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11 FEB

MarkPhil: The process to pick a great name for you startup – Names Matter

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February 11, 2014
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Hi,

Not a lot of clients come to us and ask for help to come up with a name for their start-up. However, recently a client came to us to ask about a name for their new construction company. It has been a process! Below is my first crack at developing a better methodology on how to come up with an effective and appropriate name for a start-up.

An associate of mine said that a “Name is what you make it”, this can be true. I do believe in that statement but I also do not. Sometimes names that are extremely difficult to say or spell can lead your company to miss out on sales. Some companies recognize this early and re-brand while others sacrifice their company’s future for because of selfish egocentric ideologies.

Below I have outlined a few key factors of picking a great name. Before I proceed I want to point out that lots of companies exist with names that lack any of the elements of a “great name” that I discuss below.

  1. Your name should be under 10 characters or have the ability to be shortened to fewer than 10 characters for purposes of an effective URL. People only have the ability to store 4-7 items in short-term memory at a time. So you are competing with every other major and minor corporation in the world to have their name go from short-term memory to long-term memory. You might only have one opportunity to expose your name/brand to a potential client.
  2. Pick a name that is simple, readable, pronounceable, closely associated with your industry and memorable. Wow that is a lot to take in. Be smart about your name and spend some time thinking if your name will resonate with consumers. A name is a powerful aspect of your business and will be one of the only lasting memories with your consumers.
  3. Can you take your name and build a marketing campaign around it? A company can have the best widget in the industry but if they do not have effective marketing that exposes the company/name/brand to consumers then the business will fail. Consumers will not call “Power windows, power locks” they will call “Ford Arlington Virginia”. Your products and service will be the compliment of your name/brand.
  4. Once you begin marketing your company/name each person that comes in contact with your marketing will count as an impressions. The goal is to convert that impression into a client or a referral. Essentially taking your name/service/product from short-term memory to long-term memory. When that potential consumer begins to make buying decisions will your companies name be on the list? That is your goal to have an easily recallable name that will be on the list. The hardest obstacle of any business is to have consumers exposed to your name/brand.

The above points are not all inclusive and do not think your name is bad because it does not fit MarkPhil’s mold. Starting a business is difficult and do not make the process harder by selecting an obscure name.

Thank you for reading.

MarkPhil

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