You don’t need to be a professional brand consultant to know that your restaurant’s name should be memorable, but how do you actually come up with a name that’s easy to remember?
With so many businesses, products and services trying to grab the attention of consumers in today’s world, a good name has become more important to attract and retain the interest of a restaurant’s potential customers.
Good Names should Resonate with your Audience
This means that you need a lot more than a cool word and a tacky tagline to represent what you’re all about. You need to connect with your audience in a deep, meaningful and positive way even before they step foot into your place.
You can do all that with just a name? Well, yes and no.
Indeed, some names are able to communicate a lot about a restaurant’s food, the ambience or any of its particularly unique qualities. However, this is quite rare and you can’t expect a name to do everything, and any attempt to inject too many elements into a name may result in an inedible mess.
Good Names are a Vital Marketing Asset
On the other hand, what a name can do, is to be a great conversation starter. Good restaurant names are a lead-in to the story behind your place, which is where the meaning behind the name and business is shared. The story should complement the name and vice versa.
So, whenever people hear or see the name of your place, it’s more than just the actual word(s) that’s noted, it’s the entire story that’s shared.
By using this strategy of creating a name that’s intricately linked to the story behind the business, it enables you to incorporate a lot more elements to build a powerful brand instead of merely coming up with a name to call your restaurant.
If you need to, dig deep and do plenty of research to find out the facts about ‘What’s (really) in a Name’, as a lot of restaurant owners fail to appreciate the impact that a great name can have on their business.
Choose a Name your Customers will Appreciate
There are lots of good names and stories that you can choose, but bear in mind that the ideal ones should resonate with the audience who you’re trying to reach.
Always have your customer in mind, even before they walk into your establishment, or even before you open for business. When you’re coming up with a name, you should already be trying to understand what they like and the things that will appeal to them, including names.
When you put in all the hard work and deep thought to makeup a name and story, don’t do it for yourself, do it for the people who are going to spend money in your place and tell the whole world how awesome you are.
Don’t do it for your friends and family, especially if they do not fit the profile of your target customers. Once you’ve come up with a few possibilities or narrowed down your choices, get feedback from people who are similar to those that you’re trying to reach. If they like it, ask them why. If they don’t, make sure you understand why.
Research, Test and Get Feedback
The bottom line is – get out there and do your research. Too many people sit in a room and start tearing their hair out trying to create the perfect name without getting any opinions. This is a huge mistake.
You should seek out, mingle and talk with people who you want to be your customers. Find out what they think, find out what they like, find out what restaurants they go to, and why.
Remember, when you’re deciding on your restaurant’s name, you can test as many ideas as you want for free, just by doing a rough survey and talking to people. You can chop and change at any time and constantly refine a naming strategy or change it completely.
But once, you’ve done your signage, printed all your menus and confirmed the marketing collaterals, it’s not going to be easy (or cheap) to change the name. So, do all your research and come up with all your crappy ideas now, while you can still change it.