What’s in a business name?
A lot, when it comes to business success as your business name can be critical. The right name can make your company the talk of the town. The wrong one can let it slip into obscurity and failure. Choosing a business name can be one of the most challenging decisions to make.
Ideally, your name should convey the expertise, value and the uniqueness of your product or service. Some experts believe that the best names are abstract, a blank slate upon which to create an image. Others think they should be informative, so customers know immediately what your business does. Still, others believe names of made-up words are more memorable than names using real words.
In reality, any name can work well. However, it must be well supported by an appropriate marketing strategy. The more your name communicates to consumers about your business, the less effort you must exert to explain it.
Choose a business name which appeals to customers you want to attract
Start by deciding what you want your name to communicate. It should reinforce the essential elements of your business. Your work in developing a vision statement or a niche will help you pinpoint the features you want to emphasise in your name. People prefer words they can relate to and understand
A common pitfall is geographic names. A hypothetical example is Sydney Website Design. What if the company wants to expand beyond Sydney, indeed Australia, What meaning will that name have for consumers in London, or Mexico? Moreover, what if the company diversifies beyond website design?
Try and choose a comforting or familiar name that conjures up pleasant memories, so customers respond to your business on an emotional level.
You may have to be creative
At a time when almost every existing word in the language has been used or trademarked, the option of ‘coining’ a business name is becoming more popular. Some examples are MailChimp, Insightly and Google.
You might consider consulting an expert, especially if you are in a field in which your company name may influence the success of your business. Many have systems for creating new titles, and they know their way around the trademark laws. They can advise you on poor name choices and explain why others are good.
After you have narrowed your choices, you are ready to do a trademark search. Not every business name needs to be trademarked, as long as your government gives you the go-ahead and you are not infringing on anyone else’s trade name. However, you should consider hiring a trademark attorney or at least a trademark search firm before to make sure your new name does not infringe on another business’s trademark.
If you are lucky, you will end up with three to five names which pass all your tests. Now, how do you make your final decision? Once you make a decision, start building your enthusiasm for the new name immediately and establish your company identity.