Startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses often struggle when creating a brand name. This Thanksgiving, RPR Public Relations Inc., offers new businesses 7 simple tips to follow to make sure their brand name isn’t a turkey.
Startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses often struggle when forming their new company or product’s name. While the idea for the new product may be solid, the frustration level can be high as the consensus among many entrepreneurs generally is all the good names have been taken. However, the following 7 simple tips for startups serve as a guideline to not only creating a workable brand name – but one that is a true winner and a valuable company asset. These tips will help to stimulate creativity while helping to avoid the costly mistake of selecting the wrong brand name, which in a difficult economy can be the kiss of death to a newborn company.
1) Keep it short: In our ultra-fast world speed matters and no customer should have to feel like they are choking to get out an entire brand name. Research has shown two syllables for a one-word brand name is the most common and successful – as well as the easiest for consumers to remember and use. Try to avoid multiple word names for your brand, product or service – consumers will often shorten them and create a nickname that is not always optimal.
2) How’s it taste? When the brand name is spoken – how it “feels” in the mouth truly matters. Will customers enjoy saying it and using it? Just as food has “mouth feel” so do words. In our increasingly global world, mouth feel has become more important and has lead major corporations to rebrand – especially those experiencing international expansion. Explore how your brand name will appeal to an international and multicultural audience when spoken.
3) Celebrate difference and be an individual: Do not try to develop your name by simply being a knock-off of a close competitor’s name. Evaluate the names of the competition – and then pivot. Uniqueness is often rewarded by consumers – especially words which do not sound like regular text and speech or cause a “brain tickle.”
4) Does this name make me look fat? A name should be suitable for the company, product or service it represents. If a brand name sounds like it could either be a technology company, a new perfume or a new hotel in Asia – refinement may be in order – along with another trip to the drawing board.
5) Always use protection: If a name cannot be trademarked and it isn’t available for web use – that’s a problem. It makes marketing and PR a certain nightmare. Receiving a cease and desist letter can crush an entrepreneur or startup. If a name can be trademarked – that’s a good start. While a brand name may be excitingly spiffy initially – always try to think about the long run.
6) What was that? If a brand name has to be repeated multiple times when introducing it to media professionals, or customers have six different ways of pronouncing it, it may be the wrong name. If people can’t pronounce a brand name properly – chances are they will not be able to spell it either. Be nice – make it easy for customers, media and the world to speak and spell the new brand name. There are no extra points for difficulty – only lost revenue.
7) It causes graphic designers to give up sleep. Does the new brand name not only stimulate customers (or focus groups) but also cause graphic designers or an entire art department to experience a creativity explosion? Then it’s potentially a great brand name. Visual translations and interpretations are key to having a great brand name.
In 2013 our PR firm saw more established companies and clients rebranding than ever before – and that trend just reinforces the critical need for a good brand name. Through careful planning, creative strategy, and consistent execution, you can successfully create a brand name to build greater awareness, recall and profitability.
Ria Romano is Partner with the PR & Marketing firm RPR Public Relations, Inc. They specialize is assisting entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. Visit http://www.romanopr.com for more information.
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