It All Starts with a Name
One of the reasons you should develop a brand is that it’s going to help you with every aspect of your business from A to Z. You’ll be able to come up with product ideas and solutions to your audience’s problems a lot easier when you know what you stand for. Branding helps you define what you stand for, and it all starts with a name.
The very first thing to think about when choosing names or creating products is your customer. Create an avatar of your ideal customer so that you can think directly of this person as you create your brand identity.
Knowing your ideal customer and what they like, what type of personality would your brand have – if it was a person – to attract that ideal customer? Try assigning person-like characteristics to your brand. For example, “honest, forthright, transparent” or “irreverent, sassy, and unfettered by societal norms.” Who would your ideal customer want to engage with?
Now that you have the customer in mind, and you know your brand’s personality, what are some names that you can come up with? It’s time to brainstorm. Just start writing down ideas. Remember to keep it simple, use word association, use your thesaurus, do a google search, and keep track in a spreadsheet.
It can be fun to be clever. After all, some well-known businesses have done it and succeeded – like Nike, Amazon, and others. However, consider how big or small your business will be when it’s at its peak and then tone it down a bit. You don’t want to have to spend years explaining your business name to anyone.
For some small business owners, they may want to use their own name in their branding because to them their entire business is them. They are the personification of what they do and who they do it for. That’s fine. If you want to be “Jane Doe – America’s Personal Trainer,” then you should brand yourself that way. Just keep in mind that this business is harder to exit than the one you name differently.
Once you have some ideas that resonate, check out their availability. You’ll want to check to see if the name is taken via trademark, copyright, or otherwise. Then find out if you can buy the domain. One caution is that you may want to go ahead and buy any domain that is available for now. It’s just a few bucks, and you can always flip them later when you make your final choice.
Now that you have three to five ideas, you’ll want to test out the names to find out which one most resonates with your audience. You can do this via social media ads and surveys. Set up a survey that will be marketed to your ideal audience via segmentation so that you can make an informed decision about the business name.
Your brand is much more than a logo or your name, it’s also the core values of your business and what it stands for. Depending on your goals, the name might be something totally made up, or have seemingly no relation to the industry (like Apple, for example). But over time, when you put it all together – consistently minding your message – it will become what you and your business are known for.