The Lifeline of any Entrepreneurial Venture
Brand names are very important in this day and age where entrepreneurs are dealing with enlightened customers who have access to all sorts of information at the tips of their fingers. For that reason, when coming up with a brand name you have to take into consideration a plethora of factors before you can rightfully say, “yes this will do for us” because we have exhausted them all. Also, do take time to test these brand names on people and see their reactions before legally assuming the name. The weight of coming up with a meaningful brand name does solely tend to be carried on the shoulders of the entrepreneur in question. However, when you have entrepreneurial teams, you can help each other brainstorm ideas until you come up with a sufficient and satisfying good one. Actually, this whole process is tedious as you will be discarding one name after the other in search of the right one. To this end, coming up with a name for an entrepreneurial venture is a project on its own which must be taken seriously whilst putting all hands on deck if you have an entrepreneurial team.
First thing first, the name must be meaningful in a way. This is because a meaningful name will resonate with your entrepreneurial venture goals and visions. All this should be captured in the brand name. Adding to that, you shouldn’t limit yourself in coming up with a name that specifically notes what you do, for instance, that you are a printer or tailor. The disadvantage of naming your entrepreneurial venture too descriptively this way is that when push comes to shove or you want to diversify into something else totally different then indeed you will be restricted to do so by this initial name. Thus, to avoid such scenarios taking root, be creative and inventive enough to come up with a name that adroitly and authentically tells a story of your venture’s purpose and the aim. Many a time, entrepreneurs make a mistake in choosing a brand name and this is why five years down the line it will be changed to something else. Indeed, such kind of confusion should be dealt away with in business by doing this process thoroughly and rightfully at the get go. Unfortunately, failure to do so will cost you a pretty penny.
Personally, l believe as inventive entrepreneurs you can even come up with a local and beautiful indigenous name to brand your company with. A good example is Mukunda hair products by a very good friend of mine, Apronalise Chionehwa. Without a shadow of a doubt, the name is simple and is packed with meaning. Simplicity is the key to coming up with a strong brand name because it will be memorable to the individual. This is because the name should be short and simple so that your customers are able to recall it without facing any difficulties for example Pepsi. In marketing, brand names should be catchy. With regards to Mukunda, it defines what the brand stands for and what it aims to achieve since the word itself has a lot of sound meanings. In a way, every lady will want to be associated with such a brand that will have you feeling like a queen as you will own your natural crown. Equally, another good example is that of Mambo’s Chicken, which is a Shona name linked with royalty therefore the reason why they went on to say it’s tantamount to the fact that you will be eating like a king. Having said that, these are some things local entrepreneurs should think about by choosing indigenous names. The only downside to this kind of brand naming is that as an entrepreneur you should make sure that this same word has no different kind of meaning that isn’t appropriate somewhere else in the world. Henceforth this little problem needs to be dealt with through proper research on the internet so that in future you do not have to defend yourself and your brand name. For instance, a good example is the bathing soap Geisha which was met with a bit of skepticism and criticism in Japan since that word also means a woman with loose morals like an ally cat. Over and above, you should factor the possibility of your products being sold somewhere else in the world and ask yourself, will the brand name still do? Automatically, as 21st-century entrepreneurs, we should be tech-savvy to conduct proper research and not be myopic in only thinking if your products or services are sold in your country then you have reached the self-actualization point.
Interestingly, creativity has led to other companies coming up with catchy names such as totally new ones that have no meaning so whatever like Kodak, whilst others like Google came up as a result of a spelling mistake. Again, others do mainly use acronyms like 3M. All in all, the whole idea is that you distinctively differentiate yourself from the rest of the companies in the market. Consequently, a strong brand name will help build a good brand identity in the minds of the customers. Accordingly, the thrust of any business is in wanting customers to perceive your brand name positively whenever they come across it. Indeed, a brand name, apart from outlining the value proposition it has to its customers, must be unique. In this respect, others have used this traditional road of naming the company after the cofounders for example Hewlett and Packard who invented the HP computer brand. Henceforth, the sky is the limit when coming up with a brand name for your entrepreneurial venture. Most importantly if you cannot do it yourself you can always rope in experts to help you out in coming up with a good and strong brand name that will cause noise in the market. To all intents and purposes, life has been made easier because one can check on trademarks and use search engines so that they guide you in not using an already taken brand name. Suffice it to say, never take a generic name for your own venture. There is nothing that causes a commotion more than using the same name, even if you are in a totally different line of business. Similarly, the only way to deal away with such a confounding problem is by having your own unique brand name. At the same time, you also have to come up with accompanying aesthetically pleasing logos and colors that state who you are and what you have to offer to your niche clientele base.
After everything has been said and done, you should have a say as an entrepreneur about what your ultimate name will be. Adding to that, you should have fun coming up with the brand name because venturing into entrepreneurship shows a certain level of grit and wit on your part on how you want to change the business narratives. In Zimbabwe, there are strong brand names like Econet
‘Inspire to change your world,” which was founded by another serial Zimbabwean entrepreneur that is Dr Strive Masiyiwa. Econet has been in the market for quite a long time and they still maintain their essence of giving quality service as they have shown time and again without fail. Worth noting is that as entrepreneurs we should be able to come up with meaningful and memorable good brand names which will do justice to our value proposition in the market. Thus, your brand name should walk the talk. The secret formula in business is in being legit in your undertakings whilst putting your customers first. Undoubtedly, if you do this then you will never go wrong. The time is now therefore as contemporary entrepreneurs seize it by coming up with a good and strong brand name which will be able to stand the test of time.
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Abigirl Phiri is a Ph.D student in commerce, free-lance writer, poet, International Ambassador of Peace, GBV activist, social entrepreneur, talent manager and an international marketer. More of her work can be found on her Facebook Page: Words are forever.