Branding Your Business – Who Are YOU?

When you market, your goal is to make an impact on prospective consumers your unique brand. Your brand distinguishes you in the marketplace and expresses your commitment to providing the highest quality/service.  Your brand identity is comprised of the name of your company and whatever graphic image you have chosen for your logo.

Let‘s start with the name game.

What‘s In A Name?

If you don‘t get a good feeling looking at the corporate identity on your business card, your customers aren‘t, either.  It might be time for you to update your identity or create a stronger, more powerful one. Sometimes you need to go back to the drawing board and start over.

So what makes a good name? There are five main characteristics:

  • It‘s easy to remember
  • It‘s easy to spell
  • It requires no explanation
  • It describes your business category
  • It describes your benefit
  • It describes your difference

Examples of great company names that adhere to these principles:

  • PayPal
  • Best Buy
  • QuickBooks

Creating Your Company Name

Choosing a name is a process. Occasionally a great name will just fall in your lap, but more often the perfect name will evolve over time. So be sure to make time for naming.

You can work solo or in a brainstorming group with three to four people who meet regularly until they have found your name. Expect it to take eight to ten sessions of one hour each. It will be painful, but it will be worth it.

Make the most of your time with these tools:

  • Thesaurus
  • Dictionary
  • Pads of paper and pens (because some people are more creative ―on paper than on a computer)
  • Spreadsheet
  • A laptop with access to the web to check if the URL is available

Identify a ―secretary to keep everything organized. This should be someone who types fast and records the words in Excel columns.

Be patient! Don‘t try to find your name right away. Instead, try to find your words one at a time. Chances are your brand will be two words, and finding those two best words is the real challenge.

So break the problem down and brainstorm for individual words in the following buckets:

  • Words that describe your product category
  • Words that describe the differences between you and your competitor
  • Words that describe the benefits of using your product

No Guesswork

If you invest enough time and energy into this process, you will know a good name when you hear it. If it satisfies all of your constraints you will almost certainly have a great name. How will you know if your name is a winner with consumers?  You can‘t guess. You must test.

Make some phone calls, run a survey, post the name on a forum and see what people think. Whatever you do, get some feedback from target customers.

Consistency of Use

Building your company image requires two items: the identity itself and consistency of its use. Once you‘re happy with your corporate identity – business name and logo ─ make sure you use it everywhere! Not just on your business cards, stationery, envelopes, invoices, product packaging and other printed materials, but on ALL your marketing vehicles.

Never miss an opportunity to promote your identity.  Salespeople have an expression ―ABC – Always Be Closing.  Marketers think a little differently, ―ABS – Always Be Self-Promoting.

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