One of the most important challenges an entrepreneur will face at the outset of launching a new business venture is coming up with a name for the company. This is as exciting as it is difficult and critical. Unfortunately, many new company names aren’t given much thought, are based largely on emotions, and are consequently changed later on to something more meaningful.
The result is an investment of a couple of years or so that ends up being wasted in terms of brand equity and name recognition. The following tips will provide you with some basic guidelines for creating your company name and slogan, what to avoid, and why.
Make it count
A company’s name should ideally state very clearly what it is that business does. It is very tempting to come up with a “sexy” name that may mean a lot to the founder, but communicates little about what the company does. This is fine if you have a large budget to spend on building the brand, but for the average entrepreneur, that is rarely the case. Remember, people are bombarded with company names day in, day out, so unless your ads are all over the place to build that brand equity and recall, not many will walk away with a clear picture in mind of why they should consider doing business with you or even remember your name for the future.
Legal research is of essence. You don’t want to spend years building your brand equity only to find out that someone else has registered the name before you, and you are suddenly faced with an unpleasant legal situation. A lawyer can do the local research, but you have to get online and make sure the name is not taken in other countries. You can, of course, have professional services do that as well, but it’ll cost you significantly. This becomes more complicated when you book your domain, though. Most names are already taken, so you have to be really creative to find a domain that is still available (and doesn’t stretch endlessly). Using the .jo domain comes in very handy here, and once you register the company with the authorities, the local registrar will offer you a wide range of available options.
Avoid the clichés
There’s an increasing number of entrepreneurs that chose “Arabese” names. By that, I mean Arabic names that are spelled out in English characters – it’s a particularly hot trend in the high-tech business and very is commonly used. As attractive as they sound though, this approach has become rather cliché and the end result—brand recall—is suffering increasingly. We saw a similar phenomenon a decade or so ago, when lots of companies were being called this.com or that.com. With the increased number of these names, it becomes more difficult to remember who does what, and why one should bother to memorize a particular name.
Watch what you promise
Coming up with a slogan is usually the next task at hand. Again, most slogans are actually promises that often tend to be overstated. The “best” this, or the “most” that, are very common starting lines for slogans. Be careful what you promise because people usually tend to hold you to your promises.
Resist the temptation to change it
Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of brands that have gone through extensive, if not complete changes. This is usually not the best practice as what has been built so far usually ends up being thrown out of the window. Some people like to change a logo at certain stages of their company’s life-cycle, if nothing else, to articulate a larger and more mature enterprise. This is not a reason to warrant such a drastic undertaking and brands end up losing more than they gain.
And of course, what needs to go with a company name, logo, and slogan is a great elevator pitch. Imagine you run into someone you haven’t seen for years as you get into an elevator, and they ask you what you’re doing nowadays. You only have the amount of time it takes to get to the next level, which is a few seconds. If you have a well-developed “elevator speech,” you’ll be able to communicate the essence of your business within this short period of time and make sure you left an impression on your friend, who will hopefully remember you the next time they need the services or products you offer.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.
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