Commercial Identity

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The name you select for your business, product or service explains who you are or what you sell. It identifies what sets you apart in the marketplace. It helps determine how you’re perceived. Be sure that your name communicates exactly the right message.

You can generate names on your own or consult an ad agency, design house or marketing firm that specializes in naming. Either way, it’s best to begin by examining the commercial names around you and evaluating their effectiveness. Look at car names, for example, and think about what they mean and why they were chosen, from a marketing standpoint.

The first step in generating company names is to pinpoint three to five attributes or benefits – marketing positions — that make your company special. These could be a hot-button feature common to all your products or services, the range or specialization of your inventory, or key user benefits such as economy or peaceof mind. In other words, the reasons customers decide to choose you over the competition.

Consider, as well, three to five personality traits you might want to communicate, such as friendliness, skill, innovation or elegance, focusing on qualities your target customers will appreciate. There’s light-heartedness, for example, in the names of the massage center Nice to Be Kneaded and the computer consulting firm Rent-a-Nerd.

For each benefit or personality trait, make a list of all the names that come to mind. These may be words or phrases associated with the benefit or trait. They may be words for ideas or objects that evoke that trait or benefit the way the clothing store Headlines, for example, evokes newness and excitement and the California high-tech firm Oracle evokes visionary power.

If you want your name to include your type of organization (e.g., “company”, “group”, “corporation”, “electrical supply”), try out the names you generate with your organizational word to make sure you have pairs that work together.

Word count: 320


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