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Posted by Sarah Brown on 24 Mar '16

Five top dangers to avoid when naming in your business, CIC or charity

Naming is all about business strategy, getting it right is critical for success.

Take time choosing names for both your business or social enterprise and any services. You invest a lot in promoting a name, and it can be an integral part of the value of a business and any organisation's success and marketing strategy.

The top dangers to avoid when naming:

1) You try to be clever

Our company name is Brown² Profit Consultancy Ltd. We thought it was witty, two browns coming together. I was Brown before I married a Brown, but first you have to explain it not squared(the word), then lots of people, including banks/bank chequebooks/ can’t do a raised 2 so we become Brown2 Profit Consultancy. Wit and being clever may be clear to you, but if it’s not either distinctive or reflective of what you do, then there are better choices

2)You aim for the safe

Your personal name, a simple name with your business type such as Brown consultant. This can be the right decision if you have a distinctive name and no desire to grow significantly/delegate or sell your business. The moment you want to develop from acting on your own, then it can be a problem, with notable exceptions like Elizabeth Arden

3) You miss the obvious

It sounds OK but you don’t examine all the ways it will be used. When a company was set up to allow people to exchange different services for children, a good name seemed Kids Exchange but put the name together as a website address, and suddenly it looks less good - kidsexchange – in fact, they use a web address of kxconsignment despite still using the title Kids Exchange on the pages of the website. Similarly, a good name in one language can be an insult or worse in another

4) It doesn’t work in the digital age

It can be too long, so when you tweet, you have few characters left , or difficult to spell, so people get the address wrong. This can particularly happen with lots of letter repeats. Alternatively, the domain is not available, or it is a name which can never be made to rank in search terms as it coincides with a common search term such as M1

5) It doesn’t work in the real world

Someone else is using it so there will be confusion, or you can’t get the company name if you want to register it.

We have been involved in the naming of the Delta card for Visa, Digital Law, Digital Impact Solutions, and Trades Accountant, to name just a few. Every time, we start with an understanding of the audience and the offering—sometimes the name comes in a flash, often, it takes work, but generally, they have a long life, so it is worth investing the time.

If you found this interesting then you might like to read

Did you take more care naming your baby than naming your business?

Your marketing isn’t working as well as you want for you so do you just need a new website?

What makes any organisation successful?

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Tags: marketing