IS YOUR BUSINESS NAME UNIQUE ENOUGH?

IS YOUR BUSINESS NAME UNIQUE ENOUGH?

When branding your business one of the most important asset is your business name.  Your business name is meant to be something that your audience will remember without looking at any advertisement or correspondence when branding yourself properly.  Before choosing a business name it is imperative that you do a business search through a lawyer or the Federal Trademark Commission to make sure your business name is not in use. Many entrepreneurs skip over this step and go directly to creating a logo later to suffer from rebranding and loss of revenue due to not properly getting their name registered and trademarked.

But first, you must come up with a unique name for your business, which is vital for branding.  It will determine how your brand will evolve and the longevity of your brand.  I came across some information that illustrates the importance of having a unique name for your business.

Let’s imagine a tale of two companies, both entering the highly competitive market for personal electronics. One is named Personal Media Devices, and the other is named Yubop.

The founders of Personal Media Devices are extremely pleased with their company name, because, as one executive put it, “It says it all. One look at the name and people will know exactly what we sell.”

Now let’s fast-forward five years. Personal Media Devices faces increasing competition from companies whose names are International Media Devices, Personal Media Systems, and International Media Machines. In addition, people have quickly tired of saying “Personal Media Devices” and now call the company “pmd.” New customers have little idea of what pmd stands for, and are easily confused by its similarity to companies called pmc, dmd, and pdm, as well as their actual competitors, whose names people have already shortened to imd, pms, and imm. Confused yet? pmd’s customers are.

To differentiate themselves from the competition, pmd now spends an increasing amount of money on advertising and public relations to remind people that their company was one of the first and still the best. Even so, people can’t remember if it’s a pmd product that they wanted or a pmc product. pmd responds to increasing competition by decreasing its prices, and soon has to decrease its advertising budget as well. Meanwhile, a competitor called Yubop is causing the company fits.

The founders of Yubop were chided when they first proposed the name. As one investor said, “It just doesn’t sound like a serious company.” Yet, on the basis of its brevity, differentiation, and url availability, they decided to go forward with it.

Five years later, Yubop is a household word. The tagline “Who bop?” has become one of the most familiar phrases in advertising, with people using it in their everyday conversations. The Yubop creative community finds endless ways to play with the name in customer communications (“I bop, we bop, they bop, Yubop”), and word of mouth is now so strong that the company’s marketing budget is considerably lower than the national average, while profit margins are higher.

(Neumeier 82-84)

Neumeier, Marty. ZAG: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands. Pearson Learning Solutions. VitalBook file.

As you can see, knowing what your market calls you will determine the life of your brand.  By creating a unique name you can define a word or phrase that will always evoke the idea of your brand or product.  A great way to develop a unique name for your business would be to go through some naming exercises. Here is an article that gives you a method to creating your business name, How to Brainstorm a Great Business Name.  There are many others out there that can help you create the perfect name.

Here are some quick tips for naming from the Brand Gap. A name should be: 1) different than those of competitors, 2) brief—four syllables or less, 3) appropriate, but not so descriptive that it sounds generic, 4) easy to spell, 5) satisfying to pronounce, 6) suitable for “brandplay,” and 7) legally defensible.

(Neumeier 85)

Neumeier, Marty. ZAG: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands. Pearson Learning Solutions. VitalBook file.

As apart of our branding process we give you many helpful tools to develop everything you need to be brand your business.  We hope this post is helpful and your feedback is welcome.

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