In developing and designing a company’s identity and brand the goal is to convey a memorable image. Many companies use the family name: Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Smith & Sons. Others, like lawyers and doctors often use the partners names.
Naming experts believe using unique names can be far more effective than family names. For example, the most profitable and successful family-named business is Kinder Morgan. My guess is that most of you reading this post never heard of Kinder Morgan, yet it is N. America’s largest energy infrastructure company.
Naming is very important for a startup business. If the name is ‘off’ it can have a detrimental impact. There are several ‘not to dos’ in naming a business.
- Don’t have too many people involved in the naming. Just keep it to the very important few.
- Don’t take two unrelated words and blend them, for example, QualiServe. These names are retro in today’s marketplace.
- Don’t use complicated or literal names. For example, ‘Search Engine Management Company’ instead of ‘Google’.
- Don’t use map names. This may work for local tradesmen or restaurants but as your business grows it will become a hindrance. 3M and KFC are examples of companies outgrowing their geographic names.
- Don’t use cliches. Words like Apex or Summit are totally overused and have no meaning. Don’t use made-up names. These may work for pharmaceutical companies but they are usually mispronounced and misspelled (making internet search difficult). Additionally, they rely heavily on advertising to explain what the company actually does.
Make the Brand Memorable
Take the time to develop a memorable and creative name for your business. Use expert assistance in naming/logo design. This can cost from $500-? depending upon the company and markets it serves but it will marketing money well spent. Don’t forget about trademarks and copyrights. If retaining a consultant, they should present 3 to 5 names that have already been trademark searched. Your task is determining:
- Which name best fits your business objectives
- Which accurately describes the company
- How does it sound when spoken.
- Normally it takes 2-4 weeks to develop an appropriate company name and logo.
So, what’s in a name? Well, everything!