Today’s financial firms are faced with a host of marketing and messaging challenges that include: digital marketing, content strategy, website upgrades, search engine optimization and more. But without branding, firms are missing a large piece to the puzzle.
Of course, building and maintaining a strong brand has always been important. But in the current climate of the financial industry, it is critical that your brand stands out among the competition. How is your company going to rise above other financial firms who may be focused on different objectives? Even with all the marketing bells and whistles, it won’t be seen or heard without a good brand. And by the way, this isn’t just coming up with a cool logo. There’s much more so let’s get to it.
Putting A Name On It
Some would consider this to be the most difficult part of the process. You have a great idea or great company but where to even begin developing a name? For starters, it needs to be something catchy with different linguistic elements that resonate with your target audience. It’s easier than ever to create a business these days so be sure to thoroughly research the market or companies who have already used your company name ideas. The worst thing that could happen is moving forward with a name that’s already been taken. To avoid this, consider working with a trademark lawyer to keep you on the right track and assist with research you may not have considered.
When deciding on a name, dig deep into your target audience by creating what’s known as a “buyer persona.” During this stage of development, review your data, product offering, services, clientele and professionals, then create a profile of an ideal client. Get really detailed with this and put yourself in the shoes of your clients. Common questions that help build the buyer persona are:
- What’s their name?
- How old are they?
- What’s their profession?
- What do they do in their spare time?
- Why are they seeking your services?
Building a persona is helpful because even though you might like one name that sounds modern and cool, your target client may be an older demographic and prefer something traditional.
While brainstorming, gather the focus group in the boardroom so everyone can provide helpful feedback. Get perspective on different types of words to describe your firm first, then take those words and build them into name ideas. Consider compounding words together, removing letters and one-word names all while focusing on that one specialty service or cultural aspect of your company.
Now let’s say you decide on a name, then take it to an attorney to have it checked out and the name is already taken. Do not get discouraged! It doesn’t mean starting from scratch. One tip is to take the words from the original name and figure out which elements you like about it. Then make some tweaks. Due to the amount of all the trademarked names, you’re bound to run into this problem at some point.
Don’t forget to consider your digital presence once your name is close to being chosen. Check out website domains, Instagram and Twitter handles, Facebook page names, and other digital assets to make sure your name is available. If it isn’t, consider finding an alternative that’s easy for people to search.
Get creative and have fun with it because choosing a name doesn’t need to be stressful. In fact, embrace the creative process and brainstorm ideas with colleagues to develop a running list of names. The key is to make sure you do your due diligence.
How to Register for a Trademark
Registering for a trademark is easy and can take a few minutes by submitting your forms to www.uspto.gov. It never hurts to have your attorney or general counsel look everything over.
If you choose not to have an attorney, visit the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to see if another company has already beat you to the punch. Registering a trademark is only a couple hundred dollars. Overall, the entire process is quick, easy and cost effective.
Creating a Tagline
Even though financial services firms are traditional and need to portray a certain image it doesn’t mean you can’t look elsewhere for tagline inspiration. Look to the Nike’s and Disney’s of the world to develop an iconic tagline. Even turn to social media to see what companies are using as their branded hashtag. We’re not saying you need to come up with the next, “Just Do It” tagline but something short and sweet can get a point across in a memorable way.
Taglines don’t need to be witty and smart all the time. If it’s not part of your overall brand strategy, come up with something traditional. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it straightforward if it makes sense and serves a purpose.
Like company name searches, looking for social media handles when creating your company name is recommended. The difference is, instead of searching for handles, search hashtags. There’s a chance someone has already used your tagline as a hashtag so double check to see the imagery already associated with that hashtag.
If you can’t decide on just one tagline, come up with a few. Of course, the main one should be associated with all overarching branding. If your company has multiple business lines, present the option of creating a tagline for each one to add a little personality.
If choosing a name, trademark and tagline seems daunting at first, you are not alone. Many of us have experienced a similar feeling at some point. We’re confident you’ll make the right choice and if you have any questions about the process or need a little push in the right direction, reach out because we’re happy to help.
Interested in learning more about branding yourself and your business? Contact Gate 39 Media