‘What’s in a name?’ is the most common question when it comes to giving an enterprise a name.
If it still doesn’t seem to click, check out the names of people, be it in the past or the present, that are known to have made a change and have names that mean something. They define the person’s dreams, aspirations and what they mean to the world.
The relationship between names and organizations is similar. In time, the organization’s name comes to signify its values, vision and even the way they cater to client needs. None of that is more pronounced than in your publicity material which includes your website, social-media pages, twitter handles and so on.
It’s for this reason that creating the right name is of such vital importance. It definitely isn’t simple to come up with a name for your business or brand, but there are tools today that can help make the brainstorming process easier. For example, you may want to try using this business name generator to help you think of some ideas. Make sure you spend time on the name creation stage, as it is critical for the future of your business.
Having the right business name helps in the following ways:
- Helps with easy brand recognition and identification for potential clients.
- Helps scale one’s business and enterprise without needing re-branding and name-changing, which can be time consuming, expensive, and sometimes not that effective.
- Helps locate businesses easily online with the help of the right SEO-friendly keywords, phrases and ideas.
- Names become synonymous with entire industries and verticals as is the case with brands like Mobile, Xerox and Tempo to name some. People refer to engine oils as Mobile Oil, photocopying as Xerox and LCVs as Tempos!
- Names can be used for a variety of related and unrelated activities. For example, in the context of India, Western India Processed Oils is now Wipro, a leading software and chemicals company. Tata, which started with steel and automotive, is now into everything from electronics to consumer goods to edibles. But nothing beats the legendary fire-arm AK-47. A brand known to have sent millions to their maker is now the name of one of Russia’s most famous Vodkas!
If a name is so important, how does one create, register and propagate the perfect name? Names in the realms of business and enterprise don’t come about just out of thin air. Even if they seem to, a lot goes in keeping them relevant. The following points can help when looking for the perfect brand-name:
- It should have a reason and a story
An apple fell on Isaac Newton’s head centuries ago only to find its way to be the logo of Apple during its early days. While the logo has undergone multiple changes, the name remains the same, and does the idea that it stands for. Jean-Louis Gassée, former Apple executive and founder of BeOS said that the Apple name and logo signify lust, knowledge, hope and anarchy- all of which are needed for any enterprise to grow and make a name for itself.
If you look around, you will realize that most names have these qualities. Another good example is that of Mercedes, one of the most iconic names in the automobile industry. Mercedes Jellinek was the daughter of Emil Jellinek, an entrepreneur who worked with the Daimler Motors Corporation and helped create the Mercedes 35hp in 1900. He was so impressed with this vehicle that he named it after his daughter. The rest is the legend the world knows of!
A story is therefore very, very important in order for a name to stick.
- Names should be easy to remember (it should be short and memorable)
Google’s note feature ‘Keep’ is one such name that has failed to register despite the brand’s formidable name and reputation. It simply refused to register in people’s minds. Result? A re-branding on the cards! Short and memorable ought to have a meaning and should relate to the main product.
What’s easy to remember? A. P. Moller-Maersk Group or the Maersk Line? Both are related to the world’s largest and most prolific of shipping and worldwide logistics entity that is present in practically all the continents in the world. Maersk Line is what people remember most. Why? Because it short and relatable!
- A name should solidly identify with a product or service
The word Microsoft or MS Office brings ONLY one thing to mind. PCs and related software. Quite to the contrary, the name Tesla describes the most important phenomenon in industry today, and is no less than a story by itself.
- A name should have a logo or a visual representation that is plausible and easy to remember
The monochrome Apple logo, the latest in the long series of logos and ID marks is very easy to remember. If there’s one thing it does best, it is to relate the name to the logo, and create a complete idea. Names should have a logo that goes along and complements the name, and together help create and propagate an idea.