In the recent times, startup businesses are adopting a popular strategy for naming their businesses; using human names. From ‘Alexa’, ‘Siri’, ‘Cortana’ to even ‘Alfred’, all these businesses have one belief in mind; introducing yourself to customers on a first name makes you personable and more approachable and therefore, more trustworthy. Giving their businesses a human name adds that human touch to it. Companies need to earn the trust of their customers, and what better way to achieve this than appealing to their human familiarity.
‘Siri’ and ‘Alexa’, for instance, are personal assistant apps that can help you with just about anything; making dinner reservations, or even finding the nearest fast food joint. ‘Alfred’, on the other hand, will help you decide between pasta or sushi for dinner. ‘Lulu’ is a women’s dating app while ‘Oscar’ is a healthcare app.
So, the ultimate questions are these; Is this marketing tactic best for you? Should you choose human names over other conventional ones for your brand? Although unsatisfying, the best we can go for is ‘maybe’. When naming your brand a human name, there are no set rules to follow. You only need to keep certain things in mind.
For brands that provide more personalized services, the human names could be a great bonus. For example ‘Alexa’ and ‘Siri’ have distinctive female voices that are perhaps a reminder of the executive secretary who is very much capable of handling even the most hectic office schedule. ‘Alfred’ is named after Batman’s trusted valet making it a really cool choice. ‘Oscar’, on the other hand, makes the dreadful visit to the doctor a bit more friendly and human.
Of course, if you are a life coach, counselor, or artist, giving your business brand your own name will be a good idea. However, you need to bear in mind that you simply can’t hand over the same business to somebody else. You are the company’s brand and if you leave, the brand equity goes with you.
There are several instances where naming your brand using a human name could be a disastrous move. You wouldn’t, for example, choose a human name for an app that regulates your insulin intake or your birth control shots. No matter what, no medical procedure involving syringes can be personalized! You may even at times end up choosing the wrong human name for your brand.
In the end, it all boils down to art and emotions. Any brand considering this approach must consider what feelings it invokes in their customers. You will need to choose a name that your customers reflexively associate to a positive feeling. Nailing the perfect name for your brand could be the difference between its success and its failure. Ultimately, the one question you need to answer if you decide to choose a human name is this: How can I make my customers more comfortable interacting with me on a first name basis?