How important is the name of your brand? How do you actually go and find the right name for your brand?
What is the name of your brand? If there was to be a billboard with your products on it, what would the name be? Naming a brand is harder than starting the actual business. How do you find a name that represents everything about your brand?
When I started my blog in 2010, I was thinking for a name and the first one that came to me was 13 Woodhouse Road. If you google it, you will find Woodhouse Roads in a whole lot of places but not in Sangli - my twon. Then have you ever wondered why my brand is called that? Well, there is a story behind it.
When I got married, I moved into Sangli. I had a thriving business as an architect, but with a four month engagement, I had tied up most of the loose ends before I moved. Some, I was working remotely with some of my trusted friends helping out with the site visits. I had a lot of free time on hand! My Mother-in-law was teaching at a local college and so the house was set up to work without her. We had maids and cooks come in and take care of everything. She is a master at housekeeping - something I never got a hang of! I loved to read and so I was going through the house looking for something interesting to read.
I found an old telephone directory - it actually looked like a magazine and had numbers in 3 digits! It was that old. I looked up our family name in it and found it. The house phone (the last 3 digits of the current number are still the same) was listed under Mrs Vandana Dandekar (my MIL) - 13, Woodhouse Road. I was surprised and curious.
That evening, my Father-in-law told me the story behind it. The area that we live in was known as Woodhouse Extension in the pre-independence period. And ours was plot no 13 on the main road - aka Woodhouse Road. Later, the area was renamed Uttar (North) Shivaji Nagar and our address changed.
I had loved the story and it and stuck with me. Thats the reason when I thought about a name ofr my blog- 13 Woodhouse Road was the first one that came to my mind.
At that time, I was totally new to quilting. I had never used a sewing machine before. And I did not want to stand out in any way. Thats the reason I was not opting for a name that said India. I did not want people to come and look at my blog expecting to see some gorgeous Indian textiles and quilts, but see some amateur quilting efforts instead. My blog name helped me blend in.
In 2016, I bought my other domain name - www.shrutidandekar.com - because people had started knowing me by my name too. But 13 Woodhouse Road has stuck with me throughout and will be there.
Is it a broad and common word? (Eg. Apple) Or is it direct? (Eg. Funky Jewellry)
Can it be pronounced easily in the markets that you plan on selling? If you are planning to sell your stuff or offer your services to international customers, is the name easy to be pronounced by them? (Eg. Pradyumna might be a difficult word to pronounce for people not living in Maharashtra. Similarly, Chrysanthemum would be a very difficult name to remember for a rural Indian customer!)
If you are using multiple words, when combined (for website or hashtags) or made into an acronym, do they make a word with undesirable meaning? (Best example would be Therapist or the-rapist). If you are not sure, just ask your friends fluent in the language.
The name might not have any of these criteria, but you might want to stick to it. It’s totally okay! It’s your brand! My blog name falls in this category. Make sure to share the story of it so that it helps people remember you!
Sometimes the simplest names have the biggest impacts. When my husband started a multi-branded Laptop store, we pored over names for ages (I think it took longer to finalize the name than it took to set up the actual store). In the end what did we name it? “The Laptop Shop”. That way when people search (or ask for) a Laptop Shop – we are already recommended!