What’s in a Business Name?

Robert Johnston asked:

More than your letterhead printing or letterheads, or even what you have in your marketing collaterals, what stands out is the name you use for your business. Choosing the right business name is one of the first things you need to do when you start your business. And finding the right one can mean success or failure.

Naming your business is one of the first needs you have to fulfill. The right one can bring success to your company; but the wrong one can definitely destroy all your efforts. So before doing anything for your business, start looking for the right name – the name that can fit your image and the type of service that you intend to provide your customers and clients.

The first step is to know what you want to say. When you think about your company’s name, think about what you would want to convey to your target market. Think about the image that you would want to have in your industry. If you personally handle your customers, then a name after your own name will be appropriate. But if you’re in a group where there are others involved in running your business, a name after your product or service will do very well. The best thing to do is to look for a name that in the event that you or even anyone among your group decides to leave the company, the business name would remain intact and up-to-date.

Second, try to reflect your USP or unique selling proposition. What do you offer? What makes you special and different from your competition? You can either look for a name that has a specific meaning to it, or you can always choose a non-specific name and then build your brand around it. A practical name that presents a straightforward approach to things can reflect a professional and business style. A creative one can mean a stand out business that your target audience will be able to recognize and remember.

So where do you look for your business name? You can start with listing all the individual words that best describe your business. What words would you want your target clients to think of when they hear your name? Write every word that describes your qualities and choose those that project the image that you want to have with your target market. At this time, you’re building a list that you can work with. So whatever comes to mind, just write them down.

Then take a good look at your list. See what can work well with your brand. Go over the meaning of each name and discard those that you think are inappropriate. Run your list to your team and staff. They may have other good ideas that you can incorporate in the effort. Get everybody involved and you might just have a name that would embody everything that is in your organization.

Finally, choose your business name.

One final note to consider: business names need to fit any marketing campaign you have in mind – be it a retail hang tag, a box, a business card, letterheads, or even your company van. Make sure that when you see your name printed on these things, people would actually talk about your business and remember your name for a very long time.

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