Thursday, February 19, 2015

What's In Your Name? Step 1 In Making Your Brand

In my last post, I shared with you 3 shops who chose names that fit their items.
Today, let's talk about your name.  Your brand.  
What it is that will set you apart from your competition.  
The vast majority of soon-to-be parents will take months and months and months to decide on a name for their child.  Some are great names, names a child will grow into and names that will define their destiny.  And other names are just...well...stupid.  We need to look at our businesses as our babies, and give as much effort into choosing our name, and our brand, as a new parent.
Let me share my mistakes...for your benefit.

My mistake #1 - jumping at the first thing that pops into your head.
My daughter and I have always enjoyed creating things together, and when she moved in another state, I opened our first shop together, so we could work together even though we were apart.
So I opened "Our Home To Yours" and excitedly sent Amanda all the information.
Her response?  "Um, OK."  Not exactly the overwhelming response I was hoping for...lol.
Well, it turns out, she was right.  (She should be after all the money that went towards her college education in graphic design and advertising).  When it came time to claim our domain, it turns out that there were quite a lot of sites with "our" name. lol
So LESSON #1...
Write a business plan, decide what your business is, what you want to be with your business, and where you want your business to be in the future.  A business plan is not only important for choosing a name, but for any  improvements or grants or changes you may make and/or need in the future.  Do your research on your chosen field.  If you sell strictly handcrafted jewelry, or knit items, baby items, vintage, whatever, check out your competition with an easy Google search.
Amanda sent me a questionnaire to fill out with her, and that's when we decided on Yankee Burrow (I added Creations because I thought we needed it).

My mistake #2 - we didn't need the word Creations.
LESSON #2
Don't use your name to just describe your business, use it to distinguish it from other similar businesses.  Remember, your brand name is the first impression anyone has of your business.  And you only get one chance to make a good first impression.  If you have one, use your niche in creating your brand name.  Keep your name brief, and easy to remember, BUT if your name is too comfortable it may also be forgettable.  Our new name, YankeeBurrowCreations was a mouthful.  True, it was unique, but we offered more than handcrafted items, we also offered vintage items, so the word creations was not only unnecessary, but misleading.  (And it was a lot to explain and spell out to possible customers).  Lucky for me, while changing our name from Our Home To Yours to Yankee Burrow Creations was not possible on any of the other sites were we had a shop listed, it was a breeze to drop the Creations here at The CraftStar.  Since your account here is by your email account, you can easily change your name under your profile.

LESSON #3
Do a search of the name you want for your business, make sure the domain is available, because even if you don't think you need it now, you will want to own your own domain in the future.  So now is the time to find your name, and claim it!  For only a few bucks, your name is truly YOUR name.

Here's a few more tips on your search for the perfect name...

  • be web friendly - avoid hyphens, numbers, and special characters
  • avoid initials
  • if possible, explain your business
  • remember you'll be using your name/brand in your tagging, keep it easy
  • keep your logo in mind


And that will bring us to our next discussion...
your brand color, logo, banners, and business cards.

Remember, we can all succeed,,,,
together.

Debbi
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