwhitelaw.com/blog and http://grangerwhitelaw.brandyourself.com View all posts by Granger Whitelaw

5 responses to “Branding and your name

  • KJ

    A crucial element of any business is the creation of a brand name by which people could identify the service or product it provides. It’s also one of the very first things you have to think about, and it’s something that will be stuck with your business for long. This is why it’s necessary to be particular about coming up with the perfect brand name for your business. It may not seem like a daunting task, but it requires careful consideration on various aspects of what kind of services or products you will be providing. After all, the brand name, along with the logo and the type, sums up everything your business represents into a symbolic name.

  • Aldrien

    Let me quote this one “All entrepreneurs make mistakes, and I made one of my first ones right off the bat” because this is so true and you know not only entrepreneurs but some popular celebrities or sports athlete or businessmen have experience failure first but now they are successful with their own careers. I will truly make a good job in the path of my career because the effort really put mark in every journey.

  • JV

    Targeting an audience is a good way in selecting a name and also I would like to agree that creating customer interest is an art and a science. Think carefully about your target audience. The massage business is a good example and not just a good example but a good business too and someday I would like to have one business just like one of it and I will consider this article in choosing a name for my business.

  • Robert

    Brand is the name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other seller. A modern example of a brand is coca cola which belongs to the coca-cola company. A brand is often the most valuable asset of a corporation.

  • Feryl

    Indeed words are truly powerful “Words are very powerful. By carefully selecting what words you use in your name, you can convey a great deal about your company’s image”. It is powerful but a word alone is not so it needs some aspects that you should consider in picking or choosing one because it won’t be easy and maybe that is why this kind of article is also made, maybe by this reason.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: