Programming Fact Sheet
Russell Colbourne : Your Money Machine
Season 5 Episode 6 – Branding and Design
10 May 2021
Your business is Your Money Machine. Starting or growing a business has been likened to assembling an aircraft midway through its first flight. Having started and exited from a number of businesses including an Airline, I know what it takes to get your business off the ground. In this show, I’ll share some of the stories and lessons I’ve learned over my 30 years of entrepreneurial business experience as a Chartered Accountant with companies like Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. During season 5 we’ll be following a structured path to building a globally scalable, investable business based on the Founder Institute Pre-Seed Accelerator flagship program that will create a logical roadmap to success. I’ll take you through some real life business building examples including my recipes for creating high performing organisations and we will take a look at some the mistakes I made along the way and the lessons I learned from them.
This show won’t build your business for you – only you can do that, but I will show you how to build your business efficiently and effectively, so you won’t have to waste time and money doing things out of sequence, back tracking over work already done or making the same mistakes I and many others have made before you.
Branding and design can help you develop a memorable brand, logo and name that will resonate with your target customers. We’ll go over the characteristics that make a good name and brand, the infrastructure you need when you pick your name, and the social media platforms you should be looking to get your name into.
What You Need to Know - The What
#1 (Competitor Names) Examine the company names of competitors.
#2 (Naming Words) Identify a series of words to help you determine a final name
#3 (Name Brainstorming) Use combinations of the Naming Words to develop a series of business names,
#4 (Feedback) Share the Name Candidates with your close friends.
#5 (Name Research) Research the availability of the Name Candidates
#6 (Name Testing) Interview 5 people with your Name Candidates.
#7 (Final Name) Consider all of the feedback you have received and select your Final Name.
#8 (Name Failure) Spend some time to reflect on why your Final Name may fail to get brand recognition or fail to resonate with your target customers.
#9 (Domain Names) Register various domains related to your Final Name on a domain registrar.
#10 (Social Media) Register the Final Name or a shortened version of the Final Name on all major relevant social media channels.
#11 (Design Resource) Identify a Design Resource
#12 (Design Specification) Start design work for your Final Name.
#13 (Email) set up an email system for the Main Domain of your Final Name
#14 (Mockup Feedback) Secure feedback on your Mockup from target customers.
What You Need to Do - The How
#1 (Competitor Names) Examine the company names of competitors. Use multiple web and mobile application search platforms, such as Google, Linkedin, CrunchBase, AngelList and the App Store, to identify at least 15 companies with a competing offering, in a related industry, or with a similar value proposition in a different industry. Rank order the names in terms of memorability, ease of pronunciation and applicability to the market. Write the name of the company in order, the URL for the company and think about why you like or dislike the company name.
#2 (Naming Words) Identify a series of words to help you determine a final name, even if you already have a name. Create a bulleted list of at least 50 short nouns and adjectives that evoke the characteristics of your One Customer Problem. Use words that may have been used in various Customer Interviews or in the Customer Archetype, as well as the feelings that you want to evoke in customers. Ask yourself questions to be creative with the words, such as what animal, object, color, body part, fruit, person's name or shape best describes the Customer Problem?
#3 (Name Brainstorming) Use combinations of the Naming Words to develop a series of business names, even if you already have a name. Print out a list of your naming words, and start combining the words or portions of the words into business names. Use tools like Rhymezone and Portmanteaur to help you brainstorm. Create a bulleted list of five Name Candidates, which may include the name that you are currently using.
#4 (Feedback) Share the Name Candidates with your close friends and solicit their feedback on the best names. Eliminate two of the five Name Candidates based on feedback. If too many names are eliminated, then develop more Name Candidates in the Name Brainstorming and try again.
#5 (Name Research) Research the availability of the Name Candidates. Check the availability of the combined words as a domain name, preferably a.com or a.co. You may also consider some of the alternative or newer top-level domains, such as a.group or.app. Search the Name Candidates on Google and examine the results for related businesses or entities. Check to ensure that the Name Candidates are not similar to the Competitor Names. If any Name Candidate does not have a suitable domain name, has crowded search results or is too similar to a Competitor Name, then develop more Name Candidates in the Name Brainstorming and try again.
#6 (Name Testing) Interview 5 people with your Name Candidates. Identify five potential customers that resemble your Customer Archetype, which may be individuals from your previous customer interviews. Organize a 15 minute call or meeting with each individual. During the call or the meeting, provide an overview of the business without saying any of the Name Candidates. Then, state that you are evaluating names, and say each of the three Name Candidates. After stating the name, ask the participant to spell the name first, and then ask for any first impressions of the name. Write the name of the potential customer plus a bulleted list of their feedback.
#7 (Final Name) Consider all of the feedback you have received and select your Final Name. Refine your one sentence pitch and pitch your business to at least 10 random. At the end of your pitch, ask the individuals to repeat the Final Name back to you and spell the Final Name. Ask the individual to say if they have a positive, a negative or an indifferent reaction to the Final Name. Create a bulleted list that contains if each of the individuals was able to recall and spell the name, as well as their positive, negative or indifferent reaction to the name.
#8 (Name Failure) Spend some time to reflect on why your Final Name may fail to get brand recognition or fail to resonate with your target customers. Is it too hard to pronounce? Is it too hard to remember? Is the domain too complicated? Is it too abstract? Is it too literal? How does it compare to the names of other companies in the space? Write one paragraph that outlines your concerns on why the Final Name will fail. If the concerns are serious, repeat Final Name exercise with an alternative Final Name candidate.
#9 (Domain Names) Register various domains related to your Final Name on a domain registrar. First, register your Main Domain, preferably as a.com, and then register all logical misspellings, which may include pluralization and mistakes when typing the name quickly. Next, register the Final Name on other top level domains, such as.net, .co and local domain variations.
#10 (Social Media) Register the Final Name or a shortened version of the Final Name on all major relevant social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram, using a service like Knowem.com. Try to keep the Final Name in a consistent form across all social media channels.
#11 (Design Resource) Identify a Design Resource to complete a professional logo, business cards, pitch deck template, Landing Page and initial mock-ups. You may choose to use a local design freelancer or an online freelance service.
#12 (Design Specification) Start design work for your Final Name. Write a Design Specification for a Design Resource to complete a professional logo, business cards, pitch deck template, Landing Page and initial mock-ups.
#13 (Email) set up an email system for the Main Domain of your Final Name, preferably a.com domain, on an email hosting provider, which may be your domain registrar, like Name.com. First, create email addresses for yourself and any other part-time or full-time resources using a first_name.last_name@ formatting structure. Next, create a series of email aliases for key functions of the business, such as sales@ and support@, that redirect mail to the appropriate person. Test all of the above emails to be sure they work. Use your new email address for The List mailings going forward.
#14 (Mockup Feedback) Secure feedback on your Mockup from target customers. Research best practices to collect customer feedback on a Mockup or Concierge MVP. Take two customers from your Customer List and walk them through the full Mockup or provide them with the solution through the Concierge MVP. Collate a bulleted list of qualitative and quantitative feedback from each of the two customers on their experience.
Written by Russell Colbourne, FCCA, GAICD
Your Money Machine
Russell is a CFO and Entrepreneur who has worked across a diverse range of industries over the past 30 years. After a short service commission as a pilot flying Seaking Helicopters in the British Royal Navy, Russell studied business and qualified as a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) in the UK. Since then he has been integral with the start-up of many successful companies and operations within larger organisations. He has bought, sold and spun off business operations in the UK, Australia and the US.
In 1994 Russell joined Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airlines where he was responsible for a number of innovative services that were, at the time, ground breaking and helped revolutionise air transport. From launching the world’s first limo boat on the River Thames to developing the world’s first handheld check-in device and implementing drive through check-in booths around the world, Russell has helped the Virgin Group deliver unparalleled customer service. In 2000 Russell was the first of the Virgin team to arrive in Australia to start a new low cost Airline, and within 8 months had built a team operating flights between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Russell now works as a Part Time CFO for a number of SME businesses in South Australia. He is the owner of www.chiball.com.au a health and wellbeing business, and www.feesable.co a crowdfunding website for educational costs. In 2019 Russell and his business partner Peter Hattam created Feesable which graduated from the Founder Institute Program in 2020. He is one of the local Directors of the Founder institute Program in Adelaide where he lives with his wife and 3 teenage sons.
To find out more about the Founder Institute program and how you can take your idea to a globally scalable, investable business, please see www.fi.co The material used in this show is based on the Founder Institute program and is used with permission.
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