By: Alex Cook
Your business name is an important part of building your brand. You want your company name to be the first thing people think of. In Australia, when people order a “Rum” drink with a soft drink, they don’t ask for a ‘Rum and Cola’, they ask for a ‘Rum & Coke’ – now that is market power.
Your Business Name
- Image Creation – your name creates an image in the minds of your potential customers. What perception are you going for? Fun, serious, professional, contemporary, enduring, clever or prestigious.
- Positioning – does your name sound premium or does it sound cheap? How will people perceive the name? Think of the photo website – dollarfotoclub.com – with a name like that what do you immediately think of? Cheap photos.
- Memory – when creating your business name you should make sure that it is easy to remember. People need simple.
- Descriptive – Your name should ideally describe your service or product. This is not always necessary but it can certainly help.
- Distinguished – It should distinguish you from your competitors. Differentiation is one of the most important principles of marketing.
- Attract Customers – does your name appeal to people? Names are more powerful than people realize. Think of the name “American Airlines”. Most Americans are naturally proud of their country and therefore flying “American” will have that appeal. For foreigners, they may associate the name with being good quality and safe, because it is American.
- Legally Protect It – you must also be sure that legal recognition is given, if it is registered and trademarked.
- The Shorter the Better – the longer the harder to remember
- Consider Plays on Words – You could call your language business “Spanglish” combining both English and Spanish together, although not much good to you if you teach other languages!
When you think of Coca-Cola, what slogan do you think of? An image instantly pops into your head, doesn’t it? A slogan reveals something about your business. It tells people what your business is all about. I still remember Coke’s slogan from the 1980s ‘Coke is it’. Slogans work.
For my other organisation, christianwealth.com we have adopted the slogan ‘Make Money. Live Generously.’ Think about that for a moment. ‘Make Money’ will mean slightly different things to various people, for some it will be just about having a job to pay the bills and for others they will think about investing. Then the ‘Live Generously’ is a calling on the lives of all Christians. It is simple, it is easy to remember and it is a clear proposition to the reader as to what we will help you do.
Consider the following when determining your slogan:
- What are the key words that reflect your business?
- Write a large list. Narrow it down to five, and then take a vote.
- Is it memorable?
- The max length should be one sentence.
- It should be simple, honest and fun (if possible and relevant).
Choose you top 10 favourite brands, products that you probably use everyday. What is it about their slogan that you like? What makes it memorable?
Whilst on face value your name seems the most important. A great looking logo can create a powerful image and build loyalty. A great example of this is Nike’s ‘swoosh’ logo. You don’t need to write ‘Nike’ on a pair of shoes anymore, the logo alone is enough to identify the brand.
Likewise go into a coffee shop and look at all the laptops people are working on. You will be able to spot all the Apple computers by their lit up logo. How many other computer companies will you able to spot just by walking through the store. Probably very few, perhaps just Apple. The others you’d have to go up close to see the actual brand name.
- What image are you going for?
- Does it look distinctive? Will it look good in different materials? (web, print, cards)
- What impression does it give potential customers or existing customers?
Your logo tells a story about your brand.
Positioning = what customers think when they think of your brand and products.
As you can see, ‘brand management’ is not just one thing. It is not just a logo or a name, it is the collection of these parts that gives the end customer a powerful message about what your business is and what it stands for. Small businesses neglect it at their peril!
Article supplied with thanks to Wealth with Purpose.
About the Author: Alex is a financial planning expert and has advised individuals and businesses on how to manage their finances for over 19 years. He recently sold his successful financial planning business to pursue his passion of helping people like you to take control of their finances and future.