So you need to come up with a business name?
Did you know that Google used to be called BackRub? And Nike used to be called Blue Ribbon Sports? These are just some of the most famous company name changes, and it goes to show that your business name matters. We have to wonder if we’d all be saying “I’ll BackRub it” if Google hadn’t changed their name all those years ago.
While some business names come easily, others take time to cook up. If you’re on the cusp of starting a new business, you’ll need a name before you can move forward. Follow this guide to help you choose the right name for your business.
Sometimes the most obvious name is right in front of you. If your name is Brad, you’re a one-person business, and you fit and install bathrooms, then Brad’s Bathrooms or Bathrooms By Brad would be the obvious choices.
Think about all the things that define your business, including the location and the scope of your services. If you are the face of the company, you should consider including your name in your company name.
Potential customers need to be able to see your name, recall it at a later date, and successfully find you online. If you choose a long or difficult to spell name, you’re going to struggle to achieve this.
An easy way to determine if your business name is catchy and memorable enough is to see if it can fit on a lanyard. Create a custom branded lanyard online to see if your message is lost when it is placed on a promotional item.
There’s nothing worse than landing on a perfect company name only to discover someone else is already using it. If you aren’t planning to go global with your business, you might be okay to move forward with a business name if someone is using the name in another country.
The most important thing to confirm is that you can buy the right domain name. If you’re based in the UK, you should aim for a .com or .co.uk domain. If the domain isn’t available, you’ll need to keep looking.
Your company name should make sense to customers. Tech startups have a reputation for creating nonsensical words and making this work as a business name, but this doesn’t work for everyone.
The most memorable names are descriptive and may be linked to a name or location. If you can include alliteration, this may make the name more memorable.
If Jeff Bezos had called Amazon “Jeff’s Books” instead, the company may have taken a very different path. A company name should be able to grow with you. If you anticipate that you might expand your business into new areas, you don’t want to be geographically linked to one area. In this case, you might have to go through a rebrand further down the line.
If you’re struggling to brand your business, ask friends and family for advice. A quick poll of friends and family members could help to whittle down your shortlist until you land on the final name. You can also carry out market research of your ideal target customer to find out which name resonates with them.
You can also avoid any potential pitfalls or misunderstandings by asking a wide range of people. In 2009, HSBC tried to launch the slogan “Assume Nothing” but this translated into other languages as “Do Nothing” which wasn’t the image they were trying to project.
Also, see our past post on how Lanyards can benefit your business.