The story of a certain young lady’s naming certainly got the column inches over the last few days – naturally enough.
Inevitably, the whole nation wanted to share its view on what the Royal Baby might be called, and then express comment as the selection of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana was revealed.
Naming and branding is one of those complex issues for the entrepreneur or evolving business.
And for us marketeers and PR types, it can vary considerably as to what stage we’re brought in on discussions (if at all).
For some, the name selection comes almost as early as a decision around what the new service or widget is that the entrepreneur is bringing to market.
For those, their mind is set fast pretty early, and the call to PR and marketing professionals comes merely to help them ‘push’ the new name and brand into the wider domain and get everyone discussing it.
Others, however, decide the name and representation of the brand are all so intrinsically linked that the creative input of PR and marketing is initiated even before the ink on the initial business plan has had time to dry.
In these cases, the owner or initiator of the new business / offering, will be wanting meaningful input around why one name or other, one brand identity or other, might catch the world’s attention better than another.
Of course, it’s not for us marketing professionals to plead to be in on the earliest conception discussions, but names do matter in radiating your brand messaging.
You don’t necessarily have to be insanely ‘clever’ with that name, nor 100% unique (although it helps), but there are some important considerations you should certainly bear in mind:
Does it say what you do?
Understandably, it can help to try and capture a sense of what you do in the name you offer – but you no longer need to get shackled by this thought.
In fact, even google is starting to identify companies by brand names much more so than by a domain name and company identity depicting exactly what your service is (it’s all in the content marketing, remember!!).
If you want to create a name with clout and still have a means of capturing ‘what you do’ there’s all sorts of ways to use straplines and the like.
Will it be remembered?
Great names help people remember them after they’ve glimpsed them in an advert or seen a reference in a PR piece editorially. It helps to have a name that people can bring back to mind when they’re able to sit down and call you or look up your website.
Think VIRGIN. Richard Branson wasn’t shy with his branding, and while you can certainly say he’s one of the cases where the initial ‘brand’ didn’t immediately say what his first business did, it was a bold name which, attributed to any service, would always be memorable.
Is the domain and the social media presence available?
A client recently told me she’d registered her company name, initiated a logo and was thrilled with the ‘back story’ behind her brand.
I then asked her if she’d registered the domain name. Or the Twitter identity.
These weren’t insurmountable problems, but it’s always a really disappointing situation for myself and for the client when you have to back pedal slightly to help all the required brand opportunities align from the outset.
If you’re certain on a name, do at least investigate whether its domain and social media I.D are available to you.
You certainly don’t want to drive traffic to someone doing much the same business as yourself.
Will it age and evolve well?
Just as every parent wants to consider whether their child’s name will work at 21 years old as much as it does at the cute 21-month-old phase, you’ll also want to look at whether your brand or business name has the potential to grow and evolve with the plans you have.
Again, it can be adjusted and added to, but picking something which bears in mind a future journey is always a savvy move.
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