Seven things to consider before naming your business

Kate Ware, BuzzPop Brands

28 April 2018

Three years ago, I started BuzzPop Social. A brand-focused social media agency to help big picture thinkers get their businesses the attention they deserve online.

To be perfectly frank, it took me a while to refine my service offering. I wanted to focus on social, hence the name, but I had a passion for branding and knew that behind every successful digital brand lay a killer and watertight brand strategy. 

And while social has always been a core service, behind the scenes I’ve also been helping my collaborators with brand strategies, complete brand management projects (design management, rollout and implementation), naming businesses and events and content creation for blogs and EDMs. So the social part of my name? Yeh, it hasn’t been right for a while now.

It became particularly evident recently when someone was looking for help renaming their business. I put my hand up and they said, “Oh, I went to someone else as I didn’t know you did that”. Opportunity lost. *face palm*

Brands need to change because businesses evolve.

launch strategy

Taking time to reflect on the direction of your business and position of your brand is important.

Brands need to change when businesses evolve. It’s natural for a business to evolve over the years, be it through service offering, values or positioning. What is important is that the brand reflects these changes and not only supports the new business direction but amplifies it.

I sat down and strategically assessed the value of my existing name. And I compiled a business name checklist to help if you too are considering changing the name of your business or deciding on
a name for a new business.

The BuzzPop ‘what’s in a business name’ Checklist

1. Is it memorable?

There seems to be a trend in the Melbourne’s café scene to name your new cafe after either a fairy tale (Three Bags Full, Little Jack Horner) or a common phrase (Long Story Short, Higher Ground, Kettle Black, Two Birds One Stone, Tall Timber, Liar Liar, Wide Open Road… I could go on….). And this got me thinking – ‘why follow a common naming convention and risk getting confused with your competitors? – Why not name your business something unique? Something that stands out? Something that demands attention, even… 

Why follow a common naming convention and risk getting confused with your competitors?

2. Does it tell your brand story?

Following the Melbourne café theme, the story behind Common Galaxia’s name has stuck with me ever since reading about it on their takeaway coffee cups. Common Galaxia are a species of fish that live in the Maribyrnong River, just near where the café is located in Seddon. The story tells the history of the local area and how the fish symbolise evolution and resilience (values that I imagine are core to their business). You can read it for yourself here. It’s heartfelt, poignant and meaningful which is why I haven’t forgotten this story years after first hearing it.

3. Does it accurately reflect your service offering?

Your name may not pay homage to your core business, but if it does, is it accurate? It was clear what BuzzPop Social’s service offering was, however, it didn’t explain the bigger brand and marketing picture I wanted to project and therefore was limiting the potential of my business.

4. Does it reflect your vision, mission and values?

At the heart of all solid businesses are a set of well-defined vision, mission and values. They create the foundations for a business to operate and when consistently expressed across all touchpoints of a brand (from the name to the creative, to customer service and operations), true cohesion and success is recognised. If your name doesn’t reflect what you stand for, your customers won’t know either.

5. How much equity is there in your existing name?

Have you been building your business for a while now? What kind of recognition does your name spark? How emotionally connected are your customers to your business name? If you have inherited a business, you might not be happy with the existing equity associated with the name, and changing it might be essential. However, if you’re a well-established business with an invested customer base, there’s a good chance people are emotionally invested in your current brand and changing your name could be a big deal.

6. Can you afford to change your name?

Talking finances isn’t the exciting part of changing a brand name, however, it’s a reality that business owners need to consider. When you take into account the design changes, website updates, new domain registrations and redirections, printed collateral updates it all starts to add up. And if re-naming isn’t in your business budget, these costs can be quite a hit to your bottom line.

7. What are the risks of NOT changing your name?

What about the negative implications of keeping your existing name? Can you continue to operate with your current name and still set yourself up for success? Changing your name is a big commitment – it’s time consuming, expensive and for some brands can be risky. You have to be 100% certain it’s the right move for your business.

So, there you have it; seven things to consider before you change the name of your business (or not). After weighing up all the possibilities of changing from BuzzPop Social, it was clear to me what the right decision was. A name change to BuzzPop Brands is be an investment in my business and will support me in the direction I want to grow and evolve. It was a no-brainer, really.

If you need help with your brand strategy or naming a business, please get in touch!
As a client recently reminded me, ‘Branding is my jam.’

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