When building your new business, brand, product, app, or just about anything else, you’re likely excited about finding the perfect name. This excitement may drive you to decide on a name before you complete a business plan, lay out your strategy, and define your target audience.
While this may seem like an ideal order to do things, creating your name without first defining your target audience is actually a big mistake, which can negatively affect your projects in the future. Keeping your target audience in mind when naming your business will ensure that your name appeals to your ideal customer and evokes appropriate and meaningful associations with them.
Here are three reasons you should use your target audience to guide your naming decision:
Names can remind us of experiences
Most common words have experiences associated with them. For example, when we hear the word “apple”, we immediately think of hundreds of associations – everything from eating our mother’s apple pie to visiting an orchard on a crisp day to reading stories like Johnny Appleseed.
By choosing words that your target audience will already have positive associations with, you are making your path. Apple likely used this strategy when naming their company – minus the occasional worm – Apple’s association with something natural, common, real, and delicious, set them far apart from their competition at the time, and aligned them with a preexisting positive association already developed in their customer’s minds.
Names can appeal exclusively to your target audience
If you plan out your target audience correctly, they’ll likely have similar tastes, experiences, wants, needs, and likes. Tailoring your name to align with that which is already shared by your target audience makes your name personally meaningful to each member of your target audience.
Naming specifically for your target audience may also have the added benefit of making it slightly elusive to other, “outside” groups, which creates a loyal in-crowd around your brand. This strategy may not work for all brands, but many companies have deployed this method successfully.
Names can evoke specific feelings in your target audience
Many words can bring up specific emotions in your target audience. Harnessing the power of these words when naming your company can help your target audience to understand and connect with your brand on a deeper level.
An emotional word like “force” worked very well for SalesForce, which was targeting a very motivated and passionate audience – salespeople. Similarly, the rustic and experiential name Sage & Saddle Outpost, picked by a Squadhelp Customer, is perfect for the Bed, Barn, and Breakfast. Its target audience of nature and horse lovers can almost feel the rustic cabins, campfires, and leather saddles.
Why your target audience matters in naming
When naming your company, it’s clear that keeping your target audience in mind is essential to finding a name that has a powerful impact. Your name can not only evoke memories of positive experiences, but it can also bring up certain feelings and a sense of “being in the know” that will be attractive to your target audience. Don’t miss the opportunity to use your target customer’s pre-established experiences and emotions to connect deeply and elicit action from your target audience.