What's in a name?
What's in a name?
One of the most important parts of any business is its name. It’s the biggest contributor to your brand’s identity, and the reputation of your business name will be a direct reflection of your skill as a businessperson. This is always a deeply personal decision, but here are five suggestions for picking a business name you can be proud of, to help your business get started on the right foot:
Be unique…to a point
Do research before naming your business, so that it does not replicate or closely resemble an existing business name. Duplication could result in confusion, and in some cases, legal trouble. On the other hand, business names that are difficult to pronounce, are too lengthy or “wordy”, or are misleading about the goods/service provided, may also cause confusion.
Bonus Hint: Check domain names, social media handles, and search engine results to make sure you can promote your business name across as many platforms as possible.
Most service-related businesses benefit from including at least one descriptive word in their name. “Acme & Acme” isn’t as revealing as “Acme & Acme Civil Engineering”, and might lose business from those who are unaware of the services provided.
Bonus Hint: The only thing better than a new customer is one that keeps coming back, and customers tend to come back to businesses whose names they can remember. A concise, memorable name isn’t dull; it’s an effective way to build a well-known brand. Simple is not boring – don’t assume all customers know what you do!
Most businesses should avoid “vanity spelling”: for example, replacing “C’s” with “K’s”, or “Z’s” with “S’s” in their business wordmark. An intentionally misspelled word in your business name might cause some customers to not find you, simply because they assume a conventional spelling.
Bonus Hint: Including numbers in your business name can be tricky. If you must include a number, be consistent about how it is applied. For example, will you use “10” or “Ten”? It’s best to pick one and stick with it.
Use caution when using proper names
Unfortunately, some business partnerships don’t last forever. If a person’s first or last name is used in a business name, know that changing a business name can be expensive and confusing if that person is no longer affiliated with the business. Physical addresses, phone numbers, and websites can also change over time, which should be considered when naming your business.
Bonus Hint: Your business name will be seen – and heard – in a lot of different places. Consider how your business name will look and sound in different contexts: business cards, signs, digital media, logos, word of mouth, etc.
The “consultant” conundrum
Consultant businesses come in many different types: management consultants, financial consultants, healthcare consultants, technology consultants, etc. If you have a consultancy, consider including the type in your business name to stand out from the crowd.
Bonus Hint: While all businesses have target market segments, be careful not to exclude potential customers with a business name that implies a preference based on age, race, sex, religion, etc.
Do you have a great business name you want to start promoting? Join the Wilson Chamber of Commerce, and discover all the ways we can help you enjoy a market where your business can succeed.