Selecting the right name for your product can have an enormous impact on your success. Repeat business is afterall the key to success, and if your business is memorable then that repeat business is all the more likely. But how can you stack the deck in your favor?
1. Think of Your Type of Service. Like any relationship, your relationships with your customers are founded on trust. They trust that your product or service will make their lives better/ smoother/ easier. By adding a description of the type of service you will provide to your title, they know what to expect from your business from the start.
Money Coach Effie Gomulia wanted a name to reflect who she is and the type of service she was looking to provide. She named her business the Prudent Money Coach, so her clients will know right from the start that she will have a practical and shrewd attitude towards their business.
2. Use Memory Aids. We’re visual creatures by nature. By associating your name with a memorable image, then your clients have something to associate you with and easily identify your business.
When Solution-Focused Coach, Tracy McIntyre, first started thinking about starting her business she used a local place name that had a double-entendre, which she loved. However after listening how others interpreted that name, it proved more moralistic than motivating, so she decided to reconsider. “I looked at my logo and thought about my bigger market, and changed the name to reflect the geography more than then place,” she explains. Peak Life Coaching now has an easily identifiable brand that is associated with the local landmarks.
3. Tell Your Story. If there was a memorable way that you came up with your business idea or a founding project that was the Launchpad to where you are today, try using it as inspiration for your business name.
Adam and Wilf Scheuer took their first water filtration project on in Bangladesh, where they used an old Stairmaster to power a water filtration system. They named their business Watertiger, in honour of that pilot project, as it is the most revered animal in the region.
4. Avoid Sound-Alikes. It might be tempting to name your business something similar to a competitor, in the hope that people may find your business by mistake and use you instead. There are examples of courier companies called WPS and YewPS who have utilized this type of tactic, however not everyone will be happy about the mix-up and you could be laying yourself open to trade name infringements.
5. Make it Easy to Spell. Think of the last time you tried to find a business phone number or address, you probably Googled the business to find out the information. So many people use search engines to find businesses that it’s essential that clients can spell your name and find you again and again. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.
6. Change the Spelling. Now you don’t want to get too crazy here (see tip #5), but a fresh take on the spelling of a word can be useful. Think about products like Trix cereal or Liquid Plumr—these unconventionally spelled words have become memorable and unique identifiers of products. If you properly market a new twist on a spelling, you can get a boost from the novelty of your name.
7. Use Alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of syllables in a series of words. For example: Coca-Cola, PayPal, or Gorilla Glue. Names that use alliterations are very easy to memorize and sometimes even fun to say.
In an article by Pyschological Science they found that “Alliteration only works as a tool for memory when the alliterative sounds are similar,” showing it is the repeated sounds that aid memory strength. “The results of all three experiments underscore the interaction between alliteration and memory. In each of the experiments, participants in the same-alliteration condition were able to recall the most from the literature they read.”
It’s a tactic that Gerri Schmidt from Qualicum Beach used when naming her personalised towel company. “I read that alliteration is catch and easy to remember,” she remembers. “I was embroidering towels, so wanted to make that the primary word in the name, so chose town as the next word.” Her business TowelTown Gifts is now a thriving store on Etsy.
Though some products may be brilliantly named in a moment of inspiration, most good names are the result of careful thought, research and input from a team—even if it’s informal market research. Naming your product will likely be one of the most important decisions you make in your business, and it’s worth doing properly.
For more tips and legal information about choosing a business name in BC read Choosing a Business Name Made Easy.
Image by Jack Dorsey.