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How to free your startup name from future challenges ?


Jean-Paul Baka -

An entrepreneur is not born, but one becomes an entrepreneur. Such could be the adage of the universe of start-ups. It is a true statement because an entrepreneur journey is a daily learning. Surely in the process of learning, mistakes will come your way. True must be told that some of the mistakes are unavoidable. But with a purpose to evolve and re-strategize for success. As I said some, there are some mistakes also which can be avoided. One of them is the startup or the product name.

A startup willing to stay in business for many years must not take its naming process for granted in the earlier stage.

A startup sharing a similar name with other company can generate a confusion. The example of Lexis and Lexus A company name with a different meaning in different countries can block its expansion. A mistake in the choice of a start-up name can be severe. I can tell for sure that it can cost thousands or millions of dollars to deal with the mistake. Google search alone is enough to prove you of the confusion in start-ups names. And In worse situation it can have a potential to collapse a startup. So it is worthy for a startup to be conscious of that. To avoid trapping the future of your startup I will give you in the coming lines some tips on how you can free your startup such challenge.

Recently a successful Drink Croatian startup has faced obstacles of entering the European market, particularly, in France and UK. The challenge was the name of their best product named PiPi. Unfortunately, in France, likewise many other French speaking countries, Pipi means urine. So imagine selling this product in France psychologically people will be thinking, they are buying urine. Even in the UK the name is not passing. So to really enter European market the product must be renamed which will generate a cost for the company.

So, how can I prepare to avoid such situation in the future?

The first solution is to use a professional naming company services. The reality is that most of the start-ups do not have enough money in the beginning to afford such services. So, they are compelled to create it themselves.

So how can I create it myself with fewer means?

  1. Gather 3 to 10 people (relations or potential customers) who have a knowledge about your service or product. around a table with some French wine. Introduce the topic. But bear in your mind that you have to separate the creation moment from judgment moment. Make a moment to suggest names, and another to decide which one to use. Why so? if there is a judgment after one name suggestion, it will block the creativity flow. So let the name suggestions flow very well. Write them on pieces of papers and glue them on the wall for example and start judging name by name.

  2. Go to Google or Qwant.com search engines to type the name to see if there is such name taken by any other company.

  3. Check the meaning of your brand name in the potential market countries languages. Avoiding this mistake will help your company to expand to those countries in the future.

  4. Choosing a startup or business name is not an easy step. So after getting it right go and protect it legally. Secure your domain names.

Remember that the name which will come out must be very simple, catching attention and easy to memorize. If the name was chosen has all those characteristics you gain time and money. There are thousands of brands out there. If yours is catching attention, your potential customers will memorize it faster. This will lead to reducing a lot of ad expenses. How? Because you do not need to advertise too much to get it in the mind of potential customers

I hope the steps are clearer. Before finishing this article let me draw your attention on some mistakes to be avoided.

  • Do not imitate the name of your potential competitor Taking a name almost similar to your competitor name is a bomb that can explode anytime. Your competitor can sue you in court anytime and you will be responsible, like name Lexis and Lexus case.

  • Do not create a fashionable name Remember that the world is changing quickly and moreover the mode is just a matter of time. It will pass or fade in few periods. If you want your company to exist for many generations. Please get a unchangeable name.

  • Do not create a name that describes too much. Here I know many people will not agree with me but it is a true fact. Assuming you are online glasses seller and you give the name lowprice.com. And one day you decide to do luxury. Automatically this name will not be in phase with lowprice.com.

A company with a name that describes too much can mislead the potential customers. And surely will channel the buyers to elsewhere. That's what happened with SMSGH. A fast growing Ghana startup that helps companies in managing their SMS marketing campaigns. And for many customers or potential ones, is like they provide only SMS service, moreover, it sounds like they can operate only in Ghana. Meanwhile, they do many other things like CRM. Probably they did not think that in years coming they will scale to another service. So they have to react quickly and they changed the name to Hubtel (cool name). But they have spent money and probably they will lose some customers. Watch out for your business name. Some of the success name that did not describe in any way the companies are like Jimmy Fairly and Google( 10 power 100).

  • Do not take a name only particular to your country. You have to take a name that tells every body something positive. For instance, Alibaba will be accepted everywhere especially in the Muslim community. They will identify themselves with the story of Alibaba and 40 thieves told and appreciated everywhere in the world.

  • Do not take a name with many syllables The reason is that it will be very difficult to pronounce and therefore to be memorized. The bottom line is that you want your name to be quickly kept in the customer mind. So that if they will have a buying need, your company will come in the first place into their mind. I advice you take a company name with a maximum of 4 syllables.

I hope this piece of guidance helps in your start-up. Thank your for reading. If you liked it please help us share it with your friends.


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