Communicating with consumers via their preferred channel is vital for business success in the digital age. Messaging, in particular, is becoming an increasingly important way of keeping in touch with customers.
With so much happening on the WhatsApp platform, customers want to know their transactions are secure, and that the companies they're speaking to are genuine. Luckily, the WhatsApp Business API is a simple way for businesses to build digital trust with customers.
WhatsApp requires companies to create their own Business Profile to reassure users that the business is legitimate and has been verified by the platform. The first piece of business information required to get verified on WhatsApp is a company's Display Name.
Getting Verified on WhatsApp
Display Names do exactly what you'd expect: They display the relevant business name when customers connect with a company via WhatsApp. Display Name formats are strictly controlled to make sure the company's WhatsApp presence is recognizable and trusted, as well as to provide a consistent user experience across the platform.
The Display Name is required to create a certificate, without which the WhatsApp Business API client won't work. You can either get a base64-encoded certificate, or you can download a certificate file. This is needed later in the registration process, so be sure to keep it safe.
Creating a Compliant Display Name
A Display Name must have a clear relationship with the business, or a service, department, or test account within it. Organizations can include charities, churches, professional associations, and both for-profit and non-profit companies.
Individual people's names such as "Jane Smith" are not eligible Display Names, nor are generic descriptions such as "Florist," a geography like "New York", or a slogan like "Best pancakes on the West Side." Organizations linked to a government must gain prior approval before registering for the WhatsApp for Business API.
Getting the Details Right
There are various rules when it comes to making a company's Display Name compliant with WhatsApp's requirements, but best practice comes down to one crucial factor: It should be written the same way as your business name is written elsewhere. It's all about brand consistency (e.g. your company's website).
This means the Display Name must:
- Have grammatically correct capitalization and not be in all caps (unless the business uses an acronym). For example, "Jenner's Store" not "JENNERS STORE."
- Not be shortened or abbreviated, so "Tony's DIY Supplies" cannot be shown as "Tony's DIY."
- Avoid added spaces. If the brand is "Home-Front," the Display Name cannot be "Home - Front" (with spaces added).
- Contain no extra punctuation, emojis, or symbols. "Happy Times Takeaway" must not become "Happy Times' Take-away™️" or "😊 Times Takeaway."
- Be at least three characters: "AA Cars" must use "AA Cars," not just "AA."
- Not be a URL like sallyscupcakes.com, when the business is known as "Sally's Cupcakes" everywhere else.
The only exception is if the company is already branded using these terms, such as "💖Unicorn Florists💖" or "wobblywebdesign.com."