Published on March 4, 2014
AN INFORMAL 9 STEP GUIDE TO: LE PERFECTE BUSINESS NAME
S TA RT I N G A BU S I N E S S I S R I S K Y.
BUT YOU CAN DO I T!
STARTING WITH THE RIGHT BUSINESS NAME.
PICKING THE WRONG NAME = M O N E Y D O W N T H E D R A I N. v A powerful brand name that sparks the curiosity of your customers will go a long way when building your business. v Choosing the wrong brand name means an impending name change down the road – rebranding is costly – you lose all the brand equity you built with the old name.
S O, G E T I T R I G H T F RO M T H E G E T G O.
STEP 1 C O N S I D E R YO U R C O M PA N Y ’ S V I S I O N v It’s always best to have an encompassing business name that leaves room for expansion. v Amazon initially sold books on its online platform – but the site wasn’t called BookBuy.com – and for good reason. Jeff Bezos considered his company’s vision of selling more than just books one day.
LOOK AT HIM NOW.
STEP 2 D I F F E R E N T I AT E F R O M C O M P E T I T O R S v Look at the top 5 players in your industry with competing products and examine their names – since they are your strongest competitors, they must have done something right. v Analyze the names and find the reasoning behind why they were chosen, and why they work. v It’s important that your name stands out from competitors.
HOWEVER DON’T TAKE IT TO THE EXTREME
STEP 3 H I N T AT YO U R U S P v A great business name hints at the company’s unique selling proposition (USP) without outright giving it away. v You want your company’s name to intrigue your customers enough to investigate further – provoking curiosity is a powerful way to bring customers in through the door.
V I RG I N, YO U S AY ? PLEASE, TELL ME MORE.
STEP 4 K.I.S.S. v The more simple your business name, the more it will stick in the minds of the public and your target market. v For e.g., think about two different girls – Magdelena and Maggie. Which one will your remember 6 months from now? Fortunately, unlike the name given by your parents, you get to choose this one, so go for Maggie over Magdelena.
N O B O DY WA N T S T O DAT E MAGDELENA. Someone please turn HD off.
STEP 5 DON’T DROP TH E BALL. K E E P I T C AT C H Y. v Catchy names are the most powerful and memorable. v Test how catchy a business name is by bouncing it off friends and family. Tell them the name the first time, and a little while later ask them about the name again. If your family remembers the name 9 times out of 10 you have a winner. This formula takes into account your one not-so-bright cousin.
D O N ’ T B E T H I S G U Y. K E E P I T C AT C H Y.
STEP 6 L E T YOU R P E RS O N A L I T Y S P L AS H O V E R I N T O YOU R CO M PA N Y ’ S N A M E v If you want a really unique company name, don’t be afraid to let your personality shape it – after all, there is only one you! v Sir Richard Branson named his company Virgin – he obviously put a bit of his playful, light hearted attitude and adventurous spirit into his business name. He obviously thought of the controversy that would surround such a name, and how it would bring curious minds to his business’s door.
A N D N OW H E ’ S A H A P P Y AS T RO N AU T.
STEP 7 C H EC K T R A D E M A R K AVA I L A B I L I T Y v If you’ve considered all the above points, you may be surprised to find that the name has not been trademarked or used before since you’ve inserted your unique selling proposition and unique personality into the brand name. v To check trademark availability, click this link if you’re in the U.S. and this link if you’re in Canada. v If a trademark exists in your industry for the name, go back to Step 1.
DON’T BE T H I S G U Y.
STEP 8 C H EC K AVA I L A B I L I T Y O F I N T E R N E T AS S E T S v Check the availability of the domain name, Twitter account, Facebook account and other social media accounts. v If you’re settled on a name, and the domain name or social media accounts are not available, that’s not necessarily a deal breaker. v For e.g., if you settled on LiveChat for your company name, and livechat.com is taken, livechatnow.com can work just as well.
DON’T BOTHER WITH THIS ONE, S H E ’ S N O T AVA I L A B L E .
N OW L O O K , YOU ’ V E A N G E R E D K A N Y E .
STEP 9 R E G I S T E R CO M PA N Y & D O M A I N N A M E, C R E AT E S O C I A L M E D I A A C C O U N T S v Once you’ve found the perfect name, be sure to register it right away by forming a legal business entity so another company can’t register the same name down the road. v Simultaneously, register your domain name & social media accounts. v Then, once you are financially willing and able, register your company trademark to further protect your company name.
UH OH… HE’S STILL MAD Q UICK LET ’S GET OUTTA H ERE
BUT FIRST COMMON BRAN D NAMING PI TFALLS v Not considering humans when developing the name – people need to be able to pronounce, understand and spell it easily. v Not doing industry or competitive research before settling on a brand name – then finding a cease and desist letter in your mailbox. v Not being thorough in your trademark search (e.g. an [in]famous app, “Bang With Friends”, had to rebrand after Zynga threatened to sue – Zynga has a trademark on the “With Friends” phrase for apps.)
I F Y O U ’ R E H AV I N G T R O U B L E … HOST A BUSINESS NAME CONTEST v You can host a contest for your business name, tagline and available domain at copyshoppy.com. v Only $149 to launch your contest, and you receive 50+ options from talented copywriters within 3 days based on your project details. v You can then rate, eliminate, select finalists or provide feedback to copywriters as you see fit – winner of your contest transfers copyright of the winning name to you in return for the contest prize.
N OW YO U ’ R E O N YO U R WAY T O A GR E AT S TA RT.
Presented by: @CopyShoppy THE #1 MARKETPLACE FOR BRAND NAMES, TAGLINES & ADVERTISEMENT COPY C O P Y S H O P P Y. C O M
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