4 Key Principles For Naming a Business
Are you ready to start a business? Have you put together all the pieces for a start up, but are still struggling with a name? Naming a business can be tough; it’s important to choose a name carefully, but not over think it.
The name of the business matters greatly; it affects the SEO, the branding, even the amount of revenue the business generates. It needs to be personable yet memorable. And it needs to be its own entity.
While this seems complicated, it’s not as bad as you might think. Here are four key principles for naming your business:
1. It should be easy to pronounce and spell
What good is a unique name if visitors are unable to say the name of your business or type it into a search engine? A simple name like Nike or Oreo is easy to spell, easy to remember, and easy to pronounce – and both are international brands. This is because, as memorable as the names are, the businesses live up to their promises.
Consider for a moment that Nike was spelled Niekee and Oreo was spelled Ohreeoh. Would the companies still be as successful? Not likely. The names, while easy to say, would be tedious and difficult to type into a search engine, write down on a piece of paper, or function in any form of written communication. Just the same, if
Nike was called the Athletics Shoe Company, it’s dull and not in any way exciting. If Oreo was named Chocolate Milk Cookie Company, it might sound tasty, but not as much so as Oreo. The name of your business becomes synonymous with what your business does, and a dull name equates to a dull service.
2. Be memorable
To continue from the examples above, Athletics Shoe Company isn’t memorable in anyway; it’s a standard name that, while telling exactly what the company does, does not lend itself to interesting conversation.
When two people meet and the topic of what each does for a living comes up, “I work for Nike,” is going to get more a response than, “I work for Logistics Planning Company.” The latter would have someone running for the hills, probably while wearing Nike shoes.
As for being memorable, avoid being generic. Your name should convey what you do – in most cases. Nike and Oreo are examples of when a name works without telling what the company is for. If you were just arrived on planet Earth and someone told you to eat an Oreo, you would have no idea what they were talking about.
On the same note, if they told you to eat a chicken, assuming you had a basic knowledge of Earth fauna, you’d know what they meant.
3. Be quirky…with moderation
If your business has a unique name that is easy to spell and particularly memorable, you’re on the right track. Naming a business something quirky is even better. The key to quirkiness, much like in social situations, is to use it in moderation.
While you might think of the name you just came up with as the Zooey Deschanel of business names, if it is quirky for no reason, you risk harming your business more than helping it.
With a name like “Twotaple,” you’ll surely be remembered – but for what? Unless you hit it big right out the door, your business is going to provide a service to which its name bears no relation. Potential customers will ask themselves what “Twotaple” — or whatever quirky name one might use – even means.
Your business name needs to be different for a good reason, and memorable for its originality – not how strange it is. On that same note, your business name should be unique in that it doesn’t sound too similar to other business’ names, particularly those with longer histories than yours.
These businesses have an established SEO presence already, and if you aren’t careful, your customers might mistake their business name for yours.
4. Your business name should speak the language of your customers and audience
Who is the demographic of your business? If you are targeting teenagers, use lingo that they would recognize; substitute numbers for letters, be hip. However, if you are targeting upper-class, middle-aged antique collectors, a name like “DaB3stAntikes” will fall flat and result in lost customers.
Before picking a name, figure out your demographic: will your audience be young or old? Rich or just middle class? All of these elements should be taken into consideration.
“Many of my books have begun with the title, because naming a work already in progress makes no sense to me.” – Guillermo Cabrera Infante
Naming a business is vital to its success, because the name of a business is its heart and soul. A poorly named business might still succeed, but you increases your chances of success through taking the time to choose a name that follows these four key principles. If you still feel like you could use more guidance, Entrepreneur provides several great tips for naming a business.
How did you name your business? Share some tips for other entrepreneurs in the comments!