Friday, August 19, 2011

The Anatomy of Building a Brand Part 1: Choosing a Name

Choosing the right business name is a very critical step because it the start of what can lead to success or failure. Below are a few pointers that can help make choosing a name less challenging.

1. Strike an emotion: The most important way to capture a potential client is through their emotions. Your brand name should have the positive, friendly and strong connotations that you want associated with your services. Let's take a day care for example. Most day care facilities have a friendly and happy name to make parents comfortable with their care. A parent would be reluctant to sending their child to "Innovative Strategic Care", opposed to "Shining Star Day Care". Make a list of adjectives that describe your services. Cross out any words that can be too abrasive and aggressive.

2. Think about men and women clients: If you are providing a service that caters to men and women, you definitely want to avoid the cute and feminine names.

3. Don't let your brand name keep you in a box: Think long-term when choosing your name. Although you may be offering just one service initially, choose a name that will work even if you decide to expand your company. A potential client wouldn't know that you also offer web services if your company's name is Red Leaf Tax Services. Think outside of "right now".

4. Using your name can be tricky: Building a brand is less about you personally and more about your service. Substitute using your name with a strong word that will describe what you have to offer. If I am looking for a caterer, and the three choices I have are Linda's Catering, Catering by Helen, and Catering Creations by Jennifer, I wouldn't know where to begin to make a selection. Make sure your brand name can immediately separate you from your competitors.

5. Do your Research: Make sure your potential name isn't already used or trademarked. This is a critical step. Locate the website for division of corporations for the state in which you will be running the business. You want to limit any legalities that can occur once your business has taken off.

6. Make it memorable: Remember the shorter the name, the easiest to remember. Some of the most successful brands are 1-2 words, such as McDonalds, Nike, Pepsi. With long company names comes issues with domains and logo design. Keep it short, yet effective.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful to you. Please follow my blog to be notified of Part 2: Creating the right Logo. Your comments are appreciated.


  1. Thanks for the tips! When will part 2 be posted? I want to know more about creating logos.

  2. Hi Tia, I will be posting it today. Stay tuned!