What’s in a name?

The Founder Institute Barcelona Michael Clark December 11, 2012

While naming and branding are important…

Building a product worth branding should be your top priority.

Why a name matters
• Your name is your consumers first impression • Know who those consumers are • Easier marketing
– You can market to what you solve not how to spell your name – Your name can convey your solution before having to explain what you do

Watch Trends
Don’t start when the wave has already passed. Being ahead is not good either.

Be Here!

Not Here!

Brainstorming a name
• Make lists, lots of lists
– – – – Values Actions Adjectives Places

• Build metaphors for what you do, it’ll help • Combine elements of your lists and your metaphor
http://www.panabee.com/ http://www.bustaname.com/

What should I avoid?
• Anything your audience won’t understand • International TLD’s – ask the .ly’s how that went for them ;-) • Misspelling – whoever spells it right will get your traffic • Using names that have alternative meanings in other languages
Barf means “snow” in Farsi

History of the name
• Before you go any further get some history • Check for trademarks US and International
– http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/search/ – Read any similar names to see if they are related – Ask your attorney

• Search the name
– Was it a spam domain in the past? – What was it in the past? – Look for skeletons in the closet

• Are the social network accounts available?

Can your Grandma understand it?
• Use the Grandma litmus test, if she can get it… anyone can • Explain the same concept to her 3 different ways (techie, business terms, and dumb it down as much as you can) • Ask her how she would describe it to her bridge club
I think my dad still thinks I fix video cameras

Ask the crowd
Build the test

• Test, Test, then Test some more • Compare your final name to the values you brainstormed ( + or - ) • Compare to other brands • Ask for demo information

Test it Online Google Insights Test it Offline

Now you’ve got a name
• Submit a trademark • Put up a placeholder page (coming soon)
– http://launchrock.com

• Forward the emails for the domain (look for more skeletons) • Grab the name on social networks (even less popular sites)

Logos - One size fits most
• It’s not just about your web page • How you will use it on;
Press Article Facebook favicon Banner ads t-shirt Twitter

Tradeshow Banner

Sticker for your computer The wall in your office Business Cards Facebook Ads

Your Web Page
Image source: http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=29699

Logos - try it yourself first
• You don’t have to master photoshop to see what you like • Download some extra fonts and use word or powerpoint and type your name using lots of fonts • What speaks to you? Your customers? Grandma?

Logo inspiration from “experts”
• Start simple and inexpensive • Artist communities exist to compete to help with logo design

• Request multiple sizes and color palettes as well

A great brand starting point
Bryan Zmijewski and Jeremy Britton @ Zurb.com Term Mantra Purpose Statement Definition
A short 3-4 word description of what your company does. It's a rally cry. A broad and inspirational statement that gives the business a sense of direction. This may be unachievable, but it's a motivation for employees. It doesn't have to be flashy. A single sentence that is tangible and has a specific goal. It should verge on unreasonable, but it's got to connect with employees. The tangible result of your mission. A focused statement that identifies how your product or service is different from your competitors. Simple one line statements that prove your positioning statement.

Mission Statement Vision Statement Positioning Statement

Proof Points

Article can be found: http://www.zurb.com/article/263/the-dreadful-mission-statement

Branding’s not just external
• What you do with your branding helps give your entire team a common understanding of what they’re building • Your brand should tell your story for you, so you can get to work building it • Re-examine your branding regularly; have product changes effected your branding?

Finding Me
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mpclark http://facebook.com/mpclark3 @mpclark3 mike@clark.st