Choosing a brand name is tough; your small business will have it forever, so it has to be good. As a serial entrepreneur, I understand that pressure. I’ve tackled the brand-name challenge several times and now I can share what I’ve learned along the way. Here are the five key things to keep in mind when choosing yours:
1. It has to be easy to remember
Aim for memorable. This sounds obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. If it’s mentioned in passing, your audience should be able to easily recall your name at a later date. One of my companies, MoPals, specializes in rewarding consumers for promoting brands through social media. We can see how crucial a company’s brand name is to its viral growth and sustainability. Here’s a tip: test your name. Casually mention it to a few friends individually, wait a few days and then ask if they remember it. If it comes to mind without hesitation, there’s a good chance you’re on the road to the right choice. If they’re struggling to recall it, head back to the drawing board.
2. It has to be original
Don’t mimic your competitors. You want to stand out from everyone else, and your brand name is the first thing people will hear from or about you. The last thing you want is someone comparing you to another business because you sound alike; that gives your competitors an edge. You don’t want to be viewed as a knock-off. Be creative. Your business is unique and your name should be, too. Customers are inundated with new brands every day; you must diverge from the norm to get people talking. Try to evoke curiosity in your clients, prospective clients, and competitors.
3. It has to be relatable
It has to be original and relatable, which can sound like a contradiction. Combining the two aspects is likely the toughest part of the process, however being unique doesn’t mean you can’t appeal to a wide audience. Your brand name should feel instantly familiar without being clichéd. When customers can personally relate to a brand, they are more likely to become loyal ambassadors.
4. It must be easy to pronounce
It may look great on paper, although saying it in a conversation or over the phone can change things. Short names don’t necessarily sound better, either. Practice your name using different methods of communication before making a decision. Evaluate how people react to it. If people are constantly asking you to repeat it, it’s probably wise to rethink your strategy. Strong brand names roll off the tongue. Don’t skip this step – you’d be surprised how many great businesses don’t flourish because of pronunciation problems.
5. It must be impactful
When you think of “Kleenex,” you immediately think of tissues. The name is synonymous with its product. Small businesses have to establish themselves before expecting this kind of indelible association, yet founders should keep it in mind as a future goal. If you envision your brand name having this kind of power, stick with it. It’s important to note that choosing a brand name is only the beginning of your journey. It’s more than just a title – it’s an idea and the corporate culture you create around it; but your employees and customers will ultimately define it. With social media, companies are only a bad tweet away from ruining the foundation they worked so hard to create, no matter how great the name is. So, make sure yours is unforgettable for all the right reasons.