What is a catchy business name? Nielsen says that a brand name that is “catchy” often becomes the most valuable asset of any company.
How can you apply this to your business? Read on!…
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Existing brand name
One of the most effective ways for a business to expand is to use an existing brand name that is popular as an extension for a new product in a similar category or for a whole line of new products.
For example, Amazon started out as an online seller of books and expanded to sell nearly everything. eBay started out as a way for hobbyists to buy, trade, and sell “Pez®” candy dispensers and then grew into a re-seller marketplace for almost everything.
Alibaba started out as a way for small businesses in China to make more contacts online to increase sales. Now, the company is a multinational distribution, finance, and logistics company worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Alibaba created an online payment system that was named Alipay, which was spun-off to become Ant Financial. The company recently raised $10 billion making the company valuation around $150 billion. Those are examples of the power of a brand name.
Careful consideration of many factors helps to create a catchy brand name that becomes most useful. Many times the catchy names are counter-intuitive. For example, the brand name Apple sounds like a fruit company. The word “Apple” has nothing at all to do with personal computers, which is what the company became so successful making and selling. Amazon is a river in South American that has nothing to do with selling books.
In both of these examples, the name of the company became the name of a brand that is now globally recognized. This gives a hint to entrepreneurs who want to create a new catchy business name. Perhaps the best choice is something not even remotely related to what the business does or a metaphor.
Maybe a new pizza restaurant wants to call itself “Wheel of Taste” and register wheeloftaste.com (available as of this writing). This is a play on words after a popular television show called Wheel of Fortune and that pizzas are round like a wheel and tasty.
No matter how this challenge is approached to create a catchy brand name or company name (best if they are one in the same), there are a few steps to take that make it easier. To find a catchy business, a business owner/online marketer needs to consider how the name will be used, how it is pronounced, how easy it is to spell, getting a trademark in more than one jurisdiction for the name, and other brand awareness issues.
Let’s examine each of the components that make up a catchy business name, which makes the name more valuable to the business and makes it easier for potential customers to find the business online.
How will the name be used?
When developing a catchy business names list, one of the first considerations is to determine how the name will be used. Think about where the name will be seen, such as on business cards, as a website name, on advertising materials, on posters, on billboards, on the side of company vans, and seen on blimps flying over sports events or printed by smoke in the sky that is released by a small airplane.
Ubiquitous brands, which are global in nature, have the distinct characteristic of needing to be used in such a wide variety of places and types of display. Sometimes what worked before does not work as well in the future. Take, for example, the logo of Coca-Cola®.
This was a fine brand name when the product was first invented. This logo is still widely recognized as one of the most famous ones in the whole world. However, there also was a time when a shorter version was thought to be useful and thereby the company invented the use of Coke® as another trademark. Coke® is so much easier to remember. If one wants to see the company’s website typing coke.com is easier than typing coca-cola.com or cocacola.com.
The Coal-Cola company is very clever, so no matter how you type the website name you go to the same place. This is the goal for your new catchy business name as well as a hint about how to develop unique business name ideas.
How is the name pronounced?
Understanding what not to do, is just as important as understanding what to do. Chevrolet came out with a brand of automobiles that it called the “Nova” series. Nova in English is a word that represents an explosion of stellar power.
However, when Chevrolet tried to sell the same brand in Spanish-speaking countries internationally, it did not go so well. In the Spanish language when a person says, “No va,” it means in English “Won’t go!” Unintentionally, Chevrolet chose a brand name that means the opposite of what it intended, when it was pronounced in Spanish. Nova was a good choice for a brand name in America but a terrible choice for Spanish-speaking countries.
How is the name spelt?
Pronunciations in other languages are important as well as translation. For example, Yahoo! in America was known as “Yafoo” in China because the “h” is pronounced more like the “f” sound in Chinese until the Chinese portal was shut down by Yahoo! USA over a controversy about censorship with the Chinese government. When entering yafoo.com there is a re-direct and the website shown is yahoo.com.
It is important to think about how a name can be spelled and also how it can be misspelled. When consumers type in the name of a website, common spelling mistakes may lead them to a completely different website by accident. In terms of brand marketing and having a strong presence on the Internet, these kinds of spelling mistakes can lead millions of web visitors away from the correct website and have them go elsewhere.
An example of this is the confusion between gmail.com and gamil.com. All the letters are identical for both in total; it is just that two of them are not in the same order. Just from this simple mistake, gmail.com loses millions of monthly visitors to gamil.com.
Most of the web users realize the mistake they made and go back to the correct website of gmail.com; however, gamil.com receives the benefit of millions of free web traffic. Gamil pre-existed Gmail, so they have the right to use the name for their website. When trying to find a catchy new name, it is best to avoid such a problem.
Brand reputation management helps determine the leakage of website visitors from the misspelling of a brand name and tries to capture as many possible reiterations of a brand name by domain registration of any potential misspellings as well as the correct spelling of the brand name.
Sometimes an intentional misspelling of a word or a made-up word can create a catchy brand name. Examples of this are “Kleenex” and “Xerox,” which are both made up words that did not exist before being used as a brand name.
A common approach to using this technique is to change out one or more letters in a word with a similar sounding letter, such as using a “z” instead of an “s.” For example, “cleans” may be spelled as “kleanz.”
Trademarks for the Business Name
If the business focuses on a larger area, especially if having an international business is part of the strategy, then checking for global trademark registration is important. A trademark registration protects not only the word used for the company and/or the brand name but also the style of the graphics used for the logo. Typically, trademark registrations are for a specific type of product/service or for certain business categories.
A company may have a legal entity name that differs from its “doing business as” name. For example, a company may have a very generic organizational name such as Alphabet, Inc. The is one of the most valuable companies in the world, which enjoys the value of is trademark brand name of Google®
Brand awareness is the main consideration when creating stylish names for shops, creative names for teams, and creative names for blogs.
Steps to Take to Create a Catchy Business Name
- Make a list of keywords that describe what a company does, who it serves, what products/services it offers, what area it is located in, what it represents, etc.
- Play around with various combinations of those keywords, with alternative spellings and adding a short word before or after those keywords.
- Put any good idea that comes from brainstorming into the Internet search engines to check to see if it is already used elsewhere.
- Look for websites URLs that can be registered using those keywords and misspellings of those keywords.
- Search the registered trademark systems, in multiple countries, to see if anyone else is using something similar. For example, search https://www.uspto.gov for trademarks registered in the United States.
- Reach out to the experts at Profile Tree to get help in establishing a new brand, creating brand awareness, developing an online marketing campaign, and a social media strategy.
You’re All Set!
Choosing a catchy business name and/or brand name is one of the most rewarding and fun things to do. Just remember that a brand name gains awareness from marketing. Many of the world’s most famous brand names now, were completely unknown when they first started to be used.