There’s almost nothing more fundamental to the success of a business than the initial decision of what to call it. It’s true that classic names sometimes become classic later, defined by the success of the company — if McDonald’s hadn’t become such a huge hit, later generations might have wondered why there was once a burger joint named after an old farmer, for instance. But there are still some definite dos and don’ts that come into play with naming your fledgling company.
Today, the web development team at InternetDevels discusses the most common mistakes business owners make when choosing a brand name.
Common mistakes when choosing a brand name
We have already talked a lot about branding. You should know how to redesign the brand logo and why a good logo is important to your business. Now, it’s time to get acquainted with this list when choosing a name for your brand in order to avoid these common brand naming mistakes!
Difficult To Envision Or Brand
The first mistake to cover in this article has to do with perception and branding. That’s because a brand name immediately puts a picture in the mind of the person hearing it, even if there isn’t already branding in place. What we hear triggers a mental reaction that influences our perception.
At least, in most cases — but it’s possible that you may stumble upon a brand name which either has a negative connotation in the minds of the listener, or even no connotation at all.
For instance, you may decide that a blank slate is the best way to start the new chapter in your life as a business owner, but if you call your business Blank, it’s pretty likely that people will think there’s been a mistake somewhere.
Not only that, but choosing a bland and boring name, or one which doesn’t have any automatic connotations or mental links, can make it very difficult to attach a brand identity to it. As an exercise, you can learn more about designing the perfect company logo and then decide on your company name, envision the potential brand design concepts that might be used for each name. Can you clearly see in your mind’s eye the “face” of your company now? Will you be able to use this image to build your brand?
If the answer is no, move on to another choice.
Not Seeking Feedback Before You Choose
In fact, you may think that you have a very clear idea of what your brand will be, and how your business name will show up in the mental imaging of your clientele.
But how you view your potential name may be quite different from how others view it.
Seeking out solid feedback is always a recommendation, no matter what start-up decisions you are making for your business. From the color palette to the legibility of the font to the user-friendliness of your website, all of these deserve at least a second opinion, if not a third or a fourth.
And if those other elements need another set of eyes, your business name is no exception. Your business name may seem perfectly fine to you, but feedback from someone you trust could highlight potential issues or roadblocks to success that you missed the first time around.
Complicated Spelling And/Or Pronunciation
This is another issue that strikes well-meaning companies at times: they may have a perfectly valid reason for choosing their name, but that doesn’t mean that the name will be easy to say or spell. And if something is difficult to say or spell, it’s probably also going to be difficult to remember.
Memorability is a key factor to look for in your business name. It’s best to choose a company name which is short, to the point, and which uses only a word or two, rather than a longer phrase. You should definitely say the potential names out loud in order to hear how complicated they may be for your customers.
Easily Mistaken For Something Else
Let’s say you’re in the retail clothing business, and your company is named Hearty’s. It’s located just down the street from a fast-food chain — Hardee’s, specifically.
That could be a problem.
Even worse, though, would be if your retail store was located near a Kohl’s store, and you decided to name your company Coals.
Those are somewhat extreme examples, but it does go to show how market research is absolutely vital before you choose your company name. Don’t choose anything that could easily be mistaken for the name of an existing company, especially if that existing company is also in your target market, or if it is close by to your brick and mortar store.
Of course, that extends to other aspects of branding, as well — avoid choosing a logo and colors which are too similar to your competition.
Neglect To Do A Trademark Search
Following on the footsteps of the “don’t look too much like your competition,” another mistake that you could make in choosing a name is actually “looking exactly like your competition.”
For example, you could decide on a name, get your feedback, get started on your setup — and only then, much further down the line, discover that there’s already a company called by the name you’ve chosen, and you’re about to get hit with a trademark infringement suit.
This is why — among other reasons — it’s always best to do your research well before you make any real decisions. Researching your naming options will keep you from stepping on other people’s toes, and it will save you time, money, and effort in the long run.
Develop your brand’s identity with InternetDevels!
Now you can avoid these common mistakes when choosing your brand name. Note, that professional web development specialists are always ready to help with the development of your brand’s identity, including logo design, website design, marketing strategy, and more!