Sometimes the hardest part of starting a company is choosing the name. You might have spent months or years researching your market, refining a product or ironing out the details of your services but when it comes to naming your company you may draw a blank.
Naming your company correctly is incredibly important and since it’s the root of your brand, shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name that perfectly sums up your ethos or what you do, here are a few tips to nudge you in the right direction.
As with most problem solving, the first useful step is conducting a good old brain storm. When you are creating a list of possible names, consider the following questions:
– What are you trying to portray? Is there a particular message or feeling you’d like to convey to your audience?
– What are your priorities when it comes to a business name? Would your target audience need something easy to pronounce (although simplicity is best across the board)? Do you need to stand out in a crowded marketplace with something original or quirky?
– What would resonate with your target audience?
– What are your competitors doing? Are there examples of good or bad brands?
– What do you want people to feel or associate with your business?
Ruling out the bad ones
Once you have a good list of possible business names, you’ll want to go through each one and see how they stack up to the following things to think about:
– Shorter business names are generally better since they are easy to remember and work more effectively as website addresses and on marketing literature.
– Check whether your chosen business name is available as a domain name. You can check whether yours is available by going to a registrar like namecheap.
– Google your possible business names and see what comes up. The last thing you want is for another company to appear more prominently than yours would.
– Double check whether there’s any chance your customers may not be able to spell your business name.
– Think about how unique and unforgettable each of your business names are and get rid of any that you feel your customers will forget.
– Decide whether you want to give a clue or stand out. Business names can either convey exactly what the company does (e.g. SL Plumbing and Heating) or be unrelated with the intention of establishing a memorable brand (e.g. you may go for something like Blue Frog)
– If you’re a freelancer or sole trader, decide whether you will go for a personal brand or a company brand. Which you will go for will depend on your industry, what your target audience expect and future plans to expand.
– Filter out names that might not grow with your business. These might include places or services. If you decide in 2 years time to expand to multiple cities or offer more products or services, having a city or one service as part of your business name will become severely limiting
And finally picking one
Once you’ve listed all the possibilities then ruled out any names that won’t work for any of the above reasons, it’s time to settle on something. Hopefully through your process of elimination you’ll be left with only a handle of options.
At this point it’s really a matter of personal preference. If your names have passed all of the conditions then any of these will work well. At this point you may want to ask for opinions from friends and family or your target audience to finally choose.
Once finalised, make sure you go online and register your domain name as soon as possible. Since your website will be a central pillar in your marketing strategy, you don’t want to be back to square one if somebody gets there first!
If you’re ever in need of any help with your business name, logo or brand, we’d love to hear from you.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent many years working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.