The Secrets of Naming a Business

Written by Blake on . Posted in Create Your Dream

What's in a name? As you may already know, a lot. When it comes to small business success, the right business name can actually make or break your company. It is important to develop a name that conveys the expertise, value, and uniqueness of the product or service that your business offers. Depending on how direct or indirect you want to be, is up to you.

Although some experts think that the best business names are abstract and generate questions, others believe that a business's name should be informative. While some think names should be coined terms (made-up words), others think that businesses should use real words for description and memory. So what's the right answer and how should you name your new business?

Five tips for naming your business:

1. Choose a name with the following qualities:
The name should appeal to you and your target market. The name should be comforting or familiar and conjure up pleasant emotions and memories. The name should be short and to-the-point. The name should not confuse your customers or audience. The name should not be a cute pun that only you and your team would understand. The name should not have the word "Inc." after it, unless it is actually incorporated. Sound like too much to handle? Then maybe you need to...

2. Turn to the experts
Some entrepreneurs consult an expert in order to effectively name their businesses. If your company is in a field in which a name can greatly influence its success, it is usually best to hire a naming firm. Naming firms are known to have elaborate systems for creating new names. Additionally, these firms know how to get around trademark laws and can advise you against poor name choices.

3. Think outside every single box
Get creative with your business's name! Today, almost every word in the English language has been trademarked, so making up a name of your own could be the next best option. Sometimes, these coined names can be even more meaningful than existing words—they are easily remembered and they get customers thinking. Another way to think big creating your business's name is to use new forms or spellings of existing words.

4. Test, test, test!
Narrow yourself down to four names that you like the best. Then, you may begin your trademark search. You may want to consider hiring a trademark attorney or a trademark search firm before you decide on your business's official name. Then, see how the name is perceived by people in your target audience. Do they like it? Is it confusing? Is it easily pronounced? Can people remember it?

5. Choose the perfect name
After testing, you may end up with three to four names that have passed completely. So how can the final decision be made? Now it's time to go back to your initial criteria: Which name best fits your objectives? Which name most accurately describes the company you have in mind?

In order to narrow it down even further, you may consider doing consumer research with a focus in groups to see how each name is perceived. Try sketching your name's logo on a piece of paper and see what you like best. Read each name out loud. Do whatever it takes until you know for sure.

So, really, what's in a name? We have proved that there is a lot! A name can establish a company, describe a business, and market effectively. On the other hand, a business's name can confuse, sink, and even break the law! So be cautious when choosing your business's name. And when you do—enjoy your new business—it finally has its first piece of personality!