Naming Business: Not a Funny Business

Shakespeare said “What’s in a name?” a lot actually especially when it comes to small and medium sized businesses. Name if properly given can become the talk of town for one’s company. So much is the power with it that it can also do the reverse that is doom the business. For any business, ideally the new business name should reflect the specialty, value proposition and expertise of the product or service provided. Some common perceptions related to naming ideas and business names ideas are given as follows:

1)      Some experts believe that the best names are abstract and should be like a blank slate where user can write and imagine anything.

2)      Others feel that the new business name ideas should be nothing but a reflection of what the business is all about and should be easily understood by the customers and clients.

3)      Some feel they should be coined names that are essentially made up words and are easier to remember.

4)      While some feel that they are forgettable and hence not much emphasis should be given on naming businesses.

In reality it is not a rocket science to understand this; any name can become popular and memorable provided it is backed by a good marketing strategy. Some of the tips while naming ideas flood in are given below:

a)      Expert is always right :

When in doubt, consult the expert is the mantra here. If one is too confused regarding the same, an expert’s opinion on an appropriate name can be taken. After all it is about one’s business and its long term repercussions. It is better to go with an expert who specializes in the same sector rather than a jack of all trades or generic one. Also there are several naming firms which have certain systems for forming new names and they follow the naming trademarks laws always. They have the knowledge to comment on which name is not good and which others are.

However hiring any professional or expert comes with a cost. Generally a firm costs somewhere around $80,000 to work on a name. It generally includes graphic design and identity work, this comes in the package and one is not charged extra for it. Though there are some naming services which charge as less as $50 but one should spend a reasonable amount in the initial period for long term benefits and saving money in future.

b)      What to name :

It all starts with business name ideas that strike andproposition thenproposition deciding what name one wants to communicate to the world about their business or company. It should be in line and reinforcing what the company’s key features are. Deciding upon a vision and mission statement in priori will help one coming to brand elements which will eventually pinpoint to a better name.

The more the name is self-explanatory and communicative to the customers and clients, the better it is for the owner as in the lesser efforts he will have to put in. As suggested by conventional naming experts, priority should be given to real words or word combinations rather than to the beautified and fabricated ones. It is very obvious that people/ customers prefer names which make sense to them. This is the reason why naming experts reject or avoid using names out of initials or meaningless strings.

One other common mistake is to go for too meaningful words, seldom do people realize that what they call their company may be relevant to one area but not to others, how on earth are they ever then going to expand their business?Exemplifying it with a hypothetical example, let XYZ, London is an area in one’s locality therefore the name of the business is XYZ dryers, will this make sense to people or clients in ABC, London for about a different country altogether.Therefore this common error of giving a generic and typically geographic name should be avoided.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of names given to firms or businesses:

1)      Descriptive names: They tell about the business for example what the business is about, where is it located etc.

2)      Suggestive names: They are generally abstract in nature and focus on what the business or firm is about.

Consider the example of a name “TourToDelhi”, now this name is not grammatically correct yet is self-explanatory that the name promotes tours to Delhi. It is meaningful to its target customers and evokes excitement in them to travel to Delhi when they hear the name. Following are the tips to be followed while naming a business:

a)      Though the business is owner’s property, should appeal to him yet it needs to be appealing enough to the target audience.

b)      These days consumer behavior is more studied than customer behavior, psychographics and behavioral sciences are the talk of marketing towns. It is very important to build the emotional connect with the customer. The name should evoke a feeling of good memory into them.

c)       The name picked should never be too long and confusing; it loses its appeals then.

d)      One should be beware of cute puns that are understood by them only and not others.

e)      Using unnecessary words like Inc. is too dangerous if the company is not actually incorporated.

 

c)       Being Creative :

 

Being creative always pays, yes it does. Coining a new name gives the initial publicity required. For example the word Acura actually is not meaningful yet it signifies precision and can be used for naming labs etc. However these words don’t work in every situation.

 

d)      Testing Name :

 

After one has shortlisted 4 to 5 names for their business, the next step is trademark search for the same. It depends upon the state government’s rule and not every name needs to be trademarked. However to be on a safer side hiring a trademark attorney is a good idea.

 

e)      Analyzing finally :

 

One thing that needs to be remembered is professional naming firms take anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 months which may stretch your planning period; therefore it is necessary for one to plan the naming time accordingly.