Setting your brand apart: What’s in a name?

Setting your brand apart: What’s in a name?

Whether you’re just setting up your business or expanding into a new market with a new name, choosing the perfect name (brand) for your business is by no means an easy feat. In fact, securing a unique name in the dot-com era is strenuous, so when you find one you like, make sure you can use it.

Not only should you check for copyright infringements that could force you to abandon the new business name after investing a lot of time and money in it, but also domain availability. There are over 860 million domain names registered worldwide, and experts have indicated that over 99.9% of the dictionary is already taken.

Set your brand apart

Create your unique web page in just 3 days!  Fortunately, constraints have an ability to foster creativity. So get ready to power up and push past the obvious to uncover hidden opportunities. Here are some tips to get you started and help you outsmart the domain and trademark frenzy.

First impressions:

In most scenarios, your brand name is the first introduction to your business. It’s your chance to make a great first impression so you can make a second and third one. If you are new, chances are that your potential customers might know virtually nothing about your business, product or service, and a striking name can serve as an extension of your brand promise. It can reinforce the value you provide or distance you from it.

A story to share:

Commonplace words in the English language will not make the cut. So focus instead on the symbolic or lyrical associations with your business. It’s important to decide what your name should mean and represent. Instead of getting lost in the list of nouns, verbs and adjectives that your company wants to be and do, think about the emotions that you want your target customer to feel. Start by exploring the emotions and experiences that you’ve felt in building your business. Use this personal story to create a visual map of the concepts and images associated with your business. Try not to be too descriptive – Imagine if Yahoo! had come out as Find Things On The Internet.com

Your unique mark:

If you can’t settle on a word that perfectly captures the essence of your brand, invents your own! Words are ever-changing and follow evolutionary cycles. Capture the market and the imagination of your target audience with new words, slang or formal terms. Apparent examples of this trend are words like Google and Xerox that arose from complete obscurity to eventually earn its place in the Oxford Dictionary. A great way to get some creative brainstorming underway is to have some right-brain types in the mix.

Captivate them, not confuse:

Resist the urge to name your brand after the mythical Greek god of fast service or the Latin phrase for “We’re number one!” If a name has a natural, intuitive sound and a special meaning, it can work. If it’s too complex and puzzling, it will remain a mystery to your customers. This is especially true if you’re reaching out to a mass audience. Even if your name is unique and eclectic, focus on sounds and pronunciation that are familiar to your target audience so that it won’t be constantly mispronounced or misspelt.

Always remember that your name is an extension of your brand so it’s important to develop your brand strategy before you start the naming process. Once you have a great name you love, get cracking on the logo and corporate identity to give your brand a face.
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