Is that perfect name stopping you from moving forward? We are told that marketing and branding is so important. It can make or break your business!
Well they are right, it can. But guess what. When you first start all you have are ideas and opinions. If you and the people you ask are not experts at branding they might not even be very good opinions.
Plus you might find the ideal company name, but all of the domain names are taken. Do you only pick a name where the domain is available? Who wants to be MyCompanyIsTheBest.net?
If you are chief branding officer for your new business, use these steps:
Brainstorm. Write anything down that might work. Even if it sucks, you can cross it out later!
Rework. Generally a few will pop out at you. Take those and rework them until you have 5 options.
Feedback. Ask other business owners what they think. Try to get a few opinions to see if they are similar. (remember they are only opinions!)
Pick one. Just pick the one that seems the best to you. (you are the one that needs to live with it)
Ask. Does this sound like a brand name? Is this a million dollar company?
Start. Do something with it. Buy the domain name and start working with potential logos.
Feel it. Usually after really living with the decision for days or even weeks you will start to get this gut feeling. It will either be a good thing (where you marvel at the opportunities and hear the name in the media) or it will be bad (where you don’t want to tell anyone the name, and it doesn’t FEEL like you or your company). If it’s the latter, change it and start again!
Beta Testing Your USP
When you first start, you won’t be completely sure of your unique selling proposition. You can write down all of your benefits and try to set yourself apart from your competition but what matters most to your potential customers?
You can have the perfect target market. You can write down their fears, their hopes, and dreams. But until you have spoken to them and asked them what is most important to them, all you have are ideas.
To make the ideas concrete you can do survey’s, or find people that you know in your target market to ask. Personally I like just getting the first few customers and learning from them.
So a little while back when I created a new service I launched it in beta. I knew I had all of these ideas that could work. They would only be possibilities though. I’d had to ask and find out what did work.
So armed with an outline and a general idea I started. I started selling and I took on 4 beta testers.
They gave me so much amazing information. I changed the worksheets, I changed the format, I added more time with each client at the beginning. I asked what worked best for them and what didn’t work. In the end I knew what they wanted and what they cared about. I was armed with so much more knowledge than when I first started.
There Is Always a Choice – Choose Action!
I just read a great article in Inc magazine that stated that most successful entrepreneurs don’t do market research. They don’t look at the demographics. They have a feeling that their product or service is solving a need, and it will do well. Then they bootstrap it.
Your market will tell you what it responds to. You cannot predict your market. This includes naming and branding! So pick a name that totally works for now, (so you have something to call it) then start moving.
Keep in mind that within a few months you can do an awesome relaunch with your new branding. By then you should be making some money and learning a ton.
You’ll be smarter then, so leave the big decisions for your smarter self. 🙂