Your company’s product or service is an essential part of its success. But there is something more important that many new business owners often overlook. That is the name of their company.
This task should not be an afterthought because your business’s name can make a big difference in how customers (and potential customers) perceive it and whether they decide to do business with you.
For instance, your company’s name could pull your target customers in, or repel them, especially if it doesn’t signify what your company offers. So, you must ensure you do your homework before choosing a name.
What a Difference a Name Makes
Consider this: Would you rather order Patagonian toothfish or Chilean Sea Bass at a restaurant? And, who sounds like a better six-shooter, Marion Morrison or John Wayne?
Names are incredibly powerful. So, you need to choose your company’s name carefully. In addition to describing what your business offers, its name can also be a key component of your branding.
Items to Consider When Naming Your Business
There are several essential items to consider before you choose your company’s name. These include the following:
- It must sound good when it is said aloud
- It should have meaning and convey a benefit
- It should not be too “Web 2.0ish”
- It should not use only initials
- It should be specific
- You should be able to trademark it
- You should test it on Google AdWords
It Must Sound Good When It is Said Aloud
You should say possible business names out loud before you decide on one. If a name doesn’t have an appealing “ring” to it, you may need to go with something else. Some names, such as Coca-Cola or Jimmy Johns, contain words that easily roll off the tongue.
Remember that people will be saying your company’s name on the radio, television, and/or in conversation. So, it should be catchy yet not too difficult to pronounce, like “she sells seashells on the seashore.”
It Should Have Meaning and Convey a Benefit
The name of your company should also convey meaning. That way, people won’t have to guess what your business does. For example, Burger King sells burgers. Conversely, don’t make the name of your business too generic. Otherwise, trying to appeal to everyone could backfire and appeal to nobody. The restaurant chain Boston Chicken made a mistake when the company changed its name to Boston Market.
It Should Not Be Too “Web 2.0ish”
You need to be careful about sounding too “web 2.0ish.” This refers to using letters and characters like “u” instead of “you.” Doing so can make it difficult for customers to find you. While this type of spelling might work well for text messages, it is not the way to name your business.
It Should Not Use Only Initials
Another item you should steer clear of when naming your company is only using initials. Although there are some exceptions, like 3M and IBM, most people will not know what your business does if its name is SLW.
It Should Be Specific
You should use specifics when naming your company, too. For instance, 5-hour Energy lets you know that you’ll be awake and possibly more productive for several hours after consuming their beverages.
You Should Be Able to Trademark It
Another essential factor when naming your business is that you should be able to trademark it, particularly if you plan to grow the company. You can check this information by visiting the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website. This site will also tell you if another company has already trademarked a name.
You Should Test It on Google AdWords
You can test how people react to a particular company name through Google AdWords. Google’s “find keywords” tool lists similar search phrases and how many local and global monthly searches there are for each.
In addition, a Google AdWords search with a business name you are considering can also ensure that there isn’t already a slightly different name that exists, and that could get more attention on the Internet.
Do You Need Guidance Choosing the Right Company Name
You can find your business’s ideal name if you think it through. While narrowing down the right name may take time, it can be worth it if it helps you generate more customers, sales, and profits.