How to choose a name for your company and register it
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How to Choose a Name for your company and register it!
The Business Fashion Tips Podcast
Your business name will be with you for a long time, so it’s very important to take the time and get the name of your company right. Sometimes the perfect name just comes to you and at other times, it can take months to find the right name. It plays a huge part in branding your company. And branding is how a customer feels about your product when they hear it’s name. For instance, take the company name Chanel? What do you think of when you hear the name Chanel? To me, when I hear the word Chanel I conjure up an image of high quality products that are expensive, and have a timeless look that I’d like to associate myself with. When I hear someone say the word Chanel, I instantly wake up and want to know what is being talked about because I love Chanel and all that the brand stands for. I can associate with the brand name of Chanel on a personal level because I love their quality and craftsmanship.
This is the reaction you want people to feel when they hear your business or brand name. You want them to see themselves with wearing or using your product. You want them to remember your company name and get that “feel good” feeling whenever they hear it. This, my friend, all leads to your company making money. It helps customers identify with your business which leads to profits. You’ve heard the saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is that time. Your brand name is the first impression you leave on people. It entices a person to buy your product or service. after all, isn’t that why you went into business? To sell your product? Like CoCo Chanel, many fashion designers use their own name when building their brand. CoCo Chanel’s real name was Gabrielle Chanel but people called her ‘CoCo’ before she ever started designing fashion, and the name stuck. For my fashion designs I used own birth name “DeBora Rachelle” and it became my company name. It was different enough from other designer names so it too stuck out. Sometimes your own name just doesn’t work. And you need to swallow your pride and simply find a name that works. Look at Ralph Lauren. Did you know Ralph Lauren’s real name is Ralph Lifshitz. Can you even imagine telling people, I’m wearing the Ralph Lifshitz brand? I don’t know about you but I highly doubt I would have ever bought a Ralph Lauren shirt if it was named Ralph Lifshitz. When I went into bed sheets, I never did come up with the perfect name for my bed sheets that stay on our bed, so I just stuck with the same DeBora Rachelle bed sheets name knowing people that purchased my dresses would recognize my brand name. However, when I thought up a duvet cover that was super easy to put on your duvet, I named it zip-zip-flip by DeBora Rachelle. It describes what the duvet does in an easy format and it a catchy quick name. The new travel products line I am introducing next year is going to be called ‘Packwrite by DeBora Rachelle’. It just seemed fitting to this new patent-pending suitcase that makes it unique and sets it apart from all the typical suitcases on the market. I’m not quite ready to launch the suitcase yet, so I don’t want to say much more however, you’ll have to do a web search on “Packwrite” in about a year once I have launched the product so you can see what I’m talking about. The name suits not only my new suitcase but is to be the entire “brand” name for my travel division. The first thing I did after I found this perfect name of ‘Packwrite by DeBora Rachelle’ was to search to see if I could purchase the domain name. This is first and foremost in today’s times. It’s important that you can register your brand name as a website. Because if you don’t have the means to the web name, you may be doing a ton of advertising for someone else’s company.
Another reason I like the word Packwrite is it has to do with the products I will be selling. My main item will be a suitcase, hence, the Pack in Packwrite. Thus, If the name has something to do with what your company does, that is always a bonus. Don’t pick a name that is limiting to one product so you cannot diversify. That’s why it’s ‘Packwrite by DeBora Rachelle’. Packwrite will represent my travel products, DeBora Rachelle represents all my products. The spelling of Packwrite is a play on words. It suggests you are packing right R-I-G-H-T when in fact I’m spelling it Pack W-R-I-T-E which has to do with using a pen and paper. Again, You’ll see the correlation once I launch the brand. Either way people can easily spell it. Can you even spell Ralph’s real name Lifshitz? Lauren was a much better choice all around. Look at the Ettore Boiardi. His last name was spelled E-t-t-o-r-e B-O-I-A-R-D-I. He made a wonderful unique pasta sauce however, everyone that saw his name on his label didn’t know how to pronounce it. So they really didn’t know what the product was to ask for. Being an Italian immigrant, Ettore Boiardi was very proud of his family name but realized sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and make sacrifices so that you get the brand name right for progress and profits. He changed his name to Chef Boy-ar-Dee spelled Boy-A-R-Dee (D-E-E) and the rest is history. Chef Boy-Ar-Dee. It was a play on words, Just the change of spelling caused Americans to be able to pronounce his name and associate themselves with it. To find the right name, you have to know who your customer is. Who is your target market? What values do they have? Look at the Deisel clothing line. They look at their customers as unconventional revolutionary rebels with radical ideas. They defined their customers as reckless youth who want to disrupt or shock others or shake things up with their clothing styles. They noted their customers greatest fear was being powerless. So the owner decided their company needed a powerful name. When you think of the word Deisel what comes to mind? I think of the biggest semi-truck barreling down the freeway. Semi-trucks are something I don’t want to mess with when I’m driving a smaller car in the lane next to it, so Deisel is a perfect name for a clothing line trying to reach this type of customer who wants to feel powerful. And an effective name to conjure up an image that their customer can relate to. If you simply cannot figure out a name, use sites like: http://www.naminum.com, go daddy.com, https://www.behindthename.com, https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator#ToolContent, just put name generator in to a search engine and up should pop a bunch of sites that can help. If nothing else it may lead you to a new idea based on their findings. Don’t be afraid to put together a focus group of people who you look at as potential customers and run your company name by them to see their view point. Swallow your pride if