How to Choose a Name for your Business
Finding the perfect name for your business can seem like an insurmountable task. With a world of competition out there, finding a name that is unique, memorable and speaks to your brand’s vision and values is no mean feat. Should it be about you, about your customers, an acronym, a blend of two words, or maybe even some obscure phrase in Latin?
This short guide is all about making the search a little easier.
Tips for choosing a business name
However personal, poetic and original your name is, it must – above all – be something people can remember. Your audience needs to be able to connect with the name, tell it to others, spell and pronounce it. If someone hears about the business and wants to find out more information about your services, will they immediately be able to type it into Google, spelled correctly? If not, it may not be the ideal choice.
Not Just a Description
There’s a difference between a name and a description. While it’s easy to stick to the facts and choose a name that simply says what you do, a name like this doesn’t help to differentiate your services and makes trademarking the name difficult. It is good to be clear about what you’re offering though – whether it’s law advice, recycling, hairdressing or photography, you want people seeking those services to identify you as an option. A solution could be adding a descriptive word to your name, such as ‘Design’ if you’re a design company. That way, your audience knows what you do, but also who you are.
See more: Should I Trade Mark My Business Name and Logo?
When naming a business, simplicity is key. Choose a short word or phrase with as few syllables as possible and make sure you don’t have to explain the meaning when introducing yourself. This might devalue your brand.
Speaks to Your Business’s Vision and Identity
As a business, you will have a clear idea of your ethos and aims, as well as how you want your audience to feel when connecting with your brand. A name that evokes a feeling or idea in your audience is more likely to connect with them on a personal level and create lasting engagement with your services. More than that, a good name will lay the foundations for your brand identity.
Right now, you might want to start a consulting business, focusing on business leadership in the financial sector. So, a name like ‘Lead Finance’ might make a lot of sense. But what happens down the line when business is booming and you want to take your leadership advice into new industries? Suddenly, the name isn’t speaking to your business’s project statement anymore. A good name will be future proof, meaning it won’t go out of date or narrow your prospects. It is specific to who you are now, but with room to grow.
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Works in Different Forms
Your business name is going to be seen as a logo, read as a word and spoken out loud. Choosing a good name is all about taking these different modes of engagement into account and picking a word that sounds and looks as good as it reads.
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Methods for Generating a Memorable Business Name
When you think about your business and the services you intend to provide, words will automatically start coming to mind – straightforward words about what you do, but also some more illustrative and abstract. Write all of these down – initially with no constraints.
Think laterally at this stage: look through the Thesaurus, try a word from a mythology, or even translate ideas you already have into other languages and see what happens. Once you have some material to work with, start cutting your longer, less catchy mental offerings down. Focus on names that speak to your tone of voice and are simple but evocative. These might be strong contenders.
Take a Break
Sometimes, inspiration will come when you’re least expecting it. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, listen to some music – do anything you need to let your mind wander far away from the task at hand. You might find as soon as you do this, the name will come.
Check if Your Name is Available
You’ve found it. The name is perfect. It sounds good, looks good and resonates with everything you stand for and want to achieve. Be wary of falling in love too soon, though. It’s time to check if that treasured name is available.
Try to register your desired URL and see if it’s taken on a domain name site. If not – success! If it is, you could try adding a modifying word to the original. Be wary of going for other domain types than .com or .co.uk without good reason though, because despite Google insisting other types of domains rank exactly the same, these two lend greater credibility to your business and are more user-friendly. It’s likely to take a few attempts before you find the perfect domain, and you may have to be prepared to negotiate for the right option.
If social media is a big part of your business plan, you might want to double check the availability of your prospective account name and reserve it on the platforms you are most likely to use.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure your name isn’t already trademarked by another business by running it through a trademark website or speaking to a legal professional who can research this for you. You might then want to consider filing for the trademark in order to protect your reputation and prevent competitors from trading on your success down the line.
See more: How to Trade Mark My New Business Name and Logo?
A Name Isn’t Everything
Ultimately, finding the right name for your business is important, but it doesn’t need to be a battle. As long as it’s something you and your customers can connect with and it’s not already in use, a name will not make or break your business.
Talk to the team at Squarebird about the next steps once you have that perfect name in mind. Our team of experts can help you develop your business’s brand identity and website and create a purpose-built solution, tailored to your needs.