Choosing a name for your business can be a daunting task. You will want to ensure you come up with a name that you will still like in years to come – one that sums up your business in a word or two and can be easily remembered and found by your customers. When chosen well, your business name can be a powerful marketing tool. We put together a quick guide to help you choose a business name you’ll love.
It is important to first analyse what it is that you do and what you want your customers to take from your business name. For example, if you are offering legal advice, it would be wise to use words associated with trust and professionalism. If you design soft furnishings, it would make sense to choose a name that customers will associate with creativity and comfort – or a phrase that fits with your individual style. Think about your company’s background and mission statement, is there anything unique to you that you could work into your name? We spoke to Steve Pritchard – SEO Specialist at giffgaff for his advice on choosing a