Coming up with a business or product name that works.
It's time to name your product, business or service, and you don't want
to mess it up. Time to check your ego at the door folks.
Your name can speak to the world or put us all to sleep. Your name can
make for an exciting graphic presentation full of jazz and pep, or not.
Coming up with a name is no easy task, and certainly not one to be taken
Let's get into some tips to give you an idea of where to start when deciding upon a name you might live with for a long time. Take into consideration, if you decide to change your name after printing signs, letterhead, business cards, et. al., get out your wallet and get ready to shell out some big bucks, AGAIN. Your name MUST work right out of the box, or you're headed for a downward jaunt.
1. Who are you talking to and why?
Your business, product or service must target a market segment. You can't be all things to all people. Don't try it. If you ever hear, "We target everybody," run like hell. This effort has no clue and is sure to fail. Let's run down some possibilities of who you might target.
It's important to imagine who your target audience is not only as demographic elements such as, male/female, age, income, but also just as important, how do they think? What generally motivates them? Some call this psychographics.
Once you understand the nature of the person you're talking to, you can craft your entire image, which includes your name, to fit the person, in a general sense.
A word about generalities. In marketing, one must generalize people into categories – stay-at-home moms, working women, blue collar single men, teen aged boys, pre-teen girls – these are a few markets a company might target depending upon their product or service. When interacting with some of the more enlightened around you, you could hear statements such as, "Yeah, but some women change their own oil too." Be quick to acknowledge there are, but there is no reason to target anomalies within a market segment. Everyone is so sensitive to such things now. Acknowledge that some men sew their own clothing, but it's not cost-effective to target them in marketing activities. There aren't enough to matter.
In targeting markets, imagine who will actually purchase your product or service. If you produce men's clothing, for example, you may be surprised to learn women make most of the actual purchases for their husbands. Although the advertising may say "Men's Clothing," keep in mind who the real consumer is. It's the reason large advertising agencies, both local and national, target women almost exclusively.
Once you determine who your target audience will be, you can begin to craft an image of your product or service to best target your market.
In the realm of psychographics, marketers can put folks into two categories immediately, those who are inner directed – the internal traits such as honesty, integrity, and character are more important – and those who are outer directed – the exterior things, home, car, and clothing are most important. The inner directed-types want to save the whales, and the outer directed want to achieve the exterior trappings of success, among other desires.
When you understand who you are speaking to, the designer and writer can craft images and words to speak with your target audience more directly, touching upon the aspects of their lives they resonate to most.
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