When thinking about what to call this blog, I first thought about what I wanted to feature in it. What would I talk about? What would I be sharing? I had such a broad scope of ideas that I realized that it was just a reflection of my own quirkiness... and then it hit me... Manarisms... yeah...Yeah...YEAH!!
I ran with it without even thinking about. I liked it and that's the title I wanted to use. Naturally, I thought this was such a clever discovery unique to myself. I mean, who would ever use "Manarisms" in this way, with this kind of spelling, in this kind of context and in a blog no less??
Psshh no one of course...
Her name is Manar. And it appears she beat me to the punch seeing as this website has been floating around since at least 2008. My original breakthrough title wasn't so original after all. :(
I discovered this website when I decided to register the domain name. There is a kind of excitement when buying online real estate. I have my own little portfolio of domains, but thats another story. Anyway, as an after thought I realized I should get the domain.
So here I am, all excited to register a domain that of course no one would ever have. I'm about to register my new domain that is totally unique to me and I'm such a brilliant guy for thinking of it...
WAIT! WHAT!? WTF!?!? Let me type that in again. There must be some mistake...
WHO THE HELL WOULD USE THAT STUPID TITLE!?!?
And there it was! It was a slap in my face... MANARISMS...
Who are you? WHO ARE YOU!??
I started clicking every button on the site. Reading through posts and investigating and trying to find out who the person was that stole my title before I even thought of it. How dare he/she? I wasn't sure at the time.
Immediately from the home page my first impression of this person was that of a political activist. She had videos of the civil unrest in Egypt, feminist articles, voting rights etc. This was a pretty serious website. I then started looking at the rest of her posts and the type of content she posted. Some of the posts where written in Arabic so I didn't understand, but the videos that she posted were clear. These were her political views, serious views.
Oh man. How do you compete with that? I cannot discount this one person's personal political views to make room for my own whimsical topics. Who am I to do that? My only connection to this person was that we both wanted to wake up the world in our own little way - to show people another side of life, but the only thing is... we were both at opposite ends. Her showing the dark harsh realities of her world and me wanting to show the lighter fun side of my world.
My anger left quietly.
It then occurred to me to look at her last blog post - February 10, 2012. Hmmm. Inactive? I searched for contact info. I clicked the Facebook link and lead me to Manar's Facebook profile. She appeared to be a happy person with a smiling profile photo. Last activity was in January 2013. Hmmm.
I decided to send her a message as a courtesy to her. I wanted to let her know how I came up with this very same title, that it was completely coincidental and that I felt it was the right thing to do to inform her of it. I also wanted to find out what her plans were for her website, seeing as it has been inactive for over 2 years. How does someone who was very active and passionate about her political views suddenly stop? I didn't want to speculate. I just hoped to reach her.
so, what now?
It occurred to me that I made a rookie mistake when it comes to creating a brand name. I didn't research the name until it was too late. I had already posted my first blog post using the name. Friends liked it and I was proud of myself for cleverly thinking of it. Now what do I do when I eventually find out that that name is not original and some one else owns it? Naturally, I should blog about it and tell the world of my fumble.
So in light of my recent fail I shall share the lessons I've learned on what I should have done in developing a brand name.
1. Slow your roll homie!
I just thought of the most clever title for my blog! That's it! I'm done! I need not look or think any further! WRONG! Slow down! Don't be so impulsive. You may have thought of the most awesomest name on the planet, but how awesome is that really when you find out it's already taken? Don't just take the first name that pops into mind. Write a few names down. Think them through.
Your brand name must stand out. Having said that, it doesn't have to be some ultra cryptic name that no one understands. Keep it simple and sometime less is more. You have to keep in mind several things - Is this brand name memorable? Is it catchy? Is it relatable? Will people understand it? Can they spell it? How will this look graphically? Can this translate into a website? Does the name match the end product?
For me, I felt using "Mana" and "mannerisms" together was a great play on words. A trait that us Filipinos exploit to an extreme degree. It was perfect! The problem lies in the fact that I felt that any other name failed in comparison to Manarisms simply because I thought this was too good already. Was I really that clever and lucky enough to have thought of such a unique name at my first go? Clearly no. Should I have thought of others anyway just in case. Absolutely.
2. Check yourself before you wreck yourself!
Research! This is kind of a chicken and egg thing. Many times, I check for domain availability first when thinking of a brand name. It's usually the deciding factor of whether or not I pursue the name at all. If the domain name is not available or I'm stuck with certain domain extensions like .biz or .org. It's not worth my time to pursue the name. An online presence is key and if there are other brands out there with the same name you're probably better off thinking of something else.
You finally narrowed your choices to a couple of names. Now do your research. Check out sites with similar names. Check out competition. Can your brand name be confused with other brands? Weigh out all the pros and cons to your potential names and then decide which one will give you the best recall and online presence.
3. "It's nice...but..."
The last thing you wanna hear, but it's probably the most important thing you HAVE to hear. Ask family and friends to help you decide. Get some input and opinions on peoples initial reaction to your brand name. Testing your brand name in the real world is far more effective than it is in your imaginary world. Everything sounds so nice and perfect in your head, but how will other people react to it?
Bounce off ideas with people you trust. You never now when the next wave of brilliance comes hitting you on the head. Your best idea is only as good until your next best idea comes rolling in. If you find yourself stuck with a whole bunch of awesome brand names, then I think you have a happy problem. Deal with it and push forward!
4. Ideas are like one-night-stands
Ever have a great idea and then you sleep on it and then suddenly it isn't that great the next day? Your "beer goggles" are off and you look at your great idea and think, "What the hell was I thinking!?" It's happened to me many times. And I've learned this one very important lesson whenever I have a sudden burst of ideas and thoughts. I sleep on it. If the next day, I still feel all giddy and warm and fuzzy about it, then I know its a keeper.
Treat your brand name with the same respect. If by the next morning you feel you should maybe slip out quietly, then do so and never look back. But if you are in love with your brand, then treat it with the respect and dignity it deserves. Build that relationship and make it flourish. People will be looking at you two in smiles and adoration.
For now, my own Manarisms will remain as a small part of my main website - just a light hearted blog that brings in a little magic and wonder every now and then.
I'll have you know that I woke up this morning still feeling giddy about my blog title. I still believe that it is a good representation of what I plan to bring to this blog. I can only hope that Manar approves of it. I do hope to hear from her, maybe even become friends.
Thanks for dropping by and have a great week ahead!