Why Is A Business Name So Important?
To be successful as a small business, your name can make or break you. Choose the perfect name and it’s going to make great big waves in your town. Choose the wrong name and it could spell certain doom. In a name, you want something that oozes your experience and service or product’s uniqueness and value.
So, what kind of business name should you have for your company? Well, that’s where it gets tricky. According to some experts, a name should be abstract – a blank slate that allows you to create your image. Other experts say it should be an informative name that allows customers to know exactly what kind of business you are. Still, there are some experts who feel a coined name is much more climatic than actual real words.
Here’s the reality: any name for a business can be effective so long as you use the right marketing strategy. So, how can you come up with a business name that can be both effective and right?
1 – Hire Someone To Help You Develop The Name
Yes, choosing a memorable business name is a complex process. If you’re not sure of what kind of name you should have for your business, talk with an expert – someone or a firm whose business it is to develop business names. These experts have an elaborate system to develop new names and understand trademark laws. They can explain why a name is either good or bad.
Of course, the negative aspect to this is the cost. Some firms can charge up to $80,000, which will include graphic design and identity work. It is possible to find naming firms that charge a reasonable amount – $50 or more – but it’s always good to go with expert advice to save yourself cash in the future.
2 – Choosing Your Name
When you’re ready to come up with a name, you want to choose one that communicates the primary elements of the business. You’ll need to carve out a niche and have a mission statement to highlight those elements to develop your name.
The more the business name explains what your business is to consumers, the less time you’ll have to explain it for yourself. Naming experts say real words – not fictitious ones – should be used in the naming of a business. The reason for this is that people want something they can understand and relate to.
Come up with a name that’s overly expressive and it could spell doom for your business – and the same goes for a generic or geographic name. You want a name that’s both broad and expressive. When you have a descriptive name, it’s telling consumers something concrete about your business. Here are five tips to help you choose a business name:
- Pick a name that is both appealing to you and your intended audience.
- Pick a familiar name that resonates pleasant memories for the intended audience.
- Avoid confusing, long names.
- Avoid cute puns that others may not understand.
- Unless you’re incorporated, don’t use “Inc.” after the business’s name.
3 – Be Creative
It seems like every word in the world is trademarked, which is why coined names have become so popular – Compaq, Acura, Microsoft, etc. Of course, names that are entirely made up will not fit in every situation. New words can appear complicated, making people assume that the business is also complicated. The best thing to do is use various forms of existing words to develop your business name.
4 – Test The Name Out
After you’ve weeded down to three or four memorable names, you need to do some trademark research. Not all business names have to be trademarked so long as you’re not approaching on another business’s trade name and the state government gives you the thumbs up sign. Still, it’s best to hire a trademark lawyer or find a trademark search firm to ensure the name you have chosen isn’t going to be a problem.
5 – Your Final Decision
Okay, so you have the names that passed the tests. What should you base your final decision on? Look back at the criteria you have set. Which of the names effectively fit what you’re trying to accomplish? What name best describes the business?
While many entrepreneurs go with their gut instinct, some will do consumer research or test focus groups to learn how the names are being viewed. You could also playfully draw the names so you can see what it could look like on stationary paper or a sign. Say each name out loud, like what happens in a radio ad. How does it sound?
It’s important to remember that expert naming firms spend up to six months developing a name. You don’t have to do that – and may be unable to do that – but you should spend several weeks on it.