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Find a business name that has impact: importance of the right name

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A suitable company name is equally important for start-ups and larger companies. The right name can be the best advertisement for a company. So you need to ensure you find a business name that works well for you. However, a less well thought-out company name can also mislead and deter potential customers. But how do you find a business name with impact, and what do you need to look for when naming your business?

Unfortunately, the effort to find a business name is too often quick and ill-considered. Actually astonishing, when you think that changing the name usually comes with financial damage.

Strategies to find a business name

Find a business name online

If you haven’t been able to find a business name personally for your company, there is always the possibility to pass this task on to professionals. Create a briefing with your ideas, and as accurate as possible, and they will come up with suggestions. However, this can be exceedingly expensive.

A better strategy, especially for cash-strapped startups, is to use a brand name generator, which can be extremely effective once you are armed with the brand name rules outlined below.

5 basic rules to find a business name

You can follow these very helpful rules to generate an effective brand name — and avoid making a regrettable brand name mistake that will undermine your business success.

1) Make it short and memorable

Clearly, you should be careful to find a business name that is still as short as possible. With longer company names, it is important that the name has a meaningful connection and in the best case leaves a pictorial impression, such as fashionfriends.com. Fancy terms, without context and meaning should be kept short.

2) Make it easy to understand

A name with a complicated spelling would have to be spelled over and over again on the phone. This is not a problem in itself, but it does not have to be. A good example of this is noomii.com (pronounced as ‘new me’) an American site that teaches life coaches. Especially company names that contain umlauts, other non-English accents, or numbers can cause difficulties on the international market. Do you always speak the figures in the respective national language, or perhaps in English in principle?

3) Make it expressive with reference to product or service.

There are different types of company names that would give a wonderful negative example of basic rule 3 to find a business name. Abbreviations, for example, are extremely bad for company names. Admittedly, there are some very successful companies whose names consist of an abbreviation, but these companies have also established themselves in the market for years.

Small and as yet unknown companies should avoid abbreviations when they look to find a business name. How should the customer know if “XYZ and Sons” wants to build a house or design a poster for him? The situation is similar with fantasy names. Thanks to the almost impossible to ignore advertising, every child knows that Starbucks is a coffee business. However, this information cannot be taken from the name alone.

4) Make it unique

It is a bit of a disaster if you make a name for yourself in the industry and only later realize that another company is known by a very similar name. In the worst case, the namesake also casts a bad light on your company. Therefore, it is important to check again and again during the process to find a business name and discover whether there are companies with a similar name, or similar spelling. To be quite sure, you can still consult a lawyer after the internet search.

5) Make sure it is available

Hardly any company nowadays can do without an internet presence. Therefore, you should pay special attention to whether your company name is not already assigned. An interesting tool for this is www.namecheck.com to find a business name. Check the availability of domain names and user names in social networks for free.

A good piece of advice is also to secure domains that are very similar to yours when you finally find a business name. In the case of “GardenBloom.com” for example, it would be advisable to secure www.garden-bloom.com in addition to www.garden.bloom.com in order to prevent a competitor from doing so. This can usually be done very cheaply… often just a few dollars per year.

If you follow these 5 rules to find a business name for your company, you are already a long way ahead. But in order to select a name in a very specific way, it can be helpful to get an overview of different name types for the first time.

What types of names are there?

Some companies look for funny names to keep in mind when they find a business name, others especially cute ones. In any case, the name “Hello Kitty” appeals to the right target audience.

1) Existing words and put together names

In fact, existing words are a popular choice to find a business name. This is a very successful global player- Apple. The advantages of this type of name are, on the one hand, that such an everyday concept is very familiar to many people andis therefore easy to remember. In addition, the name so often gives a good template for the logo. The big advantage with this type of name can also be a disadvantage at the same time.

Very similar are company names which are composed of several words. A particular advantage here, however, is that a relatively normal term can be made more interesting by adding a second word. Such combinations are often very pictorial and present well. For example, the browser name Firefox implements this principle.

2) Fancy terms

The rule that a domain or company name should not have more than six letters is no longer really up to date, just because it is difficult to find free domains that meet this criterion. Nevertheless, short names are still valid when it comes to finding names, and the customer can remember them better. For this reason, many companies use fancy terms, such as BCool. However, these have a disadvantage, as we outlined above, they do not make a statement about the product or the offered service of your company. This disadvantage can be compensated by an eye-catching advertising campaign or a well-chosen slogan.

3) Abbreviations

As you’ve already read in Basic Rule 3 of naming, it’s difficult to use abbreviations to be meaningfully related to your product. If you are more inclined to choose a name for your company that consists of several words, and you do not want to shorten it, you should still be careful. Nowadays, absolutely everything is abbreviated. So, you should be careful that your company name does not cause negative associations in abbreviated form. For example, “Atlanta Seamstress Service” will not result in a particularly flattering abbreviation.

4) Proper names

Using your own name is also one of the very classic ways to find your name. This is used frequently, especially at family businesses or other companies where the customer has actually been in contact with the namesake. It also makes sense here, as it creates a stronger bond between your company and the customer. Often, however, companies are simply named after the founder due to lack of alternatives. If you want to include your name in the company name, be surethat your name is extended to make reference to your product. Thus, the neutral “Smith Inc” becomes “Smith Worldwide Logistics Inc”.

5) Numbers

There are also trends in the naming of companies. For a while it was particularly modern to put a 24 ahead of almost every domain name, 24h delivery services, 24h laundries and 24h taxi hotlines. Numbers in the company name, or in the domain, have the advantage that they are something specialand they are often displayed in alphabetically sorted lists before the A. Those who are looking to be successful in Asia later on should stay away from the number four. Four is pronounced similarly to the word for death and is therefore considered an unfortunate number, especially in Japan and China, similar to the number 13 in the West.

About Carol Trehearn

carolt@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Carol Trehearn is a business and marketing specialist.

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