One of the most important things any entrepreneur can do is to come up with a name for their business that is both unique and grabs interest from their target market. A good name should help differentiate their business from the competition as well as build the brand and emotional connection with their customers.
However, recent research shows that 90 percent of businesses choose a name that sounds the same as their competitors eroding their uniqueness and increases the chances of their business being seen as a commodity. It is important that a business not leave the impression that their business is just like every other one out there.
The same concerns should also be applied to the naming of a product or service. The right name can propel a new product or service quickly into the consumers mind increasing your market share and profits.
In this article we will review some basic principles all business owners and their teams should consider in naming their company or products/services.
Make it clear
A good name is composed of several layers of meaning and association. It should evoke emotion and be easy to pronounce. Being able to come up with clever and fun names can have both positive and negative connotations.
Take for example a fun name to say like Oreo. We could all agree that this product name stays in people’s minds and is often repeated. Then there are the company names such as Virgin and Apple that create an emotion and imagery that positions the product in the public’s mind.
Avoid Names that are too enigmatic
At times start-ups have come up with names like Kwkly or Querly just because it looks cool or is very unique.
The problem is that although these names are unique your customer may not be able to know how to pronounce it or worse can’t ﬁnd you. Any name that is hard to spell will make it also hard for consumers to find you online or on mobile services like Siri.
The last thing you want is your customer trying to find you and wondering how to spell your unique name.
A recent study conducted by Princeton University demonstrated how public companies with easy to pronounce ticker symbols outperformed those with hard to pronounce ones on the New York Exchange. Sure, there is always the advertising concept of educating the buying public on your name and what it means, but this not a cost effective method of marketing your company, product, or service.
What is in a name?
Names with repetitive syllables or sounds do stay in the mind of the consumer and when all possible you should consider the possibility of creating such a name as Jelly Belly, Coca-Cola, or Double your Dating. These names all position their brands and dominate their markets.
Lastly, make sure you check out what the name you come up with actually means and whether there are any negative connotations associated with that name.
For example, Nike came up with a new shoe they introduced in Ireland and named it ” The Brown and Tan Sneaker” after a tourist drink the marketing team saw in a pub. Had they simply Googled the term ” Brown and Tan” plus “Ireland”, they would have discovered that this term referred to a British paramilitary group that had caused a lot of damage in Ireland.
Then, there is the classic naming problem with the Chevy Nova that was introduced in Latin America. In Spanish, the name meant “doesn’t go.”
As you can imagine in both of these product launches the name of the product was the downfall. The take away is to simply do some research after you come up with your new name and, if possible, take it to a small market space and test it with potential consumers before presenting it to the world.
As we have seen, following just a few simple rules can make all the difference on the success of your next naming project.
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