Most entrepreneurs is 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. Of course, if all you’re doing is burning money all day, then it really doesn’t matter. If on the other hand, you’re part of that rare breed that thinks beyond today…here are a few tips 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.
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.
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