Our name is the most visible and referenced part of our brand. So it’s got to be right.  There are a number of considerations that businesses must take into account when naming their business, or thinking about a re-brand. It should:

  1. Be easy to pronounce. One word is good like Esso or Shell
  2. Allude to product benefits – ie. easyJet, Mountain Dew, Innocent
  3. Be memorable ie. Nike (tick), Apple
  4. Use numbers if it’s a technology based product, as in Audi A3, Peugot 307, Boeing 777 etc
  5. Be legal – do not infringe on Copyright!

The brand name is unquestionably important. So, think of a great name, use some bright colours and a snazzy logo and you’ve got a brand, right? Wrong. You’ve got a great name, and a snazzy logo in a nice colour.

A brand becomes a brand because it has an underlying set of values that it consistently lives by.

Some brands grow more quickly than others, certainly. But with consistency of behaviour and communication – a solid brand can and will grow over time, adding value to a business.

How does this happen? Well, this consistency in behaviour and communication will help to manage the expectations of your potential customers and navigate customers to you. It’s really that simple.

So back to my original question. What’s in a name? Well, a lot. For all of the reasons given above. But your name doesn’t have to be the ‘be all, end all’ of your brand. The values and behaviours of your business underpin your brand (and safeguard it from being copied by competitors).

So what do brand values look like?  

  • They should be small in number – perhaps four or five
  • They should be easy to remember. Key words supported with an explanation. ie. Be flexible – provide the relevant level and range of service required at any given time
  • Everyone in your business should be recruited according to these values
  • You, and your staff should behave in line with them whilst working in the business (not a problem if you’ve got your recruitment right)
  • Some organisations go as far as to only work with customers that reflect their values ie. defence or tobacco clients.

If your brand isn’t working for you – then perhaps it’s time to have a look at your brand values. If you’re struggling to do this – then please feel free to contact me.

You’ll notice that I’ve recently undergone a name change as a result of recently getting married. Effectively, my personal branding has changed. This doesn’t worry me at all (aside from the pain of changing log ins and online profiles). Why doesn’t it worry me? Because whilst my name may have changed my values haven’t – and these are the things that keep my client turnover low and my referral rates high.