If someone asked you to name three luxury car brands, which ones would you choose? I immediately think of Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes Benz. If that person wanted you to name three economic car brands, what would your answer be? That answer might depend on how you define “economic”—whether it’s in dollars and cents (less expensive at the time of purchase) or in value (long-term value and benefits that outweigh the initial investment). What strikes me about these two examples is that the company names are defined by their brand identity. When the folks at Mercedes Benz were in the process of naming the business years ago, it’s doubtful the creative people behind the name were thinking, “Yeah, this name sounds like a luxury brand.” But over time, how they positioned this business name led to the development of the brand and its reputation.
Your company name will mean different things to different people, based on their experience and perspective. But before you create a name for yourself, you must evaluate and understand your target customers and what they will expect your company to provide them. You want your business name and slogan to convey the core values of your company while giving insight as to the products or services you provide. A name that’s too short may be hard to understand, but a long name may be hard to remember. Company names that are two to three words are easy to remember and understand, n extra word can go a long way toward more effectively communicating your brand or value proposition! We’d like to think that Fresh Bread Creative is a good example.
Need business name ideas?
Most would agree that the art of business naming can make or break a start-up company. During the name development process, creative folks are tasked with coming up with a name that is unique yet original. While it may seem like a monumental task, developing a business name or a slogan doesn’t have to evoke panic. It can actually be fun—and it is a necessary process to ensure that you truly know your target market.
First, consider your target audience. What words would they use to describe the products and services they might need from you? If they did a Google search for their needs, what words would they use? Play with words and slogans that you already know. Write down competitor company names. What do you like about these names? What could you do without? List 10 words that describe your company, and then look them up at www.thesaurus.com to see what other words have the same meaning. Consider adjectives that describe your offerings and strengths. Think about terminology that stirs emotion or causes someone to take action. Most importantly, use words that will give insight into what your company can do for the customer. Remember that no word or phrase is too silly or off-the-mark during early brainstorming stages. This exercise should be a free-flowing session of words. From there, you’ll be ready for the next step in naming your business—connecting words that will work for you.
For Ford and Hoover, it was. The name Ford Motor Company is as Americana as grandma’s homemade apple pie, and people who purchase a Ford car or truck today immediately know they are buying an American-made vehicle. If keeping consumer spending in the United States is important to a customer, the Ford brand is an immediate target.
But how long did it take Henry Ford to build that level of brand recognition? After founding the company in 1903, the Model T became the car to drive, and more than 15 million of them were sold in the United States alone. Ford created a car for the masses and, as a result, built a brand that has endured the trials and tribulations of more than 100 years of history.
One hundred years. That’s a long time to wait to reap the rewards from a brand. If your name is Jones and you have the next great invention, how long do you think it will take for Jones to become a household name? What is “Jones”? Does the company provide a service? Products? The creation of a business named Jones today is no different than the creation of a business named Ford 100 years ago. Or is it? If your business is going to provide something new to millions of people instantly, Jones may work. However, if you’re one of the thousands of new start-ups that make a go of it each year, you probably need a creative business name that better communicates your company’s product or service.