Business Startup FAQs 
This is another unusual article under the business mastery series. In a previous article, I listed out 10 Business Startup FAQs that most entrepreneurs often ask when starting out in business. Here are the questions again below.
I have answered question 1 – 3 in the first article, you can read about it here; How should entrepreneurs successfully start up a new business? I will be providing the answer to the fourth question; “How do I choose a name for my business?” in this unusual article.
- What kind of business should I go into?
- How Should I start; small or big?
- How Should I fund my business; use my own money or get external funding?
- How do I choose a name for my business?
- How do I differentiate my company from other competitions?
- What do I need for marketing my new business?
- Do I need to have a business plan or not?
- Do I need to have an office space or not?
- Do I need to hire employees or not?
- How do I price my products/services?
How Do I Choose A Brand Name For My Business?
When it comes to choosing a name for your business; here are the 3 essential principles you need to obey.
Let’s look at each one of these principles more closely.
This describes the nature of your business by its name. When you name your business based on the intended function it will carry out, you are naming your business base on functionality.
Functionality works very well for branding, as the name already speaks for itself. You don’t need too much talking to explain what your business is about. The name does it for you.
Examples of functional brand names are;
MTV Base –Music Tv
The major advantage of choosing a functional brand name for your business, product or service is its self-descriptive nature. I like this approach to choosing a brand name because of its ability to save you time trying to explain your business, product or service.
The name is the business, the business is the name.
No confusion whatsoever. There’s a clear communication of what you’re into once the customer comes in contact with your business, product or service. It doesn’t matter whether you or any of your people are there to explain to them or not. The brand name does the whole talking. Isn’t that what you want?
The central objective of this second approach to choosing a brand name for your business, product or service is stickiness. You want your brand name to stick in people’s mind. You want to be remembered. This is a deliberate and creative combination of words. What is popularly known as coined words. You want a brand name that will attract attention, stir up the curiosity and interest of your target market.
This can be said to be the opposite of choosing a brand name base on functionality. Because in this case, what you are seeking to achieve is not ‘self-description’ of what your business, product or service is about. But rather, you are seeking to achieve ‘self-imagination’ of what your business, product or service is about.
With functional brand names, you make the task of understanding what your business, product or service does easier for the target market. With memorable brand names, you make the task of understanding what your business, product or service does interesting for the target market.
With functional brand names, you don’t engage the customer’s curiosity because the name says it all. You don’t stir up their interest for what you are selling. But with memorable brand names, you have their attention because they are involved in the process of imagining what in the world your business, product or service is about.
This is where the catch is; you want them thinking. The more time they spend thinking about your brand name, the more sticky your brand name gets in their mind. Your goal is to imprint your brand name in their memory. You want them to easily remember your business, product or service. The more unusual they seem, the more memorable they are.
The major advantage of choosing a memorable brand name is its uniqueness. Nothing differentiates a business, product or service better than a brand name that’s uniquely yours. When no other company has used your business name before, it helps to really enhance your brand identity. You distinctively stand out from the crowd in your niche or industry. You can weave a compelling story around that uniqueness.
The downside to choosing a memorable brand name is that it requires more talking and that means more marketing. The more unusual the brand name, the more curiosity it stirs and the more communication [marketing] required.
That is; people quickly remember your brand name, but for what? This unanswered question is the gap marketing fills. You need to be consistent in your marketing to give your sticky brand name a meaning. You don’t want people to just remember your memorable brand name without associating it to something meaningful.
Successful brands don’t just carry sticky or memorable names, they also carry specific meanings. Successful brands are living entities. People know what they represent; they know what to expect every time from them. So, besides choosing a memorable brand name, you’ve also got to put a meaning behind it.
In the end, it is not enough to be memorable; your choice of brand name has to convey a meaning. And this doesn’t happen automatically, it is a deliberate and consistent marketing effort.
The third approach to choosing a brand name for your business, product or service is simplicity. After all is said and done, you don’t want to have a brand name that’s difficult to pronounce and spell. You really don’t want people biting off their tongues in an attempt to pronounce your brand name. The more complex it is, the more easily forgettable it becomes.
So whether it is a functional brand name or a memorable one you choose, just make sure it’s both simple to spell and pronounce. Simplicity is the underlying principle that ties up other two approaches of choosing a brand name.
It doesn’t matter which of the two you decide to choose. But it does matter that any brand name you come up with be simple. This is overly important. People don’t remember long or complex brand names. This is one of the reasons you find some brand names as acronyms. It’s because they need to keep it short and simple.
Here’s the simple rule of thumb; if your brand name will make people twist their tongues or squeeze their face, drop it!
If you are just starting out in business or working on a product or service, let your brand name be;
Descriptive - [functional]
Sticky - [memorable]
Short - [simple]
As entrepreneurs, we are always coming up with ideas that end up as new businesses, products or services. What other principles besides those mentioned in this unusual article do you follow when coming up with brand names?
Share your comments in the section below.
ONE LAST THING!
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