you have to like Ettore Boiardi did for Chef Boy Ar Dee – if you have to. That’s not to say if you get it wrong you cannot change the company, you can but it’s like starting over again. Changing a name comes at a great expense and you have to rebrand all over again like your starting from scratch. Did you know Google was called “Backrub” when it first came out. It had to do with the analyzing a website’s back links. It’s kind of a tech nerd term and not one that would stick with the typical customer who uses Google. Why don’t you “backrub it” doesn’t have quite the same effect as why don’t you google it? Does it? Google is a name that has nothing to do with anything. It’s just a made up word. Which can be good however just know, Made up words are harder to market so it takes more money to market them, but once you do, they have the ability to become generic brand names. Look at the brand name Kleenex, people refer to all facial tissue as simply Kleenex. If you can do that with your brand name, that’s above and beyond a miracle. Brands like Puffs had to spend millions to complete with Kleenex. Kleenex by far dominates the facial tissue market and probably always will because people simply refer to all facial tissue as Kleenex. Pepsi-Cola was once called Brad’s drink. Not quite as catchy as Pepsi, is it? In 1898, Caleb Bradham a small town pharmacist from North Carolina, invented the cola and his customers simply named it Brad’s drink short for his last name Bradham but Bradham didn’t feel confident that “Brad’s drink” described his formula nor did it give his customer’s the healthy feel good feeling he wanted to portray. After all one of the reasons he created the beverage is because he felt it improved his customer health. In August 1898, combining the names of two of the drink’s ingredients: pepsin, a digestive enzyme, and kola nut extract, he came up with Pepsi-Cola. However, He found a local competitor using the name “Pep Kola”, So he offered to buy the name Pep Kola from his competitor and thus changed his drink name to Pepsi-Cola. Eventually he registered the trademark in 1903. Can you guess what the first cola beverage ever invented was? I’ll give you a hint, it’s still called the same name today. Although in the 1950’s it did drop it’s period after the Doctor abbreviation because they wanted to disassociate themselves from the early claims of medicinal effects, so the period was removed. The first cola invented was Dr. Pepper which was invented in 1885 in Waco Texas by Wade Morrison. Morrison named it Dr. Pepper after dr. Charles Pepper, a virginia doctor who was the father of a girl Morrison was once in love with. I have no clue why they Like Caleb Bradham did for Pepsi-cola, once you think you have everything right with the name, there is one more thing you need to do, make sure no one else is using it. First check the name with your State and register it if it’s available. Each State has some Name availability guidelines and you can run a search online on your states website to see if anyone else already has that name. In my state of MN, Once you see the name is available you have to file a form with the state, then run it in two consecutive issues of a legal newspaper so this will give other companies the right to contests you using the name before it’s granted for you to use. In the book I’m coming out with I write about how a company wanted to use one of my registered names and why I contested it so if you’d like to know more, you can read about it when my book comes out. Filing the State form is roughly $30-$50 and you can do this right on your states government website. Simply find your secretary of state site (typically ends in .gov) then in their search box type “business name filing or business certification” and the form and instructions should pop up. You could also have an attorney do this for you but who want to pay thousands of dollars to an attorney when you can do it yourself in 10 minutes online. You can thank me for saving thousands by buying my book when it comes out – (chuckling). This book can also save you a lot of money on other business ventures as well, so it will be worth the read. You can learn from my mistakes and successes so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did. If you are interested in taking your brand to the next level of becoming a major brand sometime in the future, I highly suggest to trademark the name. To trademark the name and take it national simply go to: USPTO.gov and follow their instructions. Or you can again hire an attorney for thousands. I filed my own trademark and made a couple errors in the process, so again you can read about these simple errors that were easily correctable in my book once it comes out. To be informed when the book hits bookstores, you can sign up for our newsletter at businessfashiontips.com or deborarachelle.com. The newsletter will also go into details about new DeBora Rachelle unique patented products as I introduce them and give you more business tips or fashion design tips. Getting back to trademarks, I have a few trademarks. I mentioned Packwrite and I knew immediately I wanted this brand to go national, so I trademarked Packwrite as well. I initially went on Amazon with the DeBora Rachelle bed sheets that I now have licensed. Amazon gives more notoriety to those companies who have trademarked their brand name, so after 20 years I finally trademarked “DeBora Rachelle” so Amazon would recognize it properly as a major brand. So yes, if you’re thinking about going on Amazon, take the time to trademark your brand name. oSo I’ve mentioned the top 7 steps on how to chose a brand name. 1- Your business name needs to stick out. It needs to differentiate your company from that of all others. So don’t pick a name that is too similar to your competitor’s name. 2- Make sure you buy the domain name. 3- If the name has something to do with What your company does, that is always a bonus. Like Packwrite is for my new travel line. You can tell it’s a travel items because the word pack is in it. 4- Make sure it is easy to spell. Memorable but perhaps not overly unique. More simple. Like Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee. 5- Define who your customer is so you can make sure your customer can relate to your company or brand name. You need to make sure the name is consistent with your brand. 6-Make sure it’s available with your State or Country for taking it national. 7- Protect your name by trademarking it. The more you get these top 7 name suggestions right, the easier it will be to brand your name, image, company, product, or services and differentiate your company from others so it sticks out. It’s all about how your name makes your customers feel when they hear it spoken. It defines your companies image and who you are – so take the time and get your company name right.
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