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Creating Good Brand Names For Your Small Business

January 19th, 2010 ::

Creating a good brandYour brand is the most important part of your business. It is the first thing that people will think about when you tell them about your business. The impact of it can have some serious implications on whether you are successful or not. So while you might think it’s easier to come up with a brand name, there are some things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips on how you can create a good brand:

Brainstorm - think about what you’d like to name your company. Jot down any words that come to mind on paper and then look back at your thoughts and see which ones make sense.

Reflect & relate – your brand needs to be reflective of key elements of your company. Make sure that when people say or read about your brand, it is obvious what it is your company or product does.

Research other names – find out what the name of your competitors are and then analyze what the strengths and weaknesses of each brand is.

Prioritize - now that you have a bunch of words or names for your possible brand, you should review that list and sort which ones make more sense.

Make it pronounceable – any name that you can’t easily say as the name of a brand is weak. You should find one that anyone can say without any problems. Also, if you’re planning on being international – and in the days of the Internet, it’s always going to be global – then you might want to make sure your brand is easily pronounceable or at least translatable into other languages without being insulting.

Consider the logo and the sound - while you have a brand, remember that it’s not just a word. There’s a logo that is your “symbol” of your company. Don’t forget the graphical element of your brand. If you have a great sounding brand, you can’t rely on that. Make sure your graphic of your brand (aka logo) is equally as impressive.

Got Trademarks? – don’t forget that just because you have a name in mind, everything will be fine. You should check on trademarks and make sure you’re not violating any patent or trademark laws in choosing a brand name.

Find domain name – in the Internet age, you should make sure that you have the right web address. Using a domain registrar like Network Solutions, you should be able to find out whether a web address that matches your brand name is available. If it isn’t available, using a WHOIS directory on Network Solutions should help you find out who owns that domain.

Check company names – If you’re planning to incorporate, check with the Secretary of State (or other appropriate office outside the US) of the state you’re planning to incorporate in.

Protect your brand – A US trademark or service mark costs $325. While it may not be important for small businesses, this may be something that is advantageous to check out.

By following these tips, you should be able to have the beginnings of a great brand for your company. Through your brainstorming and research, you should be able to develop a strong brand.

Source: SmallBusinessBranding.com and About.com

Photo Credit: Jan Willem Geertsma

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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