Methodologies for Naming Your Business
With so many advices, methods, tips and techniques available on business naming, it can become quite overwhelmingly confusing to a lot of people seeking information on how to name their business or product. While there are several reliable sources from which you can pick the strategies and methods most appropriate and meaningful for your product or business, there are a few things you should keep in mind, regardless of your product or business type, class or size.
- Customer Segment
The very first thing important to identify, analyze and assess for any business is the needs and wants of customers. The needs of the customers are the basis on which the entire business should be commenced in the first place. But how can you spot out the right needs, without identifying your customers first? Since you cannot target everyone out there, you need to segment the market according to certain criteria such as demographics or psychographics, and then choose the one segment that your business or product can serve in the optimum way. You can then begin describing your customer better and then accordingly, decide which methodology you can go for naming your business. This will ensure that you can come up with a name that will actually be able to appeal and attract to your actual prospects or target customers. The tip to remember is simple: narrow down and understand your customers well to be able to get a name that will reflect their needs.
- Feel of the Brand
You have to know your brand inside and out before giving it a name to be represented by to the rest of the world. This means choosing the right feel for your brand. It can range from anything such as modern, innovative, reliable, hardcore to healthy, real, intelligent or masculine. It’s up to you to decide what kind of an impression you want to create in the minds of your customers about your business or product. Thus, again, you will first have to identify your customer needs, and then determine the feel of your brand. For instance, you definitely wouldn’t want to hamper your business by going for a premium feel for your brand when your customers are in fact price-sensitive. When describing the feel of your brand, do remember to keep them as simple as possible. The more complicated impressions you try to go for, the more difficult it gets for your customers to understand what your brand is really about. The easiest way to get this done is by making a list of the brand feel ideas you can come up with, and then selecting the best ones from there.
- Types of Names
After determining the customer segment and brand feel, you jump into the main process of business naming. However, a key question needs to be addressed here: do you create a name from scratch or simply generate or find one? Before answering that question, it’s imperative to know about the different types of names that exist for businesses and products. Take a look at them before deciding which one to go for:
- Coined names – Coined names are the ones which communicate a particular connection or feeling instead of a literal meaning. There a number of methods of creating coined names such as by combining words (e.g. Costco), alternating spellings (e.g. Qwest), clipping word parts (e.g. FedEx), fusing syllables (e.g. Univenture), using acronyms or initials (e.g. NASA) or simply creating artificial words without meaning (e.g. Kodak).
- Descriptive names – Descriptive names, usually the most common ones we see around, are the ones that basically tend to describe the function or features of the product or business. In other words, customers are able to get an immediate idea about the qualities or characteristics of the business or product. Popular example is General Motors.
- Evocative names – Evocative names are the ones which communicate about the brand positioning metaphorically, rather than literally. Thus, they don’t get restricted in only describing the product features or characteristics, but expand to painting a much larger picture in the minds of the customers. Examples include Apple and Yahoo.
- Geographic names – Geographic names, or more simply known as place names, are product or business names related to the names of particular countries, states, cities, streets or other places. While this can be beneficial by allowing the business to acquire positive image of a place and link it to its products, it can also be disastrous when you might try to expand your business out of that specific territory.
Make a list of names from each of the category described and then match them up with your target customers and brand feel. Screen out the names that don’t fulfill the criteria. Keep screening until you find the perfect name for your business or product. Don’t forget to check for their domain and trademark availability as well.
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