reede, 12. detsember 2014

Founder Institute: Week 4 – Naming and Positioning

“Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”- Howard Schultz



This week’s session was all about naming and positioning your start-up. Here are a few questions we focused on:

·         How do you develop a good name for your business?
·         How do you position the business with a name?
·         What characteristics make a good name?
·         How do you test different name candidates?
·         What infrastructure do you need when you pick your name?
·         Are there tips to finding a good domain name?
·         What social media platforms should you look to get your name on?
·         How do you develop a logo?
·         Does a name really matter?

Our mentors

This weeks mentors were Rauno Rüngas the CEO of Qminder and Kati Nikopensius CEO & co-founder of Uschanka, former CEO & Co-founder of Prototron fund, Member of Advisory Board OF SA Entrum and Business Developer & Co-founder at TESENSO.





12 pointers from the mentors on naming and positioning your start-up

1.      When brainstorming for a name with your team – don’t vote for it! You might not end up choosing the best name. Compromising means that nobody wins.
2.      Companies that start with letters which are in the beginning of the alphabet defenetly have an advantage. Alphabetical order is used everywhere. So if you want to end up in the beginning of the list choose a name that starts with a,b,c…. Think of Apple or Angry Birds.
3.      Choose a name which you feel comfortable saying anywhere anytime. It should be about 6-8 letters.
4.      The name has to be memorable, easy to spell and passionate. It can be literal or have no meaning at all. What does Google mean? Nothing! But it’s GOOOGLEEE!
5.      Make sure that the name you choose doesn’t mean anything else in a different language, also that it’s not slang for something inappropriate.
6.      Before entering the market with your new name, make sure no one else is already using it. This means do your RESEARCH! Easiest way is to just Google it! Lawsuits are expensive!
7.      If you are interested in doing business with big corporations choose a name that doesn’t say that it’s a start-up. Big corporations like to do business with other corporations. They are conservative and like to play it safe. Working with corporations also helps you position yourself with a large successful business.
8.      The name of your domain can add value. For example if you are selling something technical then the Swizz domain shows that your product is made in Switzerland. We all have heard about the solid, top noch Swizz quality.
9.      If you want people to find your company online then choose a domain that is not very specific to one field. For example .io is mostly only known my software developers rather then the wider public.
10.  Don’t choose a domain of an unstable or dictatorial country. Your homepage might be shut down any minute and you have no control over it!
11.  Your logo should be something memorable and connected to your company’s name. A lot of businesses use animals. For example MailChimp the logo says: „ Even a chimp can do it“ or Twitter with its bird tweeting.
12.  When choosing colours for your logo, statistics show that blue is one of the most popular colours of most people. Yet again think of Facebook or Twitter. Green and red are also used a lot as they are easy on the eyes.

Assignment for our founders

Here is one of the assignments that our founders have to do this week in order to find the most suitable name for their start-up. Feel free to try it at home!
·         Use the Worksheet to select your 3 top Name Candidates, and ensure that they have the following 3 attributes: (1) they evoke the qualities of your business, (2) they can be spelled phonetically, and (3) they have a .com or .co domain name available. Write 1 paragraph on why you like each of the 3 Name Candidates.

·         Start using your top Name Candidate in day-to-day conversations over 24 to 48 Hours. Ask at least 20 people the following question: “why do you think this is a bad name for my business?” Write a couple sentences on the top 3 pieces of negative feedback that you receive.

·         If the top Name Candidate gets too much negative feedback, repeat the Name Testing process with another Name Candidate until you have one that works for your business, your Final Name.