April 27, 2020
6 minutes of reading
Comments expressed by Businessmen the contributors are their own.
The following excerpt is from Brad Flowers’s Named books. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound or Click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book as you use the code MARKET2021 through April 24, 21.
When testing your beta Company’s nameMy first tendency was to say “Don’t.” Be confident. Stick to your choice. But that is hard to do. You may have never named a company before and will want some assurance that you’re not completely crazy.
But some ways get feedback better than others. Here’s how to set up the quiz for the finalists of your name.
Create a deck of cards
Using slideshow software, find photos that are relevant to your industry. Place the image in the background of the slide and make it darker so the word will be clearly legible when viewed with white text. The picture will make the word look like one brand name and less like a word on the screen. One must be able to picture the name as something that represents a company, not just a word on paper. I’ll use the same image on every slide to make sure your team is responding to words, not images. Then, create two slides for each name using two different fonts. For the first slide, use Helvetica. For the latter, use Times New Roman.
Run a Focus group
Gather a small, focused group. The best group will have a lot of people. Ideally, they would be the prospect, but that could be logically difficult. The main thing is to make sure you have a lot of people, from people who know a lot of languages to people with a fairly low level of education. I mean people who don’t read much or think critically about the language. (This should be easy because that’s the majority of people.) This kind of group will give you valuable insight into how very different people will react to your potential name. “I love it!” is someone else’s. “No way. I do not understand. “
Give your focus group 30 seconds per slide, or 60 seconds in total for each title. Ask them to rate each of the titles from 1 to 10. Also ask them to write down some initial impressions. Then turn around and tell them a few stories about the back story with each name. Ask them to write down whether knowing what the name means makes their response more favorable or less favorable. This will tell you whether an origin story will help your name or damage it.
Tallying the results. This information is not meant to help you decide, but it will tell you how some people might respond to your name. This is a warning from Alexandra Watkins in her book Hello, My name is awesome: “Since the language belongs to all of us, most people feel eligible to comment on it. The tricky thing is that we are not good at drawing straight lines about the parts of language commentary that require specialized knowledge and some of them are not. “ In other words, listen to what people say about the name, but remember that they are not experts. Often people feel an obligation to give their opinion when asked, even if they don’t have the knowledge base to make that claim.
How to Choose Only One
After removing some names with the above criteria and checking the remaining names with your focus group, you should now have less than five names in your list. Here are some specific ways to narrow your list even further and determine which name is the best option for you.
Search for a State Business Name
Visit your foreign minister’s website to see if the name is registered in your state. Likely there will be some competition for multiple names. You must be able to register your name with the state to do business there, so the level of competition will help you eliminate some of your options. Making sure there is no other business with your exact name is important; however, you will likely find similar names or use some part of your suggested name. For example, you can find Acme Business Solutions. That doesn’t stop you from signing up for Acme Pools as a business name.
At this point, you are not actually registering any names. Simply use the state business name search engine to sift through a list of your names. You will be able to remove one or more names because they are too similar to another in your state and industry.
Basic market research
Next, do some searches on Google to check for direct competitors with the same or similar names. Try geographic search. For example if you want to set up a sneakers company in the Pacific Northwest it is called Nike (obviously not a good idea) you can search for “Nike Portland”. Or you can search by business category: “Nike Sport Shoes”. Or “Nike running shoes.”
You can do the same searches above social media communication. Sometimes international companies that you may have missed elsewhere will show up there. Again, this is not a definitive approach to choosing a name. These simple steps eliminate any obvious, confusing problems that might arise, such as another company with the same or similar name in the same industry or a related industry. You won’t get everything caught up with these searches, but don’t worry – the next step will get anything you’ve missed out on.
The next step is to run your finalists through Brand Search. You need to know if someone out there has protected the name you want to use or not. The easiest place to do this is at the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office (https://www.uspto.gov/). This is not a substitute for registering your own trademark – at this point, you are just trying to get rid of someone else’s trademarked names.
In the end, it came to a difficult decision. With all the criteria, care and technology in the world, you still can’t guess whether your customers will get it, love it, or just ignore it. However, you can put your best foot forward. And this process is towards that goal.
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