December 7, 2016
Business Names & Branding: The Breakdown!
The Name Game: Do you have a great, new business concept you're planning to launch? Perhaps you've been in business for some time and want to rebrand or level up your marketing plan. It can take some time to sort out the naming and branding options you can choose from and it's important for business owners to know what should come first. To clarify, there are two different name registration processes and they each influence the other:
- To register your Company Name in British Columbia, you can either visit your local BC Registry Center, or register online at the official provincial government website: www.bcbusinessregistry.ca. Registering your Company Name is subject to availability of names within your area. Questions about costs, sole proprietorship, incorporation, etc. are best directed to this government service. Visit the website or inquire in office for more information.
- Registering a web address, also known as a Domain Name, is a different process. However, it is helpful to do some research on what Domain Names are available before registering your Company Name. You may want your Domain Name to match your Company Name, but keep in mind there are many options for an effective Domain Name. It's best to give some thought to your marketing approach & branding, before making your decision:
Company Name – Your Company Name creates the initial impression and offers a subtle (or not so subtle) message about what to expect when doing business with you. Maybe it was an easy choice, such as a family name with a proud heritage, or you currently have it narrowed down to a couple good options. In either case, it's time well invested to make a choice you're happy with. To get a broader perspective on your potential Company Name, take a look at your other branding pieces (described below) at the same time. In this way, you can view your Company Name in the context of your whole branding package, which provides new insight. For instance, you may find that the Company Name you selected is better as your Call to Action or that the catchy Slogan you brainstormed is actually your ideal Company Name.
Slogan (or Tagline) – Also described as your “motto”, it can help people know a little more about your company culture, ethics or market position. An effective slogan is short and impactful, and helps sell your products or services. It may say something about what makes you unique in the marketplace. This is also known as your competitive edge or, simply put, why people should choose your company instead of your competitors. A slogan is often placed within or in close proximity to your Logo.
Call to Action – is an alert which encourages prospects or clients to take action. It could be a phone number on a print ad encouraging the viewer to call, or it may be a free offering that guides a website visitor to sign up for your newsletter. The point of a call to action is to move prospects or clients through the marketing or buying process.
Logo – Your Logo is the key starting point for your visual branding efforts. The look and feel of your Logo will influence the design of all your online and offline marketing materials including your website, signage, and business cards. A Logo can consist of visual symbols, custom artwork, texts, or any combination of these elements. Your Logo may contain your company name, and may even incorporate your domain name or phone number.
Domain Name – And here we are, back home again. The .com extension is still the most universally recognized web address, however there are many options and you may register one or more available domain names for use with a website. A good domain name should be easy to spell, say, and view. Think; someone who sees your vehicle for a few seconds in traffic or how it flows nicely when said aloud. Your web address may match your business name, or it may contain ‘keywords’ about your industry, product or service.
It takes original thinking, careful consideration, plus marketing savvy to get all these pieces working together. An objective point of view can help! Connect with LANiMedia for Brand Management, Domain Name Research, or creating an effective Logo, Slogan & Call to Action for your Company!