Tips on How to Choose a Business Name for Your Company

Thinking of a business name could be a tricky proposition. The best company names are the ones that factor in the values and characteristics of the company.

You need to consider a number of factors while naming your business. The name should be something that works for your business currently and also for any future expansions, as companies continue to shift directions and grow with time.

What’s in a Name?  [Creative Business Names]

Apparently, a lot, as far as business success is concerned. A business name is the first thing you mention when you start pitching to your target audience. It creates a first impression and it is something that will stick forever.

A well chosen company name could make it the talk of the town and an ill fitting one could doom it to obscurity. Your business name should convey the value and the unique features of your company, its products or services.

If it’s of some solace, you’re not the only one to be scratching your head for a good business name. There are so many factors to be taken under consideration. So let’s make it easier for you. Here goes!

Tip: Check out backstories of how some great companies picked out their lucky business names to get inspired and get creative business name ideas.

Company/Business Name Ideas: Factors to Consider

  • Spelling and Pronunciation. If your target customers are not able to pronounce the name, you’ve already lost them. If it’s too difficult to spell, people might find it difficult to search for it through search engines. Avoid confusion by considering how your company name could be pronounced or mispronounced in other countries.
  • How to name a business? Visual Element. People are able to recall a name better if they can find a visual to the name. Use a name that sparks a visual. For instance, the name Vivanta immediately brings to mind liveliness and a certain sophistication.
  • Two words could have the same meaning but different connotations. For instance, Father is a neutral word whereas Dad conveys a more positive, emotional connection.
  • The connotations should also be suitable for your business. You wouldn’t want to give a weak name like Will o wisp or Kittie Transports to your trucking company. It needs to denote something strong like Rocky or Stone House. The name should be meaningful and reflect your company’s mission.
  • Product Information. While choosing a company name, it should give some idea about your business product or service. For instance, if it is a hair styling business, you can use the words Hair; Designing; Salon; Beauty; Haircare and so on.

Note: It’s easy enough to figure out what IBM is into. The name spells it all out. (Internal Business Machines)

  • Short and Sweet. It has to fit into your business card. It has to be memorable. You can also use it as a domain name. So keep it to a minimum. Many successful brands come with one or two words. Think Apple; Amazon: Netflix.

Tip: If the name is longer, come up with a shorter version as well. For instance, PricewaterhouseCoopers also uses PwC.

  • One of the brand name ideas is to consider colors while naming. For instance, red conveys a fiery element, one conveying energy, speed and passion, whereas green conveys calmness, peace, nature.
  • Make it search engine friendly.

Tip: When I’m trying to name my business, it’s a good idea to do a quick search on Google to see how many search results are returned with the same name. If there are thousands of them, I’d think again!

Tip: Try out online business name generators!

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Naming Categories

  • When people first get into naming their business, they are so excited and anxious to enter the market that they select names describing their product. Why should you not be descriptive? This ends up in pigeonholing oneself. For instance, San Jose Disk Drives. Descriptive is not all that bad, as people do get to understand what you are doing. However, what if the company wants to progress beyond San Jose or beyond disk drives? Pick an open ended name.
  • For instance, Dog Food; or; Well, we know of many successful businesses with generic names. General Motors for example. But they were the early birds and managed to get away with it. You couldn’t. Pick out something unique.

Tip: A generic name will not get you a trademark protection and you might have problems with the business name registration. It’s also not good SEO strategy.

  • The name says something about the business but not directly. Your audience will need some imagination to connect the name with your products. For instance, Pinterest; Netflix; Bootleggers ( a footwear store).

Tip: You’re more likely to get trademark protection and are sustainable. On the downside, they’re tougher to create.

  • Here the name has no connection with your products. For instance, Yahoo, Apple, Starbucks, Quaker. It’s difficult to market, as customers find it difficult to connect the dots in the absence of a huge marketing campaign. Not suitable for small or new businesses.
  • For instance, Kodak (it has no meaning in any language). Here the business name is not actually a word, but an imaginary or coined word. People are going to find it difficult to understand what your business does, though they can be easily trademarked.

Tip: Get help from experts to find good company names for your business. Launch a naming contest to get guidance from experts and get company name suggestions.

Top Mistakes to Avoid While Considering the Best Company Names

  • Using Your name. Many business owners make the mistake of connecting their own name with the business. This doesn’t make sense in several ways.
  • It is easier to sell the company at a future date if your name is not connected with it.
  • A business having the owner’s name might give the wrong impression that it is one man show
  • Your name doesn’t mean much in the business world, whereas a well picked out name could tell people a lot more about your company. For instance, my name would mean a lot to my parents, family and friends but not to anyone else.
  • Getting a committee involved in the naming business. Instead, you can select a few key members for a brainstorming session. Too many cooks do spoil the broth, you know.
  • Don’t go in for awful combinations. It’s like mixing chocolate with ketchup. For instance, Quality and Serve becomes QualiServe or Tranquil and Spa becomes TranquiSpa.
  • Don’t copy. For instance, don’t try out Oogle: BoxDrop; Bookface for obvious reasons.

Tip: If you’re still stuck with a wrong name, don’t expect the problem to resolve by itself. Rebrand it.

  • Don’t forget to test your business name before launching it.

Last Word

Your business name is like the cornerstone for a building. It has to be aligned with the structure of your business. Get off to a good start and select whatever you end up choosing, make the most of it and don’t let your name stop you from growing or expanding.

Moreover, keep trademarks in mind while picking your business name. You have to select a name that can get trademark protection.

Can you now come up with a business name fulfilling all the above requirements? That’s a challenge! Put on your thinking caps and get those creative juices flowing to propel your company in the right direction.

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