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. There are a few core pieces that fit together and form the essential branding package you will need for your business. Let’s break it down.
The Name Game
It can take some time to sort out the naming and branding options you can choose from. Brainstorming is a great way to generate lots of ideas that can be filtered and fine tuned as you go along. It’s also important for business owners to know what selections should come first, and what research needs to be done before committing to any name registrations.
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 and encompasses the totality of your business venture. Log your top company name choices, then take a look at your other essential 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 catchy slogan you brainstormed is actually your ideal company name and perhaps your company name perfectly describes your flagship product.
Doing research on available domain names is good practice before finalizing your company name. A lot of businesses want to register “companyname.com” to protect their branding online. Find a reputable domain name registrar and type in your selections, starting with the .com’s. If the domain names are unavailable, type them in your browser to view the company. You may find that a competitor or unrelated business has already registered the domains, in one or more extensions. Keep in mind that it may not be desirable to own and do business on a .net while your competitor owns the .com or .ca of the exact same domain name. You may even be infringing on trademarks. In either case, you may need to rethink your company name.
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, but it can also contain ‘keywords’ about your industry, product, or slogan. So consider those options too, but balance it with the need to protect your branding and chosen 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 tagline is often placed within or in close proximity to your logo or company name.
Your logo is the starting point for your visual branding efforts and a key component in your essential branding. 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. Be sure the design of your logo sends the intended message and does not lose quality in large or small formats.
Registering Your Names
Once you have your branding essentials together, prepare to register your company name and domain name selections. It is a good idea to have three company names selected, in the event that your first choice is already registered.
- 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. Once you choose a reputable domain name registrar, you can register any number of domain name(s) based on availability. You may want to wait until you have formally registered your company name or you can register domain names beforehand, to secure them immediately. In the event that you registered a different company name, you can always look for and register a new relevant domain name.
It takes original thinking, careful consideration, plus marketing savvy to get all the essential branding pieces working together. An objective point of view can help! Connect with LANiMedia for all your Brand Management needs.