They differentiate you from competitors, make an emotional connection with your audience, and help to build a brand that ignites the passions of your customers.
Yet most SME business owners are either frivolous about the naming of their business or alternatively spend countless days “brainstorming” without any direction or objective and have no method of evaluating their chosen short list of names.
Does your Brand Name:
- Achieve separation from your competitors?
- Demonstrate your difference?
- Reinforce a unique positioning platform?
- Create positive and lasting engagement with your audience?
- Make you unforgettable?
- Propel itself through the world on its own, becoming a no-cost, PR generating vehicle?
- Provide a deep well of marketing and advertising images?
- Have the potential to dominate a category?
Igor International is a specialist naming agency in San Francisco that has developed a comprehensive brand naming guide – which just illustrates the power of specialisation and focus!
Their naming guide is essential reading for any entrepreneur or SME Marketer, or in fact any marketer facing the task of developing this critical business asset. The guide provides a number of evaluation criteria that will help evaluate your short list of names. From how memorable the name is to how it sounds and looks, how it works in positioning your company and to how appropriate it is in actually conveying your business benefits.
Here we will summarise their process, which is almost identical to the overall brand development, including brand Positioning and Positioning Statement (Slogan):
1. Competitive Analysis
Make sure your chosen name is significantly different to the way others in your category name their business. Most SME’s in the services category still use the naming convention that is as old as business itself…their own name! Just look at any of the service categories and you’ll find accountants and architects through to engineers and lawyers and most consulting companies still using this outdated principle that misses out on all of the opportunities we described earlier to propel your business into the spotlight!
The more focused your positioning is, the more effective the name will be. All great product and company names work in concert with the positioning of the businesses they speak for.
3. Name/Brand Development
Use positioning strategy to figure out what you want your new name to do for your communication efforts.
4. Trademark / Domain Name
Determine the likelihood that your company will be able to secure the name and a website domain, which is now one of the toughest tasks with so many names and even 2 to 3 word expressions being registered by domain name squatters!
Produce creative materials to test leading name candidates.
6. Name and Tagline
Final names and taglines, along with a well-defined positioning strategy, are the outcome of the process.
In the next entry we will examine some examples of good and bad brand names.
Image via Wikipedia