When you start building a brand identity for your business, one of the first tasks you’re faced with is finding the right brand name for your business. I believe to find the right brand name shouldn’t be done in haste because your business brand name could be a life-long legacy.
Honestly, this could be a very daunting task for most entrepreneurs to find the right brand name because it seems most names that may come to mind at first are already taken by another business.
Nevertheless, as a Christian entrepreneur, you have to use a Christ-like approach to find the right brand name.
Here are 3 steps to find the right brand name;
- Seek confirmation
- Trademark it
As a Christian entrepreneur, you should take everything to God in prayer because He has instructed us to do so. Paul to the Philippians wrote;
No matter how insignificant you may think your prayer request is, know that; “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” —Psalms 37:23.
However, choosing your business brand name is not insignificant on the contrary it is very important because it’s what lives on even after you pass on. Whether it is a new business or you are re-branding an old business you start and end with prayer.
The power of prayer can never be exaggerated in the life of a Christian. The foremost need of prayer is to connect with God every day of your life. Therefore, your business affairs are part of your life in which you should be praying about.
But I wonder why most Christians use prayer only for trouble-rescuing(prayer when in trouble) and not for decision making?
However, when you pray for a brand name, expect 2 types of an answer;
- God gives you the exact name
- God gives you inspiration
I. God gives you the exact name
Sometimes when you pray, God may reveal the name exactly as He wants you to use it. There are ways God reveals things to us which can be through vision, dream, angelic visitation, Holy Spirit (innermost voice).
In the scriptures below are some of the names given directly by God;
Genesis 17:19 —Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.
Genesis 16:11 —The angel of the Lord also said to her: “You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery.
Luke 1:13 —But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
And the greatest name above every other name that was given directly by God is;
Matthew 1:21 —She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”
For entrepreneurs who have an existing brand name, God can still give you a new name to change from your existing brand name, no matter how far you have invested in your brand name do not hesitate to change to the new.
See how God has changed people name in the scriptures and they were all blessed when they obeyed;
Genesis 17:5 —No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations
Genesis 17:15 —God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.
Genesis 32: 28 – Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Although the scriptures above only reference names of people and not brand names. Irrespective, you’re still praying to the same God who never change yesterday, today and forever (Hebrew 13:8, & Malachi 3:6).
But is it wonderful to hear the name directly from God?
However, from the scriptures, less than 1% of the names recorded were directly given by God. I believe most of the names were inspired. This brings us to the other way God answers your prayer.
II. God gives you inspiration
When you pray, God will give you inspiration on how to find your brand name, because He has already blessed you with creativity. One of the first job roles of Adam in the garden of Eden was to name all the creatures on the earth.
He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals.Genesis 2: 20a.
God wouldn’t have entrusted Adam with such responsibility if He hasn’t empowered him with the required skills needed to name the different animal in the world.
Nevertheless, finding a brand name in present times when most names are unavailable can be more challenging than before. But trust in God to guide you in the process, He sure will.
2. Seek confirmation
Whether your name is given directly or through inspiration, you should be willing to confirm that the name is truly from God.
Bear in mind, your brand name is for your customers to identify your business easily from others.
So be rest assured whatever name God gives you will connect with your customers easily. One way to see confirm that is to test the name with some of your prospective customers.
Test brand name with Customers or Potential customers
Test the chosen brand name with your customers or potential customers(for a new business or new product), get their opinion about it. The result of this experiment will be data-driven confirmation.
You can set the bar high, for example, you might pick 20 customers to test the name and place 80% as the pass mark. That means out of 20 potential customers 16 of them should like the name explicitly.
If you get a result less than the pass mark means you may have missed the right name. Sorry! but you need to go back in prayer and start the process again.
One thing I’m certain is that God is not ‘an author of confusion’ (1 Corinthian 14:33a KJV). So any name He gives or inspires must be at peace with the majority of your potential customers. And will meet or exceed the following criteria of a good brand name;
- Brand name should be simple and catchy
- Brand name should not be offensive or suggestive
I. Brand name should be simple and catchy
When you’re inspired to find a brand name, please use your God-given wisdom to choose a name that will get the attention of your customers.
For example, you may be lead to get inspiration from the names of flowers, which is fantastic because there are varieties of flower names to choose from. In doing this exercise, avoid names that are complex like Chrysanthemums, rhododendron, Bougainvillea, etc.
Although these are real names of beautiful flowers —they may be difficult to remember or pronounce by your potential customers.
Bear in mind, one goal of your brand name is not for you to feel good but for your customers to identify your business with ease.
So why not pick flower names like orchid, lupines, marigold, daisy, anemone, camellia, honeysuckle, and others that are catchy, simple, and easy to pronounce and remember.
II. Brand name should not be offensive and suggestive
I can bet that most good brand names that have stood the test of time are not offensive. Therefore be cautious not to choose names that might sound good or funny but offensive to your potential customers.
Another example of a flower name is Mock orange, this is the real name of a flower but might be offensive to some of your potential customers who like oranges. You sure don’t want that to be a reason for churn of some potential customers.
Furthermore, there are some popular brand names that are not offensive but suggestive (in relation to sexual matters).
However, as a Christian entrepreneur, you ensure not to choose brand names that conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2a) just because you want to get the world’s attention.
Another example of some real plant names is; ‘naked man orchid’ and ‘Hookers Lips’ can be used as a brand name —can be acceptable to the world but it’s not appropriate for a Christian business.
3. Trademark it
The final step in securing your business brand name is to trademark it.
When you have gone through all the hassle to find a brand name, make sure to conduct a trademark search to ensure the name is available for you to use (best to conduct the trademark search during the confirmation phase above).
Once that is cleared, you should apply for trademark registration so it is protected from other business to pick up. In addition, trademark registration helps to prevent you from investing your time and money in building your brand name in vain.
And it ‘ll cost you far lesser to do your due diligence in searching and trademarking your brand name than filing lawsuits against those who pick up your brand name.
Brand name vs Business name
Important to note here that there is a difference between your brand name and your business name. You might decide to use the same name for both or different names. Also, your brand name also known as trade name —this is what most of your customers will use to identify your business.
Simply put, your business name is the registered name of your business in the jurisdiction where it operates. It is mainly used for legal matters and documentation, your business name is the legal owner of your brand name (trademark).
Whereas brand name is mainly used for marketing and promotion of your business products and services. For example, Google is a brand name that is owned by a company called Alphabet, while the Nike brand is operated by Nike Inc.
Brand name vs Product name
There is also a difference between the brand name and product name. Although some times they might be the same name, it’s different for big companies with multiple products.
In some situations, product name can be classified as a sub-brand. For example, Apple as a brand name has different product names or sub-brands such as iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc.
And each product name has its different product models that uniquely identify each product in the same category. Another example here is the iPhone with product models such as iPhone 5,6,7,9, X, etc.
This distinction is important to note, so you don’t get confused about using them. Because you may need to repeat this process when you have to find your different product names or sub-brand names.
Takeaway: Brand name is a legacy that can live beyond you as the founder of your business. For example, I don’t know the name of the founder of coca-cola without googling (I still don’t know at the time of writing this article) but I have been drinking coca-cola brand products since my childhood till present.
The coca-cola brand name has far-lived beyond it’s founders, the company was founded 1892.
In addition, as you find the right brand name, it must meet and even exceed the acceptable criteria of a good brand name.
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