What’s in a name? Rather a lot it would seem. Think of a product you purchase or use on a regular basis. You know by the name alone what the product is and its use to you. When you hear the name you know what it means for no other reason than you are familiar with the brand.
Society teaches us that we must conform to certain standards that are classed as being ‘acceptable’, this means that we often look to others for guidance in regard to how we act or behave. The same is also true for the latest trends.
An introduction to popularity and trends
To understand this societal effect, we need to be aware of the factors that go into making something popular in the first place. In order for a trend to be started, someone needs to take the lead – to break the mould so to speak – to cutting a different path from the current one. This could be something as simple as a person notifying their friend of new song they’ve heard. The song gets passed from friend to friend, it begins to create a following merely by the fact that if one person likes it, perhaps others should too.
Something can become popular regardless of whether it is well-liked or not. By word being spread, anything can become popular – if someone makes their friend aware of X,Y or Z and those friends then tell their friends, it’s easy to see how something that started as a tiny speck on the horizon of popular culture can become massive almost overnight.
Think about it – we have so many forms of social media available, enabling us to connect with people on the other side of the world in an instant. When word of something spreads on the internet it is often regarded as going ‘viral’ and the reasons for this could be either positive or negative. The end result is always the same – the name becomes synonymous with the very thing that brought it attention in the first place.
Your name, your brand, your reputation.
Brands are important because they serve as a memory device, allowing the human brain to store information that can be recalled by the mention of the name alone. Our brains process so much information on a daily basis and only what we consider the most relevant and interesting is stored in our conscious mind. Although our brains retain every piece of information they receive, much of it is filed away and never thought of consciously again.
We’d all like to achieve some sort of notoriety – for the right reasons – but how we go about that in a society always hungry for the latest trends can be difficult to master. When there are so many popular and established brands available it can be almost impossible to break into the consciousness of popular culture.
But it can be done.
If you know how….
Secrets to Success
First and foremost, you need to set yourself apart from your competitors. You can achieve this by not following the trends of others and by being innovative, offering something different from others in the marketplace.
We know what brands are, how popularity is cultivated, we now need to know how this translates to search engine optimisation when it comes to websites and their presence on the internet. This is why choosing the right name for your company/website/product is vitally important.
Points to consider
Perhaps the most obvious example of effective branding is the fast food industry. Here are just a few examples:
- Burger King
- Kentucky Fried Chicken
- Pizza Hut
- Domino’s Pizza
- Taco Bell
Notice the one thing they all have in common – their brand name contains at least one key word, meaning that the consumer automatically knows what to expect when visiting one of these chains. This is vitally important when someone inputs these key words into a search engine – if you type in the word burger, the chances are that Google is going to rate Burger King pretty high in their list of search results.
When thinking of a name for your business/product/website, careful consideration needs to be given to how effective the name will be. It’s much easier when you are well established as consumers will already have an idea of who you are, what you do and whether yours is a brand they can trust.
The benefit of key words
Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple if your name is relatively unknown. This is why it’s a good idea to ensure that the name for your company/product/website contains at least one key word that is relevant to what it is you’re trying to sell – this will increase the chances of your website ranking higher in search engine listings – thereby optimising your search engine placement when an end user inputs key words that are relevant to your website.
Perhaps one of the most important elements to consider is the relative simplicity of the brand name itself. Names which are short and snappy are far more likely to be recalled rather than a long-winded one. Take the following examples for website names:
I think it’s fair to say that visitors are much more likely to click on the first link rather than the second. We can see just by a brief glance that everything we need to know and remember is covered in the shorter website name – we know who it is and what they do instantly – anything else we need to know can then be gleaned by visiting the site itself.
A case in point is the acronym we need to remember when deciding on a brand name: KIS – Keep It Simple. Don’t throw needless information at your visitors, give them just enough to pique their interest, encouraging them to click on your site instead. It’s rather like fishing – you need to provide the kind of bait that will draw the visitor’s eye to your website name before reeling them in.
As with anyone who is thinking of starting up a business, careful planning and consideration needs to be given to the image you wish to convey to potential customers. You need to know your competitors, spot their weaknesses and maximise the potential for exploiting gaps in the marketplace, while also making the most of current trends in popular culture.
It sounds very much like an oxymoron – that you need to be both similar to your competitors yet different enough to set yourself apart from them. This isn’t always an easy line to straddle and many small websites and businesses often fall at the first hurdle simply because not enough time and consideration has been put into their promotional strategy. Having a great product is all well and good but it’s not going to take off if you don’t know how to promote it.
Search engine optimisation can often be a difficult minefield to navigate – especially when one is trying to do so with little in the way of guidance on the best way to go about it. Choosing the right name and creating the type of brand that people feel they can trust is an excellent place to start.
Designing, creating and promoting your website may not be something that you have time to dedicate to personally. Our team at DonCharisma.com are experienced in all elements of web design and would be happy to assist you with your project, do contact us at http://DonCharisma.com/contact/ for further information.