How to Save Your Business From Drowning in These Common Naming Mistakes and Disasters

Numerous businesses have surrendered to disaster’s insatiable jaws because they undervalued the effect of their brand’s name on their business.

Businesses with poor brand names end up suffering difficulties because their brands, which were supposed to help them excel, ultimately turn into the origin of humiliation and grief.

This was precisely the case with Ayds Diet Candy, which was developed in 1941. It was considered the greatest appetite-suppressant sweet of its time. It maintained this reputation until the ‘80s when the public became aware of the terrible disease with the name AIDS.

Their company’s name, Ayds, strongly resembled AIDS, and that strongly impacted the brand’s sales, causing it to drop by half only after a few years.

However, many businessmen make the same error of selecting unappealing business names and failing to recognize when it is time to rebrand.

And to prevent the same tragedy that befell Ayds from happening to your brand, every founder must avoid these blunders when it comes to naming a business.

Words That Communicate Negative Meanings  

Photo By Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

People everywhere are actively choosing corporations that identify with them on things such as their views on politics and the environment. And in today’s market, it’s ideal for a business owner only to choose a brand name that communicates a positive and exciting meaning, especially on sensitive themes such as politics.

Customers are often biased when addressing personal issues. And if your brand decides to charge in and tackle these issues brazenly—even though not with its brand name—you’d only end up dividing your audience since people who aren’t in support of a specific movement would be less willing to buy your products. 

Pushing your business in the wrong direction with names like ‘Hitler’s Kitchen,’ ‘K.K.K,’ and Urban Decay’s ‘Druggie.’ Offensive names like these may trigger a backlash and make your brand a target for angry fans on Twitter. 

So, while naming your firm, avoid words like ‘Wanadoo,’ ‘Hitler’s Kitchen,’ and ‘Spank Me Santa.’ Also, avoid brand names like ‘Dumass Taco’ and ‘Analtech’ as they stir up negative images in the minds of your clientele.

Remember that customers have a difficult time differentiating between the acts of a founder or CEO and those of their company. Therefore, it is vital to avoid morally or politically delicate situations or to handle them with extreme prejudice; otherwise, your business may face harsh criticism like Mike Lindell’s, MyPillow, and Harry’s Razor and Gillette

Not Using Easy-to-Say Brand Names

While searching for the best business name, we recommend you avoid using technical words. Challenging brand names will end up losing your audience’s attention; no one wants to invest brainpower in figuring out how to correctly pronounce your company’s name.

People are attracted to simple, straightforward, and recognizable brand names since they are quick to recall and search for on the internet.

If your brand name is too complex, you run the risk of losing customers to competitors that have clearer, more creative, and interesting brand names. Over 80% of buyers forget a brand’s name after three days, and the simplest way to make yours unforgettable is to pick a brief and memorable name.

Now, many businesses don’t always act on the fact that they need an easy-to-understand brand name. And those that gave their brands solid names experienced a ton of success. A great example was how Instagram rebranded its name from ‘Burbn,’ which we admit is much more complicated than Instagram. 

Also, using a simple and appealing name gives your business a welcoming atmosphere, something that the most complicated name cannot achieve. The goal of naming your business should be to find a name that customers can instantly connect with. And the best way to achieve that goal is to ensure you find a name that’s easy to understand. 

Using Brand Names with Negative Foreign Meanings 

Ads travel very fast, and clients from all across the world can quickly find your brand and would not waste time tossing it aside if the name of your business is unpleasant in their language.

Every entrepreneur looking for the perfect brand name must extensively research their brand name to confirm that it’s not unpleasant to clients from other nations of the world. 

Tragically, some corporations have already made this mistake, and their brand names have been eaten up by their strange meanings in other languages. Mazda’s ‘Laputa,’ which means ‘The Whore,’ in Spanish, and the Iranian detergent ‘Barf’ are excellent examples.  

People in Spain were quick to criticize products and services like Mazda’s Laputa and Nokia’s hit phone, Lumia, which again happens to be a Spanish slang term for prostitute.

Always consider how people in different parts of the world will interpret and interact with your brand’s name.

Selecting Your Brand’s Name Based on Emotions 

We all know that naming something, whether a person or an object, requires a certain degree of emotional attachment. And just the same way every parent takes special care to give their children a sweet name, you too must devote the time to find a powerful name that’d give your business the best chances of success in the market. 

But while doing this, don’t get carried away, make an emotional decision, and choose a name you love, not what your customers would want. Picking a name based on your emotional attachment and not on research can hinder the growth of your brand. 

Backrub sounded great to Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but when you consider that the name struggles to align with their ‘search engine business,’ it becomes clear that Google was the better name option for the brand. 

And just the same way Sergey and Larry got their brand name from a customer who’s misspelt their brand’s name, you shouldn’t hesitate to run your brand’s name by a small group of your target audience and note their reactions. This would enable you easily pick a name that aligns with customers.  

Always Prioritize Your Customers  

Terrible brand names are typically the result of businessmen neglecting to prioritize the needs of their company, audience, and industry.

These businessmen wind up with weird brand names that don’t truly represent their firm, irritate customers, and are inappropriate for the market. As a result, it is vital for every entrepreneur to come up with a distinct brand name that everybody will want to connect with.

Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients such as Nestle, Dell, Nuskin, and AutoNation. 

Snehasish Konger
Snehasish Konger

Hey, I'm Snehasish Konger, the guy behind this website.
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