Failure Proof Plan to Name Your Business – The Competitive Landscape
(This article is the final installment of a 3-part guide, “Failure Proof Plan To Name Your Business”)
Remember when Google used to be BackRub?
Imagine if Larry and Sergey had stuck to that name.
Hey, what’s Uber’s business slogan?
I don’t know, BackRub it.
Hmm, doesn’t have the same ring to it does it?
To avoid this mess, it’s imperative that you read part 1 and part 2 of this series before continuing to read part 3. BONUS: Imagine what would happen if your business name became a verb. Does it have a nice ring to it?
In part 3 of this series, I want you to imagine the time and cost that it took for Google’s founders to change their business name. What I’m about to share with you will help you avoid this nightmare.
So you have a business name. You used the Say It test and the Spell It test on your closest friends, you’ve gotten their feedback, you’re feeling good about the name because you spent so much time to get to this point. Now what?
What Andrea? What?!!
Now that the fun and creative part is over, time to get technical. The next steps will help you secure a business name that will save you from issues down the road. So buckle down and get those typing digits ready!
The Google Test
In this step, conduct a thorough Google search to see if your business name or a similar variation is already being used. If there are similar business names, you may want to make alterations to avoid any confusion. Most business names are DESCRIPTIVE making it more difficult to ensure that you have virgin territory and that broadens the potential to confuse your customers.
Examples of descriptive brand names are: Bed, Bath and Beyond, Network Solutions, and Whole Foods.
It seems an obvious choice for a business to choose a business name that describes the industry that they’re operating in so that their customers know what the business offers.
Wellness businesses use the words like: wellness, well being, and health.
Solar energy businesses use words like: renewable, solar, sustainable, and green.
Organic food companies use words like: organic, natural, and pure.
The problem is that even though it’s describing what your business does, this type of business name often creates confusion for customers. Moreover, it makes it NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to trademark your business name. A thorough search means going beyond the first page of the Google search results. Have you ever done that? See what’s on page 23! Conduct a true audit of your naming competition.
The internet has transformed the landscape in which we conduct business. When deciding on a business name, spend some time brainstorming potential URLs that you could be using. A simple URL that is easy to remember, such as one without multiple symbols like dashes, would be ideal. Decide if the trendy .io (for startups and techies) is right for you or if a safe .com is best. There may be other options appropriate for your industry, as well.
The final consideration in the business naming process relates to trademarking. In today’s global marketplace, your business can turn global overnight, which is why it is important to make sure that your business name is legally protected. As a branding expert, I have seen first-hand how EASY IT IS TO MAKE A MISTAKE IN NAMING YOUR BUSINESS and how important it is to be pick the right name for the trademark.
Here, I want you to take into account trademark registration and formalities to avoid any legal disputes. Consider consulting with a trademark lawyer or agent to err on the side of caution.
I hope that by now you have achieved internal clarity (part 1) and brainstormed for names that has customer likability (part 2). If you are feeling exhausted with coming up with the right name for your business then here’s a virtual high five for you. All my clients go through part 1 and part 2. We even have brainstorming sessions during our Tuesday coaching calls! If you haven’t found the right supportive group to help you with the Say It test and the Spell It test, here’s an idea: Join a Facebook group for entrepreneurs! There are many out there and many are free. Yes, it does take time to find the right one but it’s worth it. After you spend some time getting to know a group, select a few people who you’ve come to know and trust then, run the tests on them.
Don’t have time to find the right group? When you sign up for The Impact Method, you get access to my Impactpreneur Community PLUS exclusive weekly coaching calls with me and other like minded Impact Entrepreneurs. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week!
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When you’re ready, schedule a free consultation with me.
Want to know more about naming your business, branding your business, re-branding your business, branding identity, creating a tagline, creating a manifesto, creating a vision statement, creating a logo, or anything else about getting your company where you want it to be? Please contact us today for your own customized brand package!