By Carrie-ann | Nov 19, 2016 | Getting Your Business Ready

Choosing the right company name for your business.

Choosing the right name for your business is a hugely important decision, as it can mean the difference between success and failure. You want your company’s name to be memorable and to convey your expertise, values and unique appeal without being over-complicated or too thought-provoking.

Your Business Message
One of the first decisions you need to make is what you want the name of your business to communicate. Developing a mission statement may help you with this. A good business name shouldn’t have to be explained, which is why you might choose a straightforward title with the function and ethos of your business at its heart.

Many naming experts shun made-up words, strings of figures or initials, preferring real words or sentences which your customers can understand and relate to easily. Your customers or clients should be a major influence when choosing your name, as these are the people who will ultimately make or break your business.

There are occasions when unusual names can work well, however, such as when word segments are combined to give an overall impression of a business type, or words and letters are mixed to offer a contemporary take on a standard word, as in the case of Activ8.

What to Consider
You need a name that appeals to the type of clients or customers you want and not just to yourself. Ideally, you want these people to react to your name on an emotional plane as well as on a practical level. Cute puns should be avoided, as you risk coming up with something that your customers don’t understand. It is also essential to steer clear of names which are confusing or too long.

You should also decide if you want your name to stand out or offer a straightforward introduction to your business. There are benefits to both but, whichever you choose, it is still important to not attempt anything too complex or confusing. Instead, the best option is to combine an aspect of the two, coming up with a name that will grow with your business without being so outlandish that it will never trip off a tongue.

The Power of Words
Wordplay can be a good idea, such as the chip shops which were called The Codfather or the hairdressing salons named The Upper Cut, but avoid copying other business owners’ basic ideas if you want your company to really stand out.

You may also want to consider how your name would work as part of a domain name and help to ensure that your business is found easily on the internet, if that is your aim. Your marketing strategy should dictate whether you want to attract generic search traffic or are aiming to create a more unique brand appeal.

Testing the Name
The best way to find out whether the name of your business will resonate with your customers is to try out some options on a test group before you make a final decision. This could be as simple as asking family and friends or could involve more widespread consumer research. You must also ensure that you are not using a name which is already in use.