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Wednesday, 17 December 2014 1:25

Your Business Name Speaks to Your Personality - What Do You Want Yours to Say?

By - Michael Rader

Being able to successfully name your business venture is one of the most important abilities you will need as an entrepreneur. Saddling yourself with a generic, bland, and unimaginative moniker can spell doom for your company, regardless of the greatness of what you offer.

Modern history is full of examples of great products that failed to influence their industry, often because they did not have an attractive and memorable name. Today’s consumer is bombarded with tens of thousands of business images and sounds on a daily basis, with the large majority dismissed without any consequence, while just a few make a lasting impression.

The psychology of memory may seem like an abstract concept, but there are things you can do to increase the chances of your business name being remembered. One of the easiest is to choose a creative, unique, and innovative name.

Some business owners are afraid of using an invented name, preferring instead to walk paths already traveled. It takes courage and an innate fearlessness to jump into unchartered waters. The most successful businesses in history are those that did just that. Nike, for example, was not a household name until Phil Knight threw himself into the company. He believed in his product enough to choose a name that had no prior association with shoes. By doing so, he allowed his product to speak for itself and create its own identity. He could have chosen a name like “SuperRunningShoes,” but doing so would have lumped him in with every other shoe manufacturer in the industry. Instead, he gave his company a unique, brand-style name and ended up revolutionizing the industry.

When you believe in the value of your business and are ready to pour yourself into the company, only then are you prepared to begin. Starting a successful business takes passion, self-confidence, and determination. Many companies get off on the wrong foot from the beginning because their owners are not 100% engaged and committed. Your business name is much more than just a moniker. It tells customers about your company, expresses its values and personality. A bland and unimaginative name will give your business those same attributes. It is impossible to try to sell your business as new and innovative with a name that is dull and uninspired.

If your company offers the industry new and unique products or services, you do not need to rely on a totally descriptive name. Let the product speak for itself and depict your company as the next big thing. A unique product needs a unique name. Do not allow yourself to give in to anxiety and fear and ride the coattails of an existing product or company. Forge a new path for yourself and elevate your company to a new and unique level, even if your service is the same or similar to an existing one. Such a company will stand on its own merit, provided that the business name is new and unique. These are shakers. Those new businesses who enter the scene with a fresh approach and the motivation to compete and conquer, playing by their rules, not by the competition’s.

Creating a company persona based on an invented name will depict your company as bold and confident. Think of your business name like a handshake. You would never try to impress a potential client or investor with a weak and clammy grip. A firm, confident, and self-assured handshake, however, speaks volumes about one’s strength and fortitude. If you want to impress and convey a sturdy and robust sense of self, do not hide behind a weak and descriptive name.

Many people erroneously believe that a business name needs to be descriptive to the point that the customers can infer your business type simply by its moniker. That is definitely not the case. Such names are generic and will lump you in with everyone else in the industry. You need to stand out and make a name for yourself. That cannot happen unless your name is fresh and new. Do not lose your company to the unimaginative masses; create an identity that allows you to showcase your vision and passion. Customers will respond.

The bottom line is that new business owners need to determine exactly what they want their business name to express. Confidence and passion? Fear and doubt? Your business name is the first impression your company will make. What do you want it to say?

The follow scale can help you determine what personality attributes you want your business name to highlight.

Totally Invented Name:

Totally Descriptive Name:

New

Old

Bold

Timid

Confident

Uncertain

Inspiring

Boring

Creative

Unimaginative

Fearless

Apprehensive

Ambitious

Unenthusiastic

Dynamic

Lifeless

Passionate

Apathetic

One-Off

Knockoff

Brand Potential

Spam

 

Look at the items above and be honest with yourself. Do you believe in your company enough to give it a title that only defines your business? Are you ready to do whatever it takes to start your business off successfully? If you’re even slightly tempted to name your business after what you offer, you may need to rethink your business venture altogether. It’s probably only something you want to make a quick buck from, not a stable, resilient brand.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 1:34

Michael Rader

With over ten years in web development and design, Michael Rader has expertise and technical know-how. But more than a skilled technician, he is an entrepreneur and innovator who helps startup’s and new businesses identify and define their future with a unique, brandable business name. Michael Rader is the founder and CEO of Brandroot®, a leading .com domain name marketplace. He currently lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii where he operates the business and authors a blog dedicated to naming and brand name establishment.


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