Congratulations on starting your new business! What an exciting time this is, filled with so much promise – but also a lot of work.
One of the main tasks you’ll need to do after starting your new business is select a name for it. What’s in a name, you ask? Well, as it turns out, a lot is in a name.
Choosing a name for your company isn’t easy. Selecting the wrong business name can derail your business even before it has the opportunity to go full steam ahead. As Dale Carnegie once said, “Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” You’ll need to take into consideration certain factors when making this very important decision. That way, the name you do select will make immense sense.
So, read our list below and choose your new company name wisely.
5 factors to evaluate when selecting your business name
- Uniqueness and memorability
Irrespective of which industry you’re in, you’re sure to have thousands of competitors. The name you choose for your business should stand out from them. The more unique your name is, the more memorable it will become. People will be able to identify your brand easily after seeing your name.
One way to make your business name unique is to change up spelling and grammar. Instead of keeping it wordy, make your name alphanumeric (Eg: Google) or write the name in a different language (Eg: Verizon).
You can also get your onomatopoeia on and create new words out of sounds people commonly hear (Eg: KaBoom Energy).
Doing this will ensure your brand has a distinct identity of its own.
Your business name shouldn’t be so unique, that it becomes difficult to remember. Worse, it shouldn’t be so run-of-the-mill that it’s forgettable. The name you choose should have a recall ability to it. People shouldn’t find it too hard to keep your name in mind and they should be able to connect your name with your company logo or product or packaging.
Some ways to make your business name memorable are –
- Choose a word that encapsulates what the brand is about (Eg: Entertainment One – a TV production house).
- Use rhyming words (Eg: Slim Jim).
- Connect the name to something the target customer is familiar with (Eg: Cisco – which stands for San Francisco – and the company’s logo resembles the Golden Gate Bridge).
- Play with puns (Eg: Lord of the Rinse for a laundromat and Life of Pie for a pie shop are just two of many examples)
- Change the name’s spelling slightly without compromising the meaning (Eg: Krispy Kreme).
Continuing on with the previous point, your business name should mean something.
Now it’s true that a few world-famous brands have used names that were absolutely meaningless and not real words when they were first used (we’re looking at you Kodak and Ikea). But the reality is that it took a LOT of work to get these names to become meaningful and memorable to customers. Considering the sheer number of competitors today who use such quirky and meaningless names, you’ll risk becoming run-of-the-mill in your market.
The best way to avoid this is to choose a name that means something to your prospects. Ideally, it should be a name that showcases your promise to your customers and how they can benefit from you (Eg: Amazon – which reflects how expansive the store is, storing everything from A-Z).
- Visual imagery
The name you choose for your business should give rise to a certain visual appeal in the mind’s eye. When the prospect is able to visualize exactly what they’ll receive from you and how they’ll feel by associating with you, they’ll be more likely to make a concrete decision.
For example, Travel Guru is a travel booking company, whose name inspires confidence in prospects because it feels like the company is an expert in travel. Here, you’ll be able to visualize the company taking care of all of your travel plans, allowing you to enjoy your holiday without trouble.
Likewise, there’s the famous bakery, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, which inspires us with visuals of freshly baked cakes, with sugary, sweet, and colorful toppings. The visual appeal of this name is quite drool-worthy.
- Emotional evocativeness
Apart from the visual appeal and imagery, your business name must also elicit an emotional response. At the end of the day, people will want to remember and revisit a business only when they feel good associating themselves with it.
When your business is brand new or just a few months old, it’s still too early for people to have such emotionally profound experiences as to get them invested in your brand. This is where it helps to have a powerful and emotionally evocative business name that can get people interested and invested in you.
Take the example of the meditation app Calm. The name lulls us into a sense of mental peace and clarity, telling us it’s a great tool for meditation. Alternatively, its competitor Headspace creates a sense of trust, where we can be alone with our thoughts and work through them privately. Both these names are great for inspiring an emotional response in prospects.
So now that you know the tricks of successful business nomenclature, use these tips to come up with your own amazing business name. Share with us your business name and your inspiration for it. We’d love to know.
Tracy is the Design Manager here at Redwood Creative. She’s been designing amazing graphics and web layouts for large and small businesses for upwards of 7 years.