Category Archives: General Marketing

Part 3: Small Business Naming Strategies

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Any business owner can agree that a name is extremely important to a company. But how exactly do you make such an important decision? You can try to wait and have it pop up in your head, however more likely you should start the process of strategizing to create the best name possible.

A popular trend for start-ups lately is to make up the names of their businesses rather than using real words. This may sounds strange at first with names like Acura, Verizon and Instagram, which in reality have no meaning on their own but they have become such household names that these made up words came to form a meaning of their own. The problem with this naming method is that to endow made up words with meaning requires educating the public on what you want the word to mean for your company. This means that you need a huge marketing budget. Still, there are benefits for using a made up word including that it will likely be very easy to trademark since no one else would’ve ever heard of your unique word. It can be memorable since, like spelling mistakes, abnormalities tend to stick in people’s minds. It also allows for greater creativity which can just be more exciting to work with.

There is always the fine line that needs to be tread upon in terms of describing the function of the company versus an interesting name that evokes emotion and attention. A descriptive name means that you probably won’t need a lot of further explanation when introducing someone to your company for the first time (e.g. John’s Construction Co.). However, it may be bland and not very memorable in the eyes of your consumers. What’s making it stand out from its competitors and catch the eye of a prospective customer?

If your name simply puts you as another drop of water in an ocean of names, you’re going to be spending your marketing budget trying fruitlessly to make yourself stand out. Another option is to look into a more creative name that may not directly relate to your business. This again faces similar issues to the made up words in that you won’t have an immediate stand alone name that can promote your company. You will need to spend time to make other people see the connection between this word and your business. Although, if you think it’s the perfect word that describes your company in a cool way then it may be worth the upfront marketing investment. Also, people love an interesting company history, that’s why there is often a ‘Where did we come from’ or ‘About Us’ page on many websites. Consumers like to feel an emotional connection and if a unique name that has meaning to you can tie into the company’s heritage then it may even benefit you in the long run.

Everyone will try to tell you about their own strategies about how to name a company but in the end every company is as unique as every person, with its own personality and history that comes with it. The name might come to you instantly as you’re creating the company or it can take a deliberate and logical process to find just the right name. Often the name won’t come to you right away, especially with such saturation in terms of naming. Choosing just the right one requires the perfect combination of thoughtfulness and rational thinking.

In many cases, it makes sense to hire a marketing firm to help facilitate the process. Having someone that knows the right questions to ask, understands positioning, and has developed processes to both filter and evaluate names, can help you create a name that sets you apart.

If you need help developing a name for your company, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Click here for part one!
Click here for part two!

michelle

Michelle Levandovsky
Marketing Intern
Mystique Brand Communications

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