What is in a Name? Naming Your Business

We have all come across business names that make us cringe and scratch our heads. A business name serves as first impression. Professional naming companies charge big bucks for a reason. A good and appropriate name inspires trust, intrigue and a desire to do business. On the other hand, a poorly chosen name triggers negative emotions such as confusion and violation.

The Entrepreneur Magazine published a few naming rule of thumbs:

  • Choose a name that appeals not only to you but also to the kind of customers you are trying to attract.
  • Choose a comforting or familiar name that conjures up pleasant memories so customers respond to your business on an emotional level.
  • Don’t pick a name that is long or confusing.
  • Stay away from cute puns that only you understand.
  • Don’t use the word “Inc.” after your name unless your company is actually incorporated.

Some other considerations include:

  • Legal: It is imperative to conduct a legal name search to make sure that no other companies has the same or even similar name that may cause confusion. The last thing you want is to get in a legal fight with another business. If you have plans to trademark the name, it will be wise to do the work upfront. Think beyond the local market. You never know how big your company is going to be!
  • Visual Identity:You could have the best sounding name in business, but if it is challenging to create a visual identity that complements the name, it may not be as effective as you would like it.
  • Marketing: Make sure that there is a web domain available for the name you would like to adopt, and that it is customer and web friendly. It would be terrible to have gone through the trouble of legalizing your name only to realize that there is no web domain available for marketing purposes.

Before settling on a name, test-drive it! The best way is to approach your ideal customers and ask for their feedback. It pays to do your research.

Sandy Huang

Sandy Huang is the principal of Pinpoint Tactics Business Consulting in Vancouver, BC. She strives to empower small business owners by equipping them with the tools they need to be more competitive and profitable. Sandy also teaches business courses, conducts workshops, and sits on the board of Burnaby Counselling Group.

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