By Carrie-ann | Jan 03, 2017 | Getting Your Business Ready

The importance of your company name

Choosing a name for your new business or start-up is clearly important, a foundation stone for what will eventually be your brand. The name of your business has huge significance for marketing and legal reasons, and could be your most effective branding tool. Get it wrong, and you could have a great idea hampered by the lack of a suitable handle to help potential customers grasp it.

Do your research
An effective company name is the result of careful consideration. There are questions to think about, such the type of business it is, who you think the client base will be, and who the competitors are. Issues to contemplate include thinking about what you want the name to communicate, and what it emphasises about your business. What do your potential customers need, and how will your name tell them that you have what they are looking for?
You may wish to choose a name that is personally meaningful, but naming a business after your dog may not have the impact in the wider world that will translate to sales. It is also worth thinking about what the name you choose means to others. Words that evoke pleasant memories and connotations will engender more enthusiasm than those associated with distressing images or events.
After coming up with a brilliant idea, it is also essential to check that it hasn’t already been used or trademarked by someone else. Establish that what you hope to use as a brand is not already in play to save yourself costly legal battles later on. Check online and use the Companies House search facility.

Ask the experts
There are firms who will undertake research for you, including checking if that catchy acronym means something obscene in another language. Employing consultants, who could streamline the process of setting things up by looking at graphics and logos, may be convenient, but there is the cost to consider. Naming firms can take months to produce results.

Something completely different …
Options for choosing a name include devising your own, totally new brand. Once, Microsoft was just a word that someone invented. It’s clever because it is distinctive, yet sounds like it is related to the world of computer software. Not everyone has the knack of coming up with a unique name that is effective, however. Something new could hook itself in potential customers’ minds, or it could confuse and alienate them. A play on words can work, but this is unlikely if it is a pun that only a handful of people understand.

Test the waters
So you have come up with possible names for your new business. How do you choose? For some it is instinct, others go with consumer testing or focus groups. This could be limited by your resources, but anyone can imagine what the name might look like on web pages, signage and in advertising.
Whatever you choose, remember that the name will represent the identity of your business to the people you hope will use it.