How important is your business name?
11 February 2014
Derby College wanted to launch a new brand aimed at executive education and management training.
The new brand needed to be positioned as a premier national provider of innovative leadership and management training courses and professional development.
The brief was to create a name for the new, innovative ‘full cost’ training proposition.
The name must convey a market-leading image which clearly differentiates the Colleges’ offer from its competitors. Given the national reach of this new brand, combined with the full costs proposition – the new offer ideally needed to be divorced from Derby College.
There are many things to consider when creating a new brand – but the name is probably the most crucial, as it will embody in words, the values you want to project. It needs to be something the target audience can grasp and is memorable. A name which makes people think and leaves a positive impression.
The process for developing a new brand name is part creative, part research, part sales
1 - Creative solutions to developing a new name
Quiet Storm have developed an extensive process to channel thinking when developing a brand or business name. It requires the understanding of what the new product or service is, who it is aimed at and where it is to be positioned in the market. So when working through this process one aspect of the clients ‘assets’ was their building.
The ‘Roundhouse’ is a Grade II listed building, built in 1839 and given Guinness World Record status in 2012 as the oldest surviving railway Roundhouse in the world. The crumbling remains of The Roundhouse had been restored into a truly unique learning centre for Derby College.
To the Quiet Storm team, this shone out as a fantastic example of innovative thinking – repurposing an old derelict building into a fantastic showcase. By day an inspirational learning centre, by night one of the countries most impressive events venues. Even the word ‘roundhouse’ challenged thinking. If you asked someone to draw a house, it would be square not round. Plus roundhouses were places of community, debate in older settlements. The name made people think!
Using this combined with the word ‘thinking’ was developed as strong candidate together with several others.
2 – Research solutions to developing a new name
Understanding where and how the brand name is to be used, means doing ‘due dilligence’ on the research front. Typically this boils down into three areas:
Domain Name Search: www.roundhousethinking.co.uk .com & .net were all available
Companies House Search: Roundhouse Thinking was not currently registered at Companies House
Trademark Search: “Roundhouse Thinking” was not registered as a UK or (European) Community trade mark and therefore it was available for use and registration.
3 - A name is very subjective – so selling the concept in needed to be as well thought out as the name itself.
Developing the name is only ever a part of any branding project, getting the buy in from those who will ‘live and breath’ it for years to follow is the first critical step to success. The internal client audience for any marketer is always the toughest crowd. They each have a concept in their mind, not yet fully formed but enough to make their individual instinctive response become an instant red or green light.
To ensure the team at Derby College who were responsible for the new brand were on board, a full day was put aside. This was so they could fully immerse themselves in the project. Understand the qualities of the new brand and align their individual ideas with the thought process the Quiet Storm team had been through.
When ROUNDHOUSE THINKING was proposed, everyone in the room loved it –but the initial reaction was a cautious one. This was because of the direct link it had with the college. However when tested with a wider audience by the group, it was a unanimous success.
“The name was perfect for the new brand of education and clients we had in mind. However the real proof would be how it helped us grow and develop. Names always project an instant first impression. Some of our audience would know and visualise the building, some would not know about the building or its remarkable history.
Today as a recognised leader in innovative leadership and management training courses and professional development – I can happily report the name as a triumph!”
Business Development Director