Branding refers to eliciting an idea or response in the mind of the customer when encountering a business, product or person. With the advent of the Internet and social media people search for and recognize products and services differently than they did 15-20 years ago. Traditionally branding means establishing a relationship between a business or product and a sought after service or benefit to the point that they become synonymous. This still holds true however people have more information at their fingertips and are able to evaluate more alternatives than ever before. They can access this information much more quickly and their attention spans are much shorter. So a business name that communicates what the person seeks will be more effective at attracting and retaining business than one that doesn’t. Following are points on branding and business names:
- Include What You Do – A business name that includes a description of the services provided will be more easily recognizable when a person is searching for a service provider. Additionally it will be picked up by Internet search engines. And the Internet is the method of choice among consumers when looking for services. Phrases such as ‘Auto Repair’ and ‘Automotive Repair’ are among the most frequently used search keywords on the Internet when someone is looking for an auto repair shop. More specific terms such as ‘Brakes’ or ‘Oil Change’ are also among the top search phrases. Using these phrases in the company name will make it easier for consumers to recognize what the company does.
- State What Differentiates You – Differentiation is what sets you apart from the competition. Many auto repair businesses include terms such as ‘Quality’ or ‘Precision’ in the company name. Still others will use terms like ‘Value’ or ‘Budget’. Also the terms ‘Fast’, ‘Quick’ or ‘Convenient’ convey differentiating characteristics. These types of terms communicate what your focus and objectives are in providing services.
- Communicate the Benefits You Provide – Terms such as ‘Safe’ or ‘Reliable’ are indicative of the underlying reasons a customer seeks automotive service. Other examples are ‘Performance’ or ‘Speed’. When a person has their vehicle serviced they seek benefits and including benefits provided in a company name can support establishment of brand recognition.
- Include Your Name – The inclusion of an owner’s name in a business name can establish credibility in the mind of the customer. The most impact will be recognized by using the first and last name however in some cases – such as a family business – the company will be best served by using the last name only. Also using the owner name in the business name facilitates personal branding allowing for 2 objectives to be supported.