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Author Biography:

Catherine McGinnis  is the creative mind behind Soaping101. Catherine earned her MBA, Summa Cum Laude from MSU. With a background in marketing and a keen eye for design, soap making was a perfect fit. She founded newt+fig Soaps which soon gained a faithful following and led to requests for video tutorials. She now helps Soapmakers sharpen their skills through free online classes. www.Soaping101.com



Brand Yourself
By Catherine McGinnis Friday, December 19, 2014
What's in a name? Everything. Your parents chose your first name at birth and it has shaped your identity ever since. What if your name was different or changed, would you lose your sense of uniqueness? Quite possibly yes. Branding identifies and differentiates in the eyes of consumers.

Choosing a name and image for your company should be met with careful consideration. Your brand is who you are, who you want to be and who people recognize you to be. Defining your brand is a passage of occupational reflection. It should be multifaceted, deliberate and thoughtprovoking. Consider these guidelines when choosing a brand name.

Domain Name

Even if you do not intend to sell online, having a web presence is a must for any business. Your URL should be reflective of your brand so opt to make the name internet friendly. Meaning it should be short enough to remember and easy to spell. The fewer the number of words the better.

When exploring names look for those that do not duplicate others. Your company is unique as you are and your brand should refl ect this. Before you settle on a name, run an internet search to ensure that the domain is not already in use. There is nothing more distressing then coming up with the perfect brand name only to discover that it is in use by someone else. Imitation is said to be the highest form of flattery except in the instance of brand identity.
 

Translation and Pronunciation

How does your brand name translate to another language? Is it easy to pronounce? Consumers will fail to remember your company if they cannot pronounce your name. You may be forever branded as What's Its Name Soap Company. Additionally, consumers could be displeased if your brand name translates to a negative meaning in another language. Keep in mind that America is the melting pot of many cultures.

Syntax

If you choose a name with an usual spelling or if you create an amalgam (a name created by taking parts of words and putting them together) as your brand name, be prepared to defend it. Defend it in the sense that consumers are sure to ask the meaning or inquire as to its origin. This in itself is a golden opportunity to draw interest and communicate your company's story.

Breadth

Is your brand name general enough for product line additions? You may start out selling only soap with the intent of adding other products as your company progresses. Ending your name with a breadth term leaves the possibilities open. Soapery, Soapworks or Bath & Body are three such examples. Try to avoid using words such as Sundries, which is defined as not important enough to be mentioned individually; or Such, which is too vague and indescriptive. Look for names that define you and your brand significane.

Meaningful

Is there a name or phrase that encompasses your enthusiasm for soap making? Consumers adore companies that they can connect with. Make it personal. Sell yourself and your passion through your identity. If your name means something to you, it will show through in your brand.

Stand out from the competition by generating an interest in what your company offers. Making your band name too descriptive may create boredom in the eyes of the consumer. Excite and create a sense of curiosity that will make the consumer want to learn more. Sustaining interest should be one of your primary goals.
 

Logo and Tagline

Brand names and logos work together. Ensure that consumers can identify your logo with your brand name. People are more able to recall from their visual memory, thus associating your brand name by its logo. Choose a name that allows you freedom in the creative approach to your logo design.

Does your company's tagline correspond with your brand name? They should express the same narrative. Your tagline should not replace your brand name but rather add value. If the two send conflicting messages, you may want to reevaluate your idea. Use the duo to your advantage by reinforcing and strengthening the consumer's recollection of your brand.

Just as your birth name lasts your lifetime, the name you give your business will last the life of the company. Your objective should be to invoke clarity and gain recognition. Be as unique and clever as the products your create.


 
 
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