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When Naming Your Business Avoid This Mistake


There is little that is more damaging to a business than a bad/ineffective name! What seemed like a good idea a few years ago can turn out to be a marketing problem tomorrow. It isn’t just the ill-conceived name that’s the problem but the dissonance it creates in the minds of your customers. Sounds that the mind cannot organized is the difference between music and noise.
What creates this noise is the harmony lost between product and brand. The mistake most entrepreneurs make is that they start by choosing a business name rather than allowing the business name to be revealed. This is not am uncommon problem. 
No matter what your business may be your business name has to highlight your product and speak clearly to the customers to whom the product is for. When there is less harmony between your business name and your product offering – it’s time to consider a name change.
Ex. Dunkin Doughnuts is changing it’s name to Dunkin. Why? Because their product offering is no longer just doughnuts – they want to expand their product offering and they must have a name that gives them the freedom to do that.
The point – your product offering targeting your targeted consumer should determine your business name-period.
Here are some indicators when the business name you’ve chosen is causing you marketing problems:
  • If your having to repeat you business name to people,
  • If your business name is hard to spell,
  • or if you’re having to explain your business name and what it means
Interestingly, Nike used to be “Blue Ribbon Sports” and Google used to be “BackRub” – dissonance. 
There are several business name types, I want to highlight 3 business name types:
  • The Generic Name – The clean slate to which you build your brand association
  • The Direct Connection – A name that speaks directly to what your business does and provides
  • The Coined Name – This is a made up name from the paring of words
“Coined names can be more meaningful than existing words”, says NameLab president Michael Barr. 
Whichever you choose,  your business name is important and if you do not give the process adequate thought and effort it will surely hinder your business growth and identify.
The Cost of Experts
Developing a good business name is a complicated process. You could enlist the help of experts who consult on matters pertaining to business marketing and brand development. The downside is cost. A professional naming firm may charge as much as $80,000 to develop a name. That generally includes other identity work and graphic design as part of the package. Naming companies charging $50 for a brand package I would avoid as well.
If you are going the DYI route consider these points when considering  what your business name should be:
Mesh Out The Meaning
  • Have you ever said, “This name just speaks to me”. Having a name means something to you is not good enough. As the business owner, you may be too close emotionally to your business to create the name alone.
  • Remember, It’s not about you the owner, it’s about your customers you are trying to attract.
  • Avoid names that are “cute” but not “clear”. Confused customers don’t buy.. confused customers say “bye”
  • Do your brand identity work FIRST and the name of your business will reveal itself in that process
Be Creative
  • Do not be afraid to be unique or bold. Don’t choose a “snoozer” for a business name
  • The name should be understandable and also should evoke some type of emotion
  • Coined names gives you the opportunity to create something new and exciting but be sure to get help with this because it’s not as easy to create as it may sound
  • Avoid a business name that will be seem as a spinoff of national and popular brands
Research and Test 
  • Narrow your list to 3-4 potential business names. Any more than 4 names means you’ve not reached a place of clarity yet.
  • Research your potential business names, be sure they’re not too similar to others.
  • Conduct a trademark search to be sure you’re not infringing on a trademarked name
  • Ask family and friends to help you decide between the last two contenders
Business names should be reveled then chosen. Doing the necessary brand development work will help you to reveal a business name that will speak your customers with clarity. Clarity converts to sales.
Trying to decide on a name for your business, or you feel your business needs a name change? Let Webntensity guide you through that process with our “ Brand Identity” business coaching. We’ve helped thousands of businesses to capture brand clarity and to reach their targeted customers. Learn More