Across borders and cultures and through the eras, there is one universal recognition of ownership that has not changed: your name. It is something you own. Something you identify with. More importantly, it is something that no one else can take from you. It tells people who you are!
The same rules apply when it comes to your business. Coming up with a name for your new business should be one of the most important steps you take on your new endeavor. Just like choosing the right name for your child, make sure to pick something you can live with forever. Take a look at some things to consider when naming (or re-naming) your prized possession.
- Does it describe your business? – This doesn’t have to be as obvious as it sounds. If Sally is starting a dessert and candy buffet business, she doesn’t necessarily need to name her business “Dessert and Candy Buffet”. She could go with something with a little bit more character. Something like “Sally’s Sweets”. Short, simple, and to the point. We can identify by the word “Sweets” that her business might entail something tasty. But it still allows room for the customer to look into it and find out more!
- The Big Easy – Ask yourself these two questions: Is it easy to explain? Is it easy to remember? If you answered ‘Yes’ to both, great! If you answered ‘No’ to either question, you may want to reevaluate. Don’t dumb it down to the point where it loses all creativity. Try to aim for something creative and concise.
- Short and Sweet – The name of your business should not be too lengthy. Referring back to the second point, it needs to be easy to remember. In addition to cognitive recognition, you want to consider the length for your business cards, signage, banners, website address, etc. Don’t settle for a lengthy name that constantly need to be shortened or abbreviated, or even replaced with an acronym.
- Hand in hand with your brand – Does the name you chose work with your desired branding? Can you add emphasis with a color or logo that will bring more meaning to your business name? Will your business name be equally identifiable with your business message? These are all questions to ask yourself before settling on a name that will become your brand!
The most important thing to remember is to take your time! Do a little bit of online research and see what names are out there in your industry. Do they follow the steps that were listed above? If not, how can you make yours stand out even more? Make sure to do thorough research and check available domain names. Some new business owners will make that simple mistake, and then get stuck with a website url that isn’t easy or doesn’t easily identify with their business name or service. If doing the research is something you just simply don’t have the time to do, you can always contact a consultant or consider hiring an attorney. Your business is your baby. Give it all you’ve got to come up with a lasting name!
Jessica Rafaeil is a P.R. and Branding Specialist that loves working with young artists, entertainers and entrepreneurs.