Corporate Identity Series :: Naming Your Business

Naming Your CompanyIn today’s highly competitive environment, the strongest brands are the ones that transcend the products and services they represent, and form a solid connection with the consumer.

While new business owners invest substantial amounts of time and resources into product and concept development, package design, advertising, PR and distribution, the act of choosing a name for their brand is often treated as an afterthought. As a result, we end up with generic and damaging brand names like ‘x place’ or ‘y barn’… or names that are already shared with dozens of other companies.

Choosing the right name is your first act of public branding, and it bears a heavy burden in that it must represent your values, your aspirations and your business using a small selection of letters. That’s a lot of weight for a few tiny words to carry.

So lesson number one, then, is to treat the naming process with equal importance as you would the development of your product itself.

Important Considerations

  • Uniqueness
    Confirm trademark and URL availability for your shortlisted names
  • Longevity
    Research the fit and stretch of your name against long term objectives
  • Expandability
    Your name needs to grow the brand, set aspirational targets and remain flexible
  • Objectivity and Relevance
    Target your audience, not yourself
  • Diversity
    Ensure your name translates favorably into other languages
  • Connectivity
    Launch stronger with support, excitement and backing from employees and key stakeholders
  • Cooperation
    Your name is your label. Your slogan is your essence. Use both appropriately.
  • Coverage
    Not every new product needs a new name. Your primary name should be strong enough to serve as an umbrella.
  • Memorability
    This follows from all of the above. Your name needs to endure when all else is forgotten.

Remember, it’s easy to come up with a name. What people fail to recognize, however, is that it can be an incredibly difficult and complicated process to come up with a GOOD name.

Many business owners seek out naming consultants after having tried unsuccessfully to name their product or company in-house, often after having already invested considerable time and expense. Getting a brand specialist involved from the outset will push you solidly down the right path to creating a powerful brand name.

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