Most entrepreneurs, when registering a company in Zimbabwe have no idea of how important a name is to the business. This is illustrated by all the silly, irrelevant sounding shelf companies that are bought daily. Here are a few things to consider.
“Stay away from Shelf Companies”
How important is your business name? Well think about this – Do you think the biggest and most successful brands in Zimbabwe (or the World) came from shelf companies? Econet, Kingdom Bank, Chicken Inn, Mr. Juicy, Old Mutual – do you really think these are shelf companies? Nope.
As a new business owner you are responsible for the development of your brand. The job of your company name is to communicate to your market place. It’s part of your marketing strategy.
Can you imagine a soft drink called “Techiefredy Investments” or a bank called ‘Tendai Jason Moyo Bank’. How about Mindfret Restaurant?
That’s how most shelf companies sound. They never make sense at all and can take away from the professionalism you want to communicate. If you’re serious with your business – take the time to choose a name that communicates to your market. Here are some ideas
1) Associate it with the product/service – example Chicken Inn, Unforgettable Events, Agri-Bank, Business Setup Group.
2) Make it easy to remember – Chicken Licken, Burger King, King Pie, OK.
3) Link it to an already strong brand (if you have one) ie Oprah Magazine is linked to Oprah, Virgin Airlines is linked to the rest of Virgin.
4) Avoid abstract names like Coca-cola, Kodak, IBM. If you use one of these, you’ll have to spend a lot of money (like they do) to associate your brand with your product/service or offering. If you don’t have a similar budget, forget it.
5) Double check online. This is espcially important if the internet is going to be an important part of your business strategy short or long term (which it probably should) Your chosen name may be unique in Zimbabwe, but if the same name belongs to a mega corporation overseas, you’ll have a have hard time time competeing for visibility onine for your own name. If you don’t know how to do this, ask someone (me) who knows how for help.
There are many more approaches to consider but the point is this – your name is the beginning of your branding process, don’t take it lightly. A good name can make it easy for you to be memorable and believable.
Ultimately though, your name is just step one in the process. After that, you’ll have to educate your market on what you do and stand for. This is of utmost importance to you as an entrepreneur. Ingrain your name, service, unique advantage in the minds of your market.