One of the most crucial steps in starting a business is naming it–and a daunting one too. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in—if you work in an established company or a startup, getting and protecting your business name is critical for growing your brand and increasing value for your clients.
Not only does it help make it clear to potential customers what kind of company they’re buying from (and how they can work with them), but it also helps build trust with potential investors and other stakeholders in the business.
While many people have an idea of how they would like their company name to be, they may not necessarily know how to go about achieving it. If you feel unsure about how to go about choosing the perfect business name for your brand, this just the read you need.
Follow me as I give you a step by step guide on how to choose the perfect brand name for your business.
Step By Step Guide On How To Choose The Perfect Business Name For Your Brand
Choosing a business name requires thorough consideration and foresight. A great brand name can help you build a strong business. The following steps will help you avoid common pitfalls faced by business owners when choosing the perfect business name.
Define Your Brand
Choosing a great business name is important for setting the tone and building your brand. Before you begin, it’s important to define your brand. What is your brand? How does it fit into the market? What is its personality? What is its purpose and mission? And finally, what are its values?
Think about your brand personality and decide how you want potential customers to see your business. The name should not only convey brand personality, style and brand promise uniquely but also communicate what makes your brand different from the competition.
To answer these questions, you have to describe what your business does—think about who you are, what you do and why you do what you do.
Some ways that can help with this are:
- Using keywords that people would search for in Google or Facebook ads (e.g., “organic,” “natural,” “small business”). This can give you some ideas.
- Describing what your company does in a single sentence (e.g., “We help small businesses grow”).
Choose A Memorable Yet Unique Business Name
Choosing a great business name takes reflection, research and most of all, creativity. It can be quite tricky though because of the many factors involved. However, this breakdown will definitely make the process less tasking for you.
- First things first, keep it simple.
- Next, choose something that stands out from the rest and will help people recognize your product or service easily when they hear about it. Is it a shoe brand? Think of something unique that resonates with footwear.
- Be descriptive. While being descriptive, take care not to be boring or vague. Avoid general or collective names too. e.g., Fray Makeover Services.
- Then, consider how easy it will be for others to pronounce the name PROPERLY—no one can memorize something they can’t pronounce (or don’t even try pronouncing. Lol) If someone has trouble pronouncing your business name correctly, then you might have a problem getting(or keeping) customers!
- Make sure it’s easy to spell. You want your name to be memorable and easy for people who have to type out the name every time they want to refer to you, so don’t pick something that’s too long or complicated.
- You want something that sounds good when spoken aloud too. Quality should not sound inferior.
- Also, make sure that there aren’t any other companies with the same spelling and pronunciation already registered(even in other markets/industries)—over time, it will drive potential customers away from your brand because they won’t know what you’re talking about when someone mentions “XYZ Company.”
Alexandra Watkins, the chief innovation officer of Eat My Words, a San Francisco-based naming company says, “Any time you have to explain your name or apologize for it, you’re just devaluing your brand”. I agree.
Consider Trademark And Domain Issues
Before settling on a business name, you must consider trademark issues. Ensure the name is not infringing on any trademarks. You can do this by checking the trademark database and also by searching for your chosen name on Google, Yahoo!, Bing and other search engines. If there are no results for your proposed name, that could be a favorable indication that it is in no violation of someone else’s trademark rights.
Also confirm the availability of a related domain name by researching potential domain names(motivation.africa).
If you find out that another business has registered a similar domain name or logo with their logo owner, there are three things you can do;
- If the domain name you want is a parked one, you can buy it. It’ll cost you, but if it’s an oomph name, it’ll be worth it.
- You can modify the domain name to reflect your brand. For example, if your shoe brand name is Kiks and kiks.com is taken as a domain name, you can try rockthatkik.com or rockyourkik.com.
- Lastly, you can consider changing your chosen brand name.
Think Way Into The Future
You want a name that is scalable (easily adaptable to any adjustments that might be made in the future). For instance, if you sell just lipsticks, you might decide later on to include other makeup items or if you’re based in a certain area, you might decide to move or expand. So choose a name that you can grow with.
Consider Using Your Own Name If It’s A Sole Proprietorship
If you’re a sole proprietor, you can consider using your name in light of the previously mentioned factors. Some personal names make really good business names too. However, this is not advisable for startups because your name does not adequately convey anything about the brand to potential customers. It could also pose problems in case you want to sell the brand in future.
There are rare cases though, where this does not pose much of a threat even to startups – when the personal name can be creatively woven into the brand name. Some prime examples are PageRank(an algorithm named after Google cofounder, Larry Page) and Automattic (a brand named after Matt Mullenweg, its founder).
Don’t Get Too Hung Up On Your Favourite Name Choices
I know you might have had fantasies of some really fancy names you’d love for your brand and this seems like the perfect time to bring it to reality but you need to be flexible with this. Choosing a business name is quite sensitive and you want to consider a whole lotta other things than favorites. Know what is important for your brand.
Don’t Be A Copycat!
This is unoriginal and displays a lack of creativity and innovation which are not good public images for the brand. Avoid overly similar names, especially with competitors.
The possibility that your business acronym will match with someone else is very high and this will make it difficult for you to rank in search engines. So for established brands, this might be a good idea but for startups, it will only confuse potential customers.
Benefits Of Choosing The Perfect Business Name
- A good brand name will help you create a memorable image for your business, so that customers can recognize it when they see it and know what they’re getting in terms of quality or service. If you’re building a brand from scratch, there are plenty of resources available online that can help guide you through this process.
- Some brand names are so conceptual that many ideas come from them for marketing. Having an awesome company name will make marketing easier for both yourself and potential clients—and make them more likely to trust your services as well!
Final Thoughts on How to choose the perfect Business Name
Choosing a business name is an important decision. It’s the first thing that people who hear about your business will encounter, so it’s worth considering carefully. You may even have lots of ideas for a perfect name, but when it comes time to choose one or two possible names, things get tough. With this, you can now settle for the perfect business name with ease.