Monday, March 19, 2007

How to Choose a Business Name:
Part Two – Know Your Customers

Welcome to part 2 of a 4 part series about how to choose a business name.

Here's the schedule:

3/12: Know Your Industry
• Today: Know Your Customers

• 3/26: Know Your Message/Personality

• 4/2: Know if the Name is Available

In a perfect world, your customer would be John Q. Public & Susie Everywoman. Well, we know the world's not perfect. Every business, no matter how large or small, has their Customer or Customers.

Now I don't mean lower-case customers – all businesses have customers or clients (and hopefully lots & lots of them).

What I'm talking about is the upper-case Customer, i.e. the people who are at the focus of your marketing and sales campaigns. Once you know who they are, choosing a business name will be that much easier.

Finding Your Customer

A few key questions:

• What are you selling?
o Easy enough, right?

• Who needs this product? Who needs this service?

o Ah, okay, here's one that's a bit harder. Who are the types of folks out there in our commercial world that you know would benefit from your product or service? Small business owners? Single mothers? College students? And so on & so forth. Make a list of any & every type of customer you can think of that you know needs what you have to sell.

• How will your Customer find out about you?

o This will be answered within your marketing plans but should also be considered when choosing a business name. Where do you plan to advertise? Internet? Yellow pages? Fliers? And so on & so forth. Again, make a list of any & every type of advertising route you know you're going to explore.

One note about the above: If you're just starting out, your scope for the last 2 questions may be a bit small (or very large, if you're the ambitious type). Either way, it's best to be honest with yourself. Make two lists if need be – one for the immediate & one for the future. For example, if you're just starting out, you may want to rely simply on word of mouth and some fliers for advertising. But as your business grows, you know you'll add Internet advertising.

What Does My Customer Have to do with My Name?

Well, everything really. Your name is going to be the one and only thing that is going to identify your business in the marketplace. It's how Customers will come to know your business and its personality. The name is how Customers are going to find you when they want to buy from you again (and again and again). When your Customers refer you to their friends, the name's the golden ticket.

That being said, always keep your Customer in mind when choosing a business name. Here are some examples to illustrate this key point:

Product: do-it-yourself accounting software – the self employed are going to be a major Customer for this type of product. Those that are working for themselves aren't going to have a lot of time to research hundreds of different products. They need to know your product is reliable, easy and cost-efficient. Is there a component to your product that's going to be especially relevant to this type of Customer?

Service: bed and breakfast - the main Customers are tourists that want those 'extra touches' not available at motels or hotels but can be narrowed even further to honeymooners, retired couples or business travelers. What is the one thing, to you, that stands out about your bed and breakfast? What are those 'extra touches' that set you apart from hotel, motels and other B&Bs?

So you can see by the simple examples above by brainstorming about your Customer(s), a picture starts emerging. This should be a conjoined image of (1) what they want and (2) what you plan to offer to them.

TradeMark Express Blog Schedule

The Importance of Creative Naming
Trademark Information

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1 comment:

pasha said...

Thank you for sharing your talent and your ideas.