Promoting a business idea is fairly difficult. Millions upon millions start new ventures, becoming overnight entrepreneurs in the hopes that their services, innovations and ultimately, their chutzpah, can pave the way to an established (and profitable) business.
It is hard to get noticed in a crowd of look-alike, sounds-similiar, hasn’t-that-been-done-before operations that are competing for the same almighty dollar.
Entrepreneur.com provides a framework from which to build your business house, starting with a piece of the foundation: The Name of Your Business.
Coming up with a name is much harder than it appears. It expresses something about the owner (in my opinion) and can convey alot in one word or moniker. As this designer states:
Gerald Lewis, whose consulting firm, CDI Designs, specializes in helping retail food businesses, uses retail as an example. “In retailing,” Lewis explains, “the market is so segmented that [a name must] convey very quickly what the customer is going after. For example, if it’s a warehouse store, it has to convey that impression. If it’s an upscale store selling high-quality foods, it has to convey that impression. The name combined with the logo is very important in doing that.” So the first and most important step in choosing a name is deciding what your business is.
Is your business built to expand into a variety of markets? Are you likely to change over to a new niche?
From the same article:
Specific names make sense if you intend to stay in a narrow niche forever. If you have any ambitions of growing or expanding, however, you should find a name that is broad enough to accommodate your growth. How can a name be both meaningful and broad? Master makes a distinction between descriptive names (like San Pablo Disk Drives) and suggestive names.
Also, do you plan to be a international business? Does your name translate well across the pond in the Czech Republic? (Remember the name Pinto in Brazilian slang meant, “tiny male genitals.”) Those type of concerns can crop up in making a business.
Can your name be established as the dominant brand? (Can you also take an ordinary word, word bit or misspelled version of a word and turn it into a brand that sells?) These are questions to ask yourself before settling on a name.
Closely related is the Design of a Logo. People are visual creatures and attach good logos to quality operations. A fellow blogger, and successful graphic designer, David Airey has a portfolio of top-quality designs for clients of his. David gives his basic rules for a good logo:
There are four critical elements that can be seen in every great logo design:
- It must be describable
- It must be memorable
- It must be effective without colour
- It must be scalable i.e. effective when just an inch in size
Points 1 and 2 go hand in hand, because if you can’t describe what a logo looks like then how will you be able to remember it?
Point 3 is important because colour is secondary to the shape. Adding colour to your logo should be left to the very end of the process, because if the mark doesn’t work in black only, no amount of colour will rescue the design.
Point 4 is vital for things such as office stationery (pens, pin badges etc.). All those little things that people often forget about.
David points to things people rarely dream of in starting up a business. Pens, badges? Can I describe the logo to a friend? (In case my friend wants to go to the place – maybe driving directions require looking for a unique logo or signage?)
Experts abound on the best way to get your business running well. Marketing plans, business plans, facility design, cross-marketing, product expertise and the list goes on, but if you don’t do the name well, how can the rest of the plan work like a well-oiled machine?
The path to a good business might not always lie in the products or services (though indeed, it should be) but in the name, logo and colorful nature of the branding of such a business. While you can pay people for the idea to create, what’s in a name, don’t be too afraid to try quirky words, dictionaries, web searches (for eliminating well-used potentials) and just your vision as a potential millionaire to create the final word in your field: the business name and logo.