by R.A. Rowell; Personal Branding Professional
Naming your brand is like naming a child. That brand name is how people will refer to what you do and sell. As your brand grows up, you want it to be a name to be proud of. You want to pick a brand name that will be linked with success, profitability, or hopefully both.
Your brand name is more important than any other part of branding. It's even more important than your actual products and services. A brand name is how the public recognizes you or your business. It’s what sets you apart from anyone else.
What’s in a Brand Name?
By having a catchy name, people will immediately recognize your brand. Picking a good brand name allows customers or clients to be able to connect with your business on an emotional level. How you choose your name is actually fairly open. Some might say that your brand name should have something directly to do with your product or service. But you can also choose a name based on how it makes people feel or how memorable it is.
Whatever name you pick, you want it to be unique. You don’t want a name that’s too similar to another well-known brand. That may confuse people. Confusing people is definitely not a good way to do business.
What you want to do is have a brand name people remember and that people instantly recognize. This is extremely important in advertising. It’s also important to building brand loyalty. If you have too generic a name, say “Bob’s Hobby Shop,” that won't get people very excited. It might work in a small town, perhaps. But, in today’s global economy, if you’re looking to expand your business beyond your local downtown, you need a brand name that's a lot catchier.
How Does a Good Brand Name Build Loyalty?
A good brand name will stick in consumers’ minds as an entity. You want your brand to be thought of as a real, tangible thing with its own spirit, values, and purpose. People can become extremely loyal to a brand. Just look at Coke. They are probably the best out there at brand building. The Coke brand is so well-known and easily recognized that they can cross-brand and put their name on just about anything. If you choose a highly marketable name and build your brand well enough, you can put your brand name on just about anything, too.
Brand recognition also creates more loyal customers, as they come to think of your brand as they would a friend. More loyal customers mean higher revenues, and more importantly, more repeat business. For any business, repeat customers means your brand is doing well. It’s been found that it takes five times as much money (or more in some industries) to gain a new customer than retaining an existing customer. That’s why brand loyalty is so important; you don’t have to work as hard to keep the cash flowing.
Choose the right brand name and you'll succeed. Even rebrand and pick a new brand name if you have to. Getting the brand name right is the most important thing you will ever do in your business.
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