Friday, 27 November 2009

What's in a name?

Those of you that follow my blog regularly may have noticed that I have changed the name. I think that is a reflection of what I blog about and where quite a bit of my interest is at the mo bearing in mind that I have two toddlers! I hope that it means more people will follow as I think it is clear now who my target audience is.

So why the preamble. I often feel compelled to write a post and recently I have lots of questions from clients and those that I work with about naming a business enterprise of some kind. As if by coincidence, I read a great post by Neil Ryder which I will not attempt to repeat here but which I hope amplifies what I have to say.

Many people who set up their own businesses as solopreneurs fall into the trap of calling their business John Smith Associates or some other amalgam of their name. Really this is plain daft as sole traders are unlikely to have the kind of budget that coca cola or mars have that would make them known brands. Also who has heard of John Smith and I am not talking about the bitter here. If you go down that route, you are going to have to work three or four times as hard to get it to resonate with people. So here is what I suggest:

1. Choose a name that says something about what you do - a great example of this is Beth Follini's company Tick Tock Coaching which works w/ women who face the dilemma of whether to have a baby or not

2. Try to include a quality in the title of how you want to be perceived - the one that works for me here is Honesty Marketing because it says what they do and how they aim to deliver it

3. Lastly a bit of alliteration works wonders in terms of people remembering the name of your business because it can be catchy - and for this I suggest Little Luxuries which again says what it does on the tin so to speak

4. Finally it is important that the name you choose will grow with the business in whatever direction it goes in so that you don't end up in a straight jacket because the name you have chosen is just too specific - in this regard what really works for me is Minerva's Mind. It is a membership site aimed at enabling women be leaders in their lives with a current focus on Mums. With a name like that it can go into any niche for women

Lastly remember it always pays to check whether the name you want for your business is already a registered trademark and you can do this through Business Link. For more on trademarks look at these very helpful FAQs. Finally for details on how to apply for a trademark in the UK, go to the horse's mouth so to speak.

Do let me know how you get on and what you think of this post in the comments below.

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