Fundamentals of Corporate Naming
Every year, companies spend billions of dollars on marketing and advertising. But if you think this hype is all about money and merchandising, think again. At its most basic, marketing—and brand building—is about the power of words. Specifically, the power of the name.
Whether you are marketing a product or a service, your goal is the same: to persuade target consumers to associate your name with your offering. In a crowded marketplace, a great name can offer tremendous advantages. If you are considering changing the name of your company, here are some pointers to get you started:
Try a Fresh Approach
In a highly commercialized world—one still wrestling with the ghosts of Andersen Consulting and Enron—many companies are seeking new ways to establish trust among prospects and customers. That’s why more and more businesses are choosing names that are friendly, simple and personable. Think of United Airways' low-cost airline, Ted. Or 925, a manufacturer of work-day business furniture. If you are having trouble differentiating your business based on your services alone, a fresh and distinctive name can help.
Avoid the Generic
Generic-sounding names that literally describe your business or contain vague words like “general,” “solutions” or “services” are easily forgotten or confused. They will be difficult, if not impossible, to trademark. So if your name is General Solutions Services, we wish you luck.
Axe the Acronyms
No name is more forgettable (or easily transposed) than an acronym. And when it comes to trademarking the name, forget it—hundreds or thousands of other companies with your initials have already tried.
A good brand often begins with a good name. While there are no safe names in business, there are a lot of bland ones. And every one of these is a missed opportunity. If you truly want to make a name for yourself, be bold and choose a moniker that sets you apart. Your prospects will be the first to take notice.
5 Rules of Corporate Naming
If you are considering renaming your business, keep the following principals in mind:
- Avoid generic names.
- Short is best. Studies have shown that two syllables is ideal.
- Give it impact. If they can’t remember it, they won’t.
- No acronyms. NWJ. (No Way, Jose)
- Be careful adopting made up, coined names. A name should evoke an emotional respons, not a blank stare.