You’ve done the hard part. You’ve taken a leap of faith and decided to start a business. You’ve invested in audience research and performed a competitor analysis. You know you have a great product or service, but now it’s time for the tricky part: deciding on a brand name.
At first, you might not put too much stock into your name. After all, you assume that your offering will speak for itself! However, think about the most well-known brands in the world, from Nike to McDonald’s.
As soon as you hear those names, the business is instantly recognizable. If you’re lucky, your brand will soon be synonymous with whatever you’re selling. Yet, you won’t get there overnight. Today, we’re sharing how to choose a good brand name to make your business, not break it!
Copying Can Cost You
One of the most important reasons to take your time when naming your brand? If you rush this process, you could do much more harm than good.
What if you press ahead and name your brand, only to find out that someone else beat you to it? If you produce marketing materials and advertising campaigns using that name, you could be in legal hot water. Always undertake naming research before you move too far ahead with your name. You want to make sure there aren’t any existing trademarks out there that you’re explicitly violating.
Especially if you’re just starting out, those kinds of setbacks can be financially draining. They could even tank your fledgling business. You don’t want to overhaul all of your efforts and totally rebrand because you didn’t do your due diligence, first.
You Need Brand Recognition
Remember those household brands listed above? You instantly see their logo and think about their tagline when you hear their name. Yet, it isn’t technically the name itself that comes to mind.
Rather, you’re remembering how the brand made you feel, and the memories you’ve established with it. The word “McDonald’s” doesn’t have anything at all to do with hamburgers, but the Golden Arches have become the gold standard in fast food.
Likewise, you want the brand name you choose to relate to your company. In time, this will help others recognize your business and begin to associate you with the products or services you sell. In other words, it helps to build your brand identity! This is one of the most effective ways to differentiate and distinguish yourself from the competition.
Search Engines Will Judge You
Do you think your brand name doesn’t matter? Try giving your business a moniker that doesn’t make sense to anyone but you. To up the ante, make it hard to spell and pronounce.
Now, sit back and see where your website falls on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Chances are, it won’t be anywhere near the first page.
That’s because search engine bots take lots of features into account when deciding which sites to reward with those coveted top spots. To join the ranks, you must understand the basics of search engine optimization or SEO.
While there’s a lot that goes into SEO (including your web content, image tags, links, and keywords), your business name is one of the most critical elements. If you purposefully and obviously misspell words (e.g. klean kars), then Google could penalize you by lowering your web ranking.
While some brand names are so unique that they actually enhance brand recognition, others have the opposite effect. If you want web visitors to find your site, it’s best to err on the side of caution and choose a name they can easily search for and find.
It Sets the First Impression
You’ve heard the adage that first expressions are everything. You also know you don’t get a second chance to make one. That said, why waste your single, precious chance on a name that isn’t wildly dynamic?
Think of this as the first important handshake your buyers have with your business. Does your name make them scratch their heads and second-guess their purchase decision? Or, does it delight them and encourage them to visit your page again?
If they have a good experience with your brand, they could be willing to share it with others. Yet, if your name turns them away from the very beginning you’ve not only lost their sale, but any subsequent ones they could have helped you land.
You Can Differentiate Yourself
Today, it might seem as though there are no brand-new business ideas out there. Instead, everyone is putting their own unique spin on business models that have already been well-established for years.
To some extent this is true. Yet, you don’t have to copy everyone else just because you aren’t reinventing the wheel. You need something unique that will set you apart. You need a way to encourage your prospective buyers to shop with you, and not your competitors.
You can establish this differentiation in many ways. One of the easiest and most effective methods is to choose a brand name that stands out. If it’s punchy, memorable, and fun to say, you won’t have to worry about comparisons holding you back and limiting your potential.
It Helps Employees Find You
If your business is still in its infancy stages, you might still be operating as a team of one. Yet, the goal of any enterprise is to grow! Eventually, you hope to expand your team and hire more employees to assist with operations.
When potential hires visit a job search website, you want your brand name to immediately appeal to them. They may not even realize why they’re clicking on your job opening, but they know that something about your brand appeals to them.
Once they open that listing, they’re more likely to read the full job description before clicking away. They may even decide to apply to fill the opening! Especially if they’ve never heard of your business before, this is another example of why first impressions are so important.
Choose a Good Business Name From the Start
As an executive, you know that your business is like your baby. You need to think carefully about the name you give it because it will likely be in place for the duration of its life.
Will the brand name you choose help you build recognition, drive sales, and make a great first impression? If it’s clear, memorable, relevant, and easy to spell, the odds are in your favor. Yet, choosing a name that’s nonsensical, flippant, offensive, or spammy could have a devastating effect.
Give this step the credence it deserves and start brainstorming! The perfect business name is right at your fingertips, and it’s time to type.