Monday, April 26, 2010

How would you promote an enterprise that lacks a defined title or brand

In considering these questions, it doesn't take long to realize that a business name plays a huge role in letting the world know you exist. A business name is a constant touchstone, connecting your purpose with the public you serve.
Comparing Then to Now...

Naming a business in the year 2007 requires more know-how and awareness than ever before. No longer is it as simple as putting a family name on your office door or store front. Nor can you count on a blend of your first name and service description to do the trick on a business card. Sure, the likes of Henry Ford, Marshall Field and Montgomery Ward, didn't have to invest much thought or money into a unique brand. In their time, few people had the resources or know-how to start their own businesses and if they did, professional identity was considered synonomous with the family or individual that stood behind the company. In other words, naming was a no-brainer. When driving down Main Street in any town across America in past decades, you'd see a bevy of business names like Joe's Plumbing, Gloria's Boutique, McAllister Legal Services or Smith & Sons Jewelers. Back then, little thought or consideration was given to the process of business naming, since it was enough to be descriptive while identifying ownership.

We entered a new millenium, and corporate America was undergoing some big changes. Large companies reorganized, leaving many employees, who thought they had security, suddenly without a future. As giant conglomerates rescued sinking ships from imminent bankruptcy, many companies and corporations spent thousands (and sometimes millions) developing catchy, unique titles and logos to give themselves and their offshoot divisions an edge. And some of those folks facing premature retirement, decided to grab for financial freedom by giving the business world a try. Every day over the past several years, hundreds of small companies are popping up everywhere with hopeful entrepreneurs seeking to outdo growing competition with unique ideas or the best deals. The internet is now a permanent presence as an important means of marketing. With the rapid evolution of the world of business, the process of naming a professional enterprise has become more complex than ever.
So What's Important?
So what's important to consider when naming or renaming a business today? Of course, sight and sound are at the top of the list when it comes to the key ingredients in a successful brand. If a name doesn't look good on signage... or if it's tough to say, spell or remember, there won't be a lot of staying power. Secondly, a name should provide positive or intriguing associations for the greatest percentage of the probable customer base. Just about everyone loves the imagery of a star, so Starbucks couldn't go wrong choosing that word as a primary syllable in their identity. On the other hand, a term like "slimy" or "mad" might be more challenging to integrate into a name. Suggesting a pleasant mood or actively engaging the imagination could be the means to a happy ending. For instance, the moniker of Arizona spa resort, Miraval Life in Balance soothes toward relaxation while scares those who are unemployed into action!
Sight, sound and positive association are somewhat obvious components in the process of naming, but there's an often overlooked key ingredient that can break or make a brand silently... the subliminal frequency. Yes, every word in language carries a silent vibration that is generated by the vowels and consonants present in a word pattern or equation. Just like the frequency of a color will unconsciously affect human response, so too, the frequency of a word will influence the human energy field. You may hate the color pink and never wear it, but walk into a pink room and you'll find yourself calmed into a relaxed state... like it or not. In a similar way, you'll recognize a mood of solid responsibility when you see the name IBM... and you'll somehow sense that the Ritz-Carlton is all about luxury and appealing image just by hearing the name. Although subliminal frequencies of language are hidden from the five senses, a professional nameologist can readily determine the most advantageous name vibration for a particular enterprise.
Even the best business name is at the mercy of the person in charge. That means every potential business owner should evaluate his or her name for strength and balance before finalizing the name of the business... and before signing those corporate papers. Determing if you should use your middle name or initial in your business title will give you an edge as you embark on your new venture. And larger corporations would do well to evaluate the name dynamics present for CEO candidates. While the name Enron in itself was poorly structured with regard to its silent sound frequency, the name Ken Lay put a few extra nails in the impending coffin, since this is a moniker that encourages its name bearer toward impetuous action irresponsible thinking.
Finally, in the age of the internet, securing a solid internet presence is imperative. The name you choose, should have .com availability, so that your web address will be easy to find for your many customers and clients. Settling for a .net or .biz address could well have you lurking in the shadows, rather than being center-stage.
Key Ingredients for a Successful Business Name
1. Sight and sound
2. Positive association... and imaginative potential
3. A complementary subliminal influence... by way of the silent language frequency
4. Strength and balance in the name/names of the business owner and/or CEO
5. Availability of a .com internet address

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