8 Errors to Keep away from When Naming Your Enterprise


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Naming a enterprise is lots like laying the cornerstone of a constructing. As soon as it is in place, your complete basis and construction are aligned to that authentic stone. If it is off, even only a bit, the remainder of the constructing is off, and the misalignment turns into amplified.

Associated: The Do’s and Don’ts of Naming Your Enterprise (Infographic)

So if in case you have that gnawing sense that selecting a reputation to your new enterprise is vitally essential, you are proper. Having had in depth expertise within the naming and branding enterprise, I’ve witnessed the great, the unhealthy and the actually unhealthy. That can assist you get off to a very good begin, learn on to find the highest eight errors I’ve discovered that folks make in relation to selecting a reputation for his or her enterprise.

Mistake #1: Getting the “committee” concerned in your choice

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We reside in a democratic society, and that looks as if the appropriate factor to do: involving everybody (your pals, household, staff and shoppers) in an essential choice. This strategy, nonetheless, presents just a few issues. The primary and most evident truth is that you will find yourself selecting just one identify, so that you danger alienating the very folks you are making an attempt to contain. Second, you may typically find yourself with a consensus choice, which leads to a really protected, very vanilla identify.

A greater methodology is to contain solely the important thing decision-makers — the less the higher — and choose solely the folks you’re feeling have the corporate’s finest pursuits at coronary heart. The necessity for private recognition can skew outcomes, so you may be finest served by those that can park their egos on the door. Additionally, be sure you have some right-brain sorts within the combine. Get too many left brains on board, and your identify will almost definitely find yourself too literal and descriptive.

Associated: 8 Methods to Decide a Nice Title for Your Enterprise

Mistake #2: Using the “practice wreck” methodology of making a reputation

Mistake #2: Employing the "train wreck" method of creating a name

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When pressured to provide you with a catchy identify, many aspiring entrepreneurs merely take a part of an adjective and weld it onto a noun, basically colliding the 2 phrases head-on to create a brand new phrase. The outcomes are names which have a sure twisted rationale to them, however look and sound terrible.

Somebody beginning a high-end, service franchise turns into “QualiServe.” Somebody beginning a cultured day spa turns into “TranquiSpa.” It is a bit like mixing chocolate syrup with ketchup; there’s nothing flawed with both ingredient, however they only do not go collectively. Different widespread truncations embrace Ameri, Tech, Corpand Tron. The issue with this strategy is that it is merely pressured. And it sounds that approach.

Mistake #3: Utilizing phrases so plain they will by no means stand out in a crowd

Mistake #3: Using words so plain they'll never stand out in a crowd

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The primary firm in a class can get away with this one. Therefore, you’ve Normal Motors, Normal Electrical and so forth. However after you have competitors you want differentiation. Think about if Yahoo! had come out as “GeneralInternetDirectory.com”? The identify can be far more descriptive however hardly memorable. And, with the onslaught of recent media and promoting channels, it is extra essential than ever to carve out your area of interest by displaying your uniqueness. Nothing does that higher than a well-conceived identify.

Associated: 3 In style Enterprise-Naming Habits Value Breaking

Mistake #4: Taking the atlas strategy and utilizing a map to call your organization.

Mistake #4: Taking the atlas approach and using a map to name your company.

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Within the zeal to begin a brand new firm, many companies select to make use of their metropolis, state or area as a part of their firm identify. Whereas this may increasingly truly assist at first, it typically turns into a hindrance as an organization grows. One shopper got here to me with complaints that he was serving extra of the market than his identify implied. He had aptly known as his enterprise St. Pete Plumbing since he hailed from St. Petersburg, Fla. However Yellow Web page customers assumed that was additionally his whole service space. With a bit artistic tinkering, we modified the picture of St. Pete from a metropolis to St. Peter himself, full with wings and a plumber’s wrench. The brand new tagline? “We work miracles!”

Associated: What’s in a Title? For a Enterprise . . . Oh, Every little thing.

Many different firms have struggled with the identical challenge. Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining was rising past its trade and its state. To keep away from limiting it development, it turned 3M, an organization now identified for innovation. Kentucky Fried Rooster is now KFC, de-emphasizing the regional nature of the unique identify. Each of those firms made strategic strikes to keep away from stifling their development. Be taught from them, and you may keep away from this potential bottleneck from the start.

