In the Name of Success: Your Guide to Branding Gold
How often has this happened to you? While strolling down a bustling street, you hear someone call out your name. Instinctively, you halt and turn, seeking a familiar face in the crowd. Only to your surprise, the call wasn’t for you but for another with your name. Or, imagine this scenario: You're at a gift shop, skimming through personalized keychains, hoping to spot your name, but it's not there. The disappointment you feel is almost immediate due to an unsuccessful search. Why do I bring this up? This simple scenario serves to underscore our emotional bond with our names.
Dale Carnegie, an American author and lecturer, once remarked, "A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language." In the realm of business, a brand name stands as its emblem, mirroring its values and pledges. A staggering 77% of consumers base their purchases solely on a name of a brand. Showcasing how an apt name can evoke sentiments of trust, admiration, and allegiance. Ultimately securing a brand’s place in consumer minds.
Golden Echoes: The Lustrous Power Behind Names
For businesses, regardless of size, an impactful name can wield immense influence. A business name is the essence of your identity, reflecting your brand promise and brand equity.
In today's market, brand equity is pivotal in affirming market supremacy and maintaining relevance in the mind of consumers. Giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are testament to this – their global brand values are legendary. This year, with a valuation of $300B, Amazon triumphed over Apple to clinch the title of the world’s foremost brand.
Rebranding Ripples: The Price of Shifting Sands
In an unexpected move, the past summer, on a bleak San Francisco day in June, Elon Musk arbitrarily renamed Twitter as “X,” replaced its iconic bird logo, and dispensed with the term "tweet". This seemingly 'whimsical and innocuous decision was met with skepticism from brand connoisseurs. The repercussions? A loss of 32% in brand equity, which equates to a staggering $20 billion decline in company value.
Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg’s audacious move to rechristen Facebook as 'Meta Platforms' was paired with a significant strategy revamp and a $100m investment in technology. But the outcome was catastrophic: a $700b drop in revenue accompanied by extensive layoffs. Consequently, Zuckerberg's fortune plummeted by $88b, resting at a still impressive $28b.
Name Nuggets: Panning More Than Just Words
Embarking on the journey of naming a business can be as intricate as searching for gold. As you navigate this terrain, let the following strategies guide you:
1. Self-Assessment & Brand Vision:
Define your business's core identity: What are the values, mission, and vision of your business?
Who are your ideal customers? Consider their age, interests, and cultural context.
Solo Sessions: Start by jotting down words, phrases, or concepts related to your business.
Group Sessions: Involve partners or a diverse group to get a wider array of ideas.
Use Tools: There are online tools and name generators like Namelix or Shopify's Business Name Generator to help spur ideas.
Memorability: Make sure the name is easy to recall.
Pronunciation & Spelling: Make sure it is easy to say and spell.
Relevance: Make sure it resonates with your business’s offerings, product benefits and audience interests
Differentiation: Make sure your name stands out from competitors.
4. Check for Availability:
Domain Check: Before settling, ensure the domain name (website URL) is available.
Trademark Search: Ensure the name isn't already trademarked in your country or in the countries where you plan to operate.
Social Media Handles: Check availability on major platforms.
Survey Potential Customers: Use tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to gather feedback.
Ask Friends & Family: They might provide insights you haven't considered.
6. Global Implications:
Words Mean different things in different countries: If you plan to operate/market internationally, make sure the name doesn't have negative connotations in other languages.
Pronunciation Counts: What sounds good in one language doesn't mean it does in another...make sure and check its pronunciation in other languages.
7. Legal Considerations:
Trademark Registration: Once you've chosen a name, consider registering it as a trademark to protect it.
Business Registration: Depending on your region, register your business name with the appropriate governmental agency.
8. Commit and Build: Once you've chosen a name, commit, and build your brand identity around it.
9. Revisit and Re-evaluate: It's okay to revisit your decision before finalizing. Ensure that it aligns with your vision for the business.
10. Stay Open to Evolution: Remember, while a name is essential, it's just one aspect of your brand. As markets change, there might come a time when rebranding or renaming is beneficial. If so, make sure and change the name due to industry/business vs. ego/personal reasons.
There you have it! This comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary for brand naming success. From understanding the gravity of a name to the intricate process of selection, every detail matters.
If you're feeling uncertain or want to ensure your brand name truly resonates, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's make sure your brand stands out in the best way possible.