When you think about “branding” your company, what comes to mind? For many, probably the first considerations when branding a company—or giving it a presence to the public—are a company name and a logo or brand icon. Startups labor over this, knowing that it will be a large part of what sets them apart from other companies and what makes them memorable—or not so memorable—to potential customers.
So what’s in a name? And how should a startup go about naming their company? John Brandon at Inc.com gives some great, practical advice to consider when naming your startup. Originality is always best, so he encourages small business owners to take their time and wait for the right name to come. The only thing worse than a name that doesn’t spark interest with others is a name that falls flat on your own ears. And since branding is all about telling your company’s story, he suggests finding a way to incorporate a story—any story really—into the name of your company. For example, Caroline Fielding came up with the name of her company, Dryven, by combining the names of three family members, Dean, Bryan, and Steven. The name has ended up serving a double purpose because it directly relates to the iPhone app which the company has developed called Bus Rage. When people ask, or even if they don’t, she has a great story to tell about her company to begin drawing people into it.
And what about the logo? What about the graphic that is going to pop into people’s minds when they hear the winning name of your company? Fast Company published an interesting article on the way color affects branding. One study shows that “90% of an assessment for trying out a product is made by color alone.” Amazing, right? With those kinds of stats, a startup can’t afford to lose out on a winning color scheme. The design company The Logo Company has broken down how certain colors suggest certain qualities in a company. For example, a green logo—not surprisingly—suggests an organic or nurturing quality while blue suggests credibility, calm, and cleanliness. Knowing this, take a second to consider why Animal Planet and John Deere have green logos and HP, Dell, and IBM have blue ones. When you understand how customers might perceive your company based on the color of your logo, you can go about making smart decisions when it comes down to branding.
When you begin thinking about these aspects of the company—the name, the colors, the logo—remember that the client, the customer, and the investor are not the only people you want to draw under the power of your awesome brand. Strong branding will also draw employees to your startup. When you market to customers you also market to potential employees, and the right brand could be a boon to your hiring strategy.
Naming and coloring your company can be one of the most fun parts of a startup. Make sure you’re being smart about branding from the very beginning by understanding how great companies came to their names and what color can do to market your company well in the long-term.
What considerations did you make for your company’s brand? Let us know in the comments.