Starting a new business isn’t easy, but finding the right brand name can be just as difficult. Many firms take months to develop the perfect name. Small business owners should at least take a few weeks to make a final decision.
Here are 7 tips to help you choose the right name for your business:
- Communicate your company’s purpose and personality
When the average person sees your brand name, he/she should have a general idea of the products or services you provide. The better your brand name is at communicating this concept, the less you’ll have to explain it.
Begin by reflecting on your company’s mission statement. What is your brand promise? A company name should make sense in relation to the given industry and your specific business goals.
- Don’t overcomplicate the name
You want your brand name to be remembered by consumers. In order to be memorable, it must be relatable and easily understood. Avoid using strings of initials or numbers. (Example: EFD Pharmaceuticals or 1052 Consulting). When consumers attempt to recall this brand name, there’s a good chance they’ll mix up the letters/numbers or forget them completely.
- Don’t be overly specific
Don’t pigeonhole your brand. Think about the long term possibilities and avoid geographic/regional identifiers. Will your St. Louis start-up eventually expand to Chicago, Atlanta, or Detroit? If so, a name like St. Louis Softball Shop won’t make sense in those locations.
This business name is flawed in a second way. What if you decide to broaden your product offerings by selling tennis balls, basketballs, and any other sports equipment? St. Louis Softball Shop will no longer have any relevance.
- Avoid puns
We’ve all seen the terrible “punny” business names. You know, the kind that someone must have thought up and said, “This is genius!” (See this post for examples). In reality, these names just sound forced and usually aren’t that clever anyway. Not to mention, they may do more harm than good. With names like Florist Gump and The Merchant of Tennis, consumers are much less likely to take your company seriously.
- Be creative
With all of this being said, it’s still important to be unique. You want your brand to stand out from competitors. Combine words or make up new ones if you feel the need. Just make sure the resulting name is relevant and memorable.
A good example of this is a brand called Sevenly, an online store that sells clothing and accessories. Sevenly creates custom designs for a new cause campaign every week. Each product purchased results in a $7 donation to that week’s charity. (Sevenly, $7…the name even communicates brand purpose).
- Is your company incorporated?
If not, don’t put “Inc.” at the end of your business name. It may sound silly, but you’d be surprised how many people actually do this.
- Appeal to your target audience
A business is nothing without its customers. Take your ideal buyer’s personality, sense of humor, and values into consideration when determining a brand name. How do you want them to feel when they think of your brand name? Now, develop a name that will stimulate that sort of response.
For help developing your company’s perfect brand name, schedule a free consultation with the Innovations Branding House team!