Is it a name game?

Is it a name game?

Essential Q&As to guide you in naming

I just did a branding webinar and had a ton of questions about naming so I’m answering them here:

Question: Is changing your name just for singers, actors, and celebrities? Is changing your #BrandName just for celebrities? Does it make sense of entrepreneurs? Click To Tweet

Answer: Of course, Bruno Mars, Queen Latifah, Eminem, and Jennifer Aniston get the attention, but it makes sense for employees and entrepreneurs too. Quick: which name do you like better: Ralph Lipschitz or Ralph Lauren?

Change your name for YOUR reasons; it might be that it’s difficult to pronounce (it didn’t hurt Arnold Schwarzenegger), you don’t like the name, or you want to associate it closer to your product (Roger Green of Green Landscaping, for example.)

Question: If the dot com is available, does it mean the trademark is available?

Answer: NO! They are 2 different entities: Internet and Intellectual Property. The United States Patent & Trademark Office administers trademarks, copyrights, and patents. I recommend doing a free search first at USPTO.gov on your proposed name. If it’s available, it doesn’t mean that you are in the clear, it simply means that on a preliminary level, it looks positive. (Note: I am not an attorney and am not dispensing legal advice; happy to refer you to many of my fab intellectual property lawyers.)

Question: Is it too late to change my company name? Is it too late to change my company name? Click To Tweet

Answer: Never. You’ll hear lots of talk about “brand equity” meaning that the current name carries phenomenal recall, mindshare, goodwill, or domain traffic. It might, but if there is a negative association (remember Ayds candy?) international faux pas (ghost mist meaning excrement in German) or bad publicity or an obsolete name (20th Century Insurance). But the bottom line is this: if the positives outweigh the negatives, go for it!

What are your naming issues? Is your brand name working?

Share your story in comments below.

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