What is in a name? In today’s times, it is everything.
Names like Tata, Birla, ITC, McDonald's etc., are not just businesses providing products or services but brands whose names are synonymous with their products and services.
Whether you are a student, an employer or even a prospective employee, your name is the first to go under the scanner of any identity proof. Hence, with the immense influence of social media, a name must not only be chosen mindfully but must also manage the reputation it intends to build and sustain both online and offline.
To define “brand”, it is a vital part of your identity. It defines who you are and what your nature or business is. Hence, a brand is not just a logo, image or sticker; it is what you do and how you do it. Whereas, a name, logo, tag line, sticker, image, etc., that may create a buzz for your entity will make viewers and listeners identify with your brand. The name becomes a brand's most important identity. As Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
A name will not only encompass the business but also suggest its identity. For example, L’Oréal, as a name, can make you guess the quality, range and price of its products. Thus, choosing a name for your business is the most important aspect of marketing your product or service.
A good name must not be made fun of. Punning names are usually considered low standard. A name must also not suggest limitations such as location, language, interest etc. It must have a global appeal desensitising any issues or barriers. A name must have the following features:
- Short and simple making it easy to remember
- Unique and trendy to differentiate from other simple names
Brainstorming and tremendous research will help in choosing a right name for your entity.
Once you have a name, building an identity is the next step. It is important to have a well-developed identity for many reasons:
- Build and sustain trust of the consumers
- Create impressions through publicity, such as marketing, advertising etc.
- Guarantee quality business and build financial gain
- Improve recognition by giving a “face” to your business
- Define the company’s mission and vision
- Guarantee growth and development
To have such benefits of an identity, one must build it with care and caution. This can be done as a step-by-step process.
This defines what you want your company to become in the future. It should be aspiring and inspiring. This statement should ideally be one sentence.
This defines the purpose of the company. It should be simple, concise, and easy to grasp. The mission of the company must be motivational to the employees and the customers.
This defines the emotions that may not be mentioned and you would like your customers to feel. It describes the company’s heart and soul in preferably one word or a phrase. For example, KFC is 'finger lickin' good'.
A brand’s personality is similar to a human personality. It describes the way it speaks, behaves, acts, reacts, thinks and does. For example, Apple is considered young and trendy while Samsung is considered traditional.
A value proposition defines the uniqueness of the brand and how it benefits the customers. It must define how a brand is different from its competitors and how each of its products and services cater to a customer differently.
An entity must be aware of its characteristics and thus conduct a SWOT analysis for itself. SWOT stands for:
- Strengths: Positive characteristics of your business that provide an advantage over your competitor
- Weaknesses: Characteristics that prove to be a disadvantage to your business
- Opportunities: Changes and trends in your industry that offer opportunities for your business
- Threats: Elements in the environment or industry that may cause problems for your business
Once you have touched base with the above essentials, you will be able to build and maintain a brand name that will become your identity.
- Protection: Secure your brand name with a trademark registration. It could cost you millions to protect it in the future or you might even lose the rights to use it. A trademark is nothing but registering your brand name with the government. Trademark ministry governs the protection of brand names. One can hire IPR attorney to help them with the filing of trademark application or they can get in touch with firms that can help you out.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)