Why you should forget your business name and focus on your brand
In the modern age of marketing, your start-up needs a multi-faceted brand that works on all platforms – so how can you ensure you have the perfect brand for success?
Eureka! That catchy business name that came to you in the middle of the night may just be your path to fame and fortune… but hold on, will your name work as a brand as well as a business?
Successful modern businesses are built as brands not just companies and you need to make sure your new project works as both. Branding goes beyond just your name. It affects your whole image, how your potential customers see you and importantly remember you. Your name remains important but you need to keep in mind that in the modern age of marketing that name needs to slot in, be available and work across many platforms.
Put your name to the test
It could be that your eureka moment is a winner, so let’s take a look. Write the name down in capitals, in lower case letters and mixed case. Does it look simple to read? Does your mind automatically look to split it into separate words or syllables? How does it sound if you read it out? Is there any chance somebody could think you are saying something different? Could it be potentially offensive or send the wrong message out? Would people automatically know how to spell it? Be careful with numbers, punctuation and ‘funky’ spellings. The letter Z instead of an S is not always as clever as you may first think. Try it yourself and then ask a friend too. Different minds work in different ways – think like your potential customers.
Check availability online
Your choice of domain name is probably going to be the smartest and best investment you make for your new brand – it is after all your brand online – so search out a domain that uses your brand name with a domain suffix (like .co.uk) that gives you automatic authority and credibility when people see it. Domain search tools like the one at 123-reg can help test out and check availability with a few quick clicks. Don’t just stop at domain names though. Whether you use it immediately or not, social media will be key to your future online business success. Check and register (if available) user names on Twitter and look at the potential of a customised URL on Google+ and Facebook. All are free to register but that means availability can be a problem, especially with character limits on user names too. Beware again of clever spellings and numbers and make sure your brand matches across every platform. Ideally have the same moniker for each. That’s branding at its best.
Build a website that visually says you
The best brands can immediately be identified by style, colours and fonts. Their products, sales, literature, etc. just look like theirs. Yes, a logo helps, but think Google who via Google Doodle often change their logo but always within parameters so that it is immediately identifiable as Google. Equally Apple is usually identifiable by the clean look of its websites, emails etc. Lots of white space, yet somehow it says Apple! As a start-up, branding consultants and visual designers are probably beyond your budget, so be clever. Use a website builder tool which, via a series of templates, wizards and mouse clicks can help YOU build a professional site. Choose a website builder tool that offers you strong customisation – especially in terms of colour and layout. Remember, you want your site to be clear and usable but the visual impact will determine the strength of your brand. Choose a website tool that will build you a mobile-ready website to avoid missing out on traffic and sales. Keep your spellings, spacing and colours uniform, both on your website and beyond.
Give your brand character
Branding is important so be proud of it. Dedicate a page to it on your website, about what it is that makes your brand so unique. On what principles was it founded? What are your aims and objectives? Creating a back-story – however young your brand really is – gives it immediate depth, warmth and standing. It can also help potential customers justify building a relationship with you. Define your brand voice and stick to it. Uniformity to your own principles, not necessarily others, is again the key.
Shelves of books have been written on branding and it’s a huge an ongoing task, but as a start-up it is essential you test your brand on these basic tips to give yourself the biggest chance of success.
So what are you waiting for? Register your domain name here https://www.123-reg.co.uk/domain-names/