This article was updated from a previous one published in 2014
There are many factors to consider when you name your consignment shop. Often at Traxia, we can tell very quickly the success a shop will have based on the name the shop owner chooses. Awkward spellings, long names or names that have nothing to do with their actual shop merchandise tend to spell failure. Use the following rules and we’re confident you’ll have a name that’s memorable and marketable for years to come.
When you name your consignment shop, make sure the name you choose is short, easy to remember and easy to pronounce. As I said earlier avoid long names. Two to three words at most, if possible. If you try to be overly clever and tweak a common word by spelling it differently, people might just end up pronouncing it incorrectly. It must be easy to spell in order for people to remember it.
When you name a consignment shop, your name should tell people who you are and what you do. Common names for consignment shops include words like, “Again,” “Repeat,” “Second” and “Twice.” If you are starting an upscale, trendy consignment boutique, you probably don’t want to name it “Betty’s Recycled Stuff.” Your name must fit the tone for the type of store you are wanting to open. Conversely, don’t use the word “Boutique” in your name if you are not opening a small, intimate and carefully curated shop. Choose a name that fits you, as well as what you are selling.
More than ever before, you need to be able to be found online. A domain name is the name (and subsequent online address) you choose for your website. There are so many websites these days that it is hard to find a good, short domain name that people can remember. However, it’s important to match the domain with the name of your consignment shop. A good place to start is Go Daddy.com. Just type in the name you are considering and see if it’s available. A “.com” domain is the most popular but it can be hard to find one. Be sure to check everything that might be available.
Once again, this is where doing your research is vital. You can find out if the name you are interested in is taken through your Secretary of State office. Search online by going to http://www.secstates.com/ and find your state office listing. Make sure you Google your idea too. The last thing you want is to pick a name that is similar to 10 other businesses in your area or is associated with something disreputable.
Make a list of the top 3 to 5 names you have in mind. Check each one carefully against the previous criteria. Consider getting feedback from family, friends and even strangers. Does it read well? Is it memorable? You want to know what feelings or thoughts your shop’s name evokes in the minds of others, but be careful not to weigh their thoughts too heavily. You know what you are trying to accomplish with your name.
Make sure this same name will sound good in 2 years, 5 years or even 10 years. Something that’s relevant and edgy today, may not even make sense down the road. Give yourself growing room. In other words, don’t name your shop “Repeat Purses” if you plan on adding clothing at a later date.
Finally, when you name a consignment shop be sure to take Alexandra Watkin’s “7 Deadly Sins to Avoid When Creating a Brand Name” SCRATCH test first.
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The terms “Brand” and “Branding” are widely used in marketing. To “brand” means to set your product apart by putting your identifying mark on it. According to Entrepreneur, your brand is derived from “who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.” Here are 5 easy steps to build your shop’s brand identity.
To define your store’s special brand, Entrepreneur asks you to answer these important questions:
What Is your store’s mission?
Can you list specific benefits and features of your store?
What do your current and potential shoppers already think about your store?
Can you list qualities you want them to associate with your store?
Your brand foundation is your logo. You need a solid, easy-to-read image that can be instantly recognized as you. Whether it’s your name in a particular typeface and color or an actual design image, make sure you use it consistently. Remember, this is the first impression a shopper may have of you so splash it across everything.
Although obvious, some shop’s forget that your profile photo is the picture that appears in a Facebook news feed comment, a reply or a retweet. Your profile picture should always be your logo. However, sizes vary for profile photos. What works for Facebook may not work for Pinterest, Instagram or other media sites. If your name and/or logo is a different shape or ratio than the standard size, consider recreating it into a square format. Never cut off any text or part of your logo design.
Much of this week’s newsletter ideas came from Facebook Marketing for Small Business by Christina Sullivan. She encourages businesses to be “crystal clear” when communicating their brand identity. Consistency is key. If you want to be known as the expert in consignment, resale or antiques then you need to communicate it. If you want to be viewed as a trend maker or the friendliest shop in town, then make that clear in every piece of advertising that goes out of your store. Choose your purpose. Then, come up with a slogan or tagline for your shop that matches.
Looking for a great way to communicate who you are and what you sell? Take advantage of the larger space on your Facebook and Twitter Cover Photos. Don’t be afraid to change it up. If you’re looking for customers to return time and time again, you have to give them something new and different. Use bold images and graphics. Make sure the typeface remains consistent through all of your headlines and subheads. As followers scroll through your Twitter and Facebook feeds, they should get a consistent feel for your business and your brand identity not only by what they read, but also by what they see.
Pinterest is also an area where you can easily build your brand. Create different boards that convey your message. A board titled, “Be In The Know” can be used to give history lessons on fashion, furniture or art. A board that features employees, owners and other staff can build your brand awareness as the friendliest place to shop. By remaining consistent you can answer all of the questions that define your brand.