Mistake #5: Turning your identify right into a cliche

Mistake #5: Turning your name into a cliche

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When you’re previous the literal, descriptive phrase selections, you may possible discover your hought course of turning to metaphors. These will be nice if they are not overly used to the purpose of being trite. For instance, since many firms consider themselves as prime of their trade, the world is filled with names like Summit, Apex, Pinnacle, Peak and so forth. Whereas there’s nothing inherently flawed with these names, they’re overworked. As an alternative, search for mixtures of optimistic phrases and metaphors, and you will be significantly better served. A great instance is the information storage firm Iron Mountain, a reputation that conveys power and safety with out sounding commonplace.

Mistake #6: Making your corporation identify so obscure, prospects won’t ever know what it means

Mistake #6: Making your business name so obscure, customers will never know what it means

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It is nice for a reputation to have a particular which means or significance: It units up a narrative that can be utilized to inform the corporate message. But when the reference is just too obscure or too exhausting to spell and pronounce, you could by no means have the chance to talk to prospects as a result of they will merely move you by as irrelevant.

So, resist the urge to call your organization after the legendary Greek god of quick service or the Latin phrase for “We’re primary!” If a reputation has a pure, intuitive sound and a particular which means, it might work. If it is too advanced and puzzling, it would stay a thriller to your prospects. That is very true should you’re reaching out to a mass viewers.

Associated: The Significance of Naming Your Enterprise to Appeal to the Proper Clients

I pushed the envelope a bit on this one myself, naming my branding agency Tungsten after the steel that Thomas Edison used to create gentle. However as a result of my shoppers include educated professionals who admire a very good metaphor and anticipate a branding agency to have a narrative behind its identify, I knew it could work. It is also a approach to differentiate my providers: illuminated, brilliant, and sensible. However whereas one thing “totally different” may work for a branding agency, it would not work as properly for extra widespread companies, like an ice cream parlor or an auto physique store.

Mistake #7: Taking the Campbell’s soup strategy to deciding on a reputation

Mistake #7: Taking the Campbell's soup approach to selecting a name

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Pushed by the necessity for an identical area identify, many firms have resorted to awkwardly constructed or purposefully misspelled names. The outcomes are firm names that sound extra like prescribed drugs than real-life companies. Mistake No. 2 generally will get mixed with this one and ends in a reputation like KwaliTronix. It is superb how good some names start to sound after you’ve got been trying to find obtainable domains all night time. However resist the urge. Keep away from utilizing a “Ok” rather than a “Q” or a “Ph” rather than an “F.” This makes spelling the identify — and finding you on the web — all that a lot more durable.

And it is not that coined or invented names cannot work; they typically do. Take, for instance, Xerox or Kodak. However preserve it thoughts that names like these haven’t any intrinsic or linguistic which means, so that they rely closely on promoting to convey their which means, and that will get costly. Lots of the firms that efficiently use this strategy had been both first of their class or have giant advertising and marketing budgets. Verizon, for example, spent thousands and thousands on its rebranding effort. So did Accenture. So examine your pocketbook earlier than you enterprise into a lot of these names.

Mistake #8: Selecting the flawed identify after which refusing to vary it

Mistake #8: Choosing the wrong name and then refusing to change it

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Many enterprise house owners know they’ve an issue with their identify and simply hope it would one way or the other magically resolve itself. The unique firm identify of considered one of my shoppers, for example, was “Portables,” which reminded some folks of port-a-potties or transportable lecture rooms –neither of which was correct nor one thing the enterprise proprietor wished to be related to.

This added to the confusion when gross sales reps tried to clarify their new idea of shifting and storage. After some cautious tweaking, we got here up with the identify PODS, an acronym for Moveable on Demand Storage. The remainder is shortly turning into historical past as the corporate has expanded each nationally and internationally.

Mike Harper of Huntington Seashore, Calif., purchased a 30-year previous janitorial and constructing upkeep firm named Regency. We each agreed it sounded extra like a downtown movie show than a progressive amenities administration agency. After a radical naming search, we developed the identify Spruce Amenities Administration. “Spruce” not solely conveyed the environmentally pleasant picture of a spruce tree, one thing essential to the shopper, it additionally meant “to wash up.” The brand new tagline fell proper in place: Spruce…”The Everclean Firm.”

It is solely a matter of time earlier than different firms which have efficiently outgrown their authentic markets start to query their positioning. Take into consideration “Burlington Coat Manufacturing unit.” Retailer Burlington truly dropped the “coat” from its identify to place itself as a division retailer, not only a coat retailer.

Very like 3M and KFC, these firms are altering to maintain tempo with their development and picture.

Within the fever to begin your new enterprise or develop a present one, take time to assume by way of a few of these points. By tapping into your creativity and avoiding these potential pitfalls, you can create a reputation that works for each the brief and long run. Like the unique cornerstone of a constructing, it would assist upward enlargement as your organization reaches new heights.

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