11 Jul What’s in a name?
If you’ve ever started a new business, or have been involved in the re-branding of a product or service, you’ll know the problems that name generation can cause. Competition in today’s financial climate is fierce – you need a company/brand name that will really stand out from the crowd. We are told that a name should be unique and applicable to the services that we are providing – the problem is, most of the ‘great’ names have already been taken! The entire process can be very frustrating – you can spend days, weeks or even months searching for the right name, to no avail.
Many people will ask – “what’s in a name?” and “is it really that important?” Of course, the most important aspect of any business is the quality of the products and/or services that you are selling. However, choosing the right company name can certainly help, especially when it comes to the marketing of your business. In an increasingly online world, keywords are becoming more and more important. There are literally millions of websites available online and using the correct keywords can make the difference between success and failure.
When starting a new business, many people will choose a generic name – i.e. ‘Bob’s Builders’ – yes, it does what it says on the tin, but how many other companies are called exactly the same thing? Legally, you may be able to use the name, but are you up against strong competition online and in directory listings? Others will decide to be more creative i.e. they will use a name that doesn’t necessarily describe their key services. This ploy has worked for many companies, here are a few examples; ‘Apple’, ‘Amazon’ and ‘Firebox’ – none of these names directly describe a product or service, but most people will have heard of at least one of them.
So, how can you pick the very best name for your business, and does it really matter anyway? Yes, it’s important to get it right, the last thing that you want is a name change further down the line, creating further expenses. Brainstorming seems to be the best solution – when you are generating your new name, ask for input from other staff members, family, friends or the general public. Some of the most famous names around have been a result of such collaborations.
Also think about your marketing literature and website when you are creating a name, it’s a common error to create overly-long names, then have problems actually fitting them onto your business cards. Your name will be used on all literature and communications going forward, so take a little time to consider your options before jumping in – the time that you spend now will be rewarded in the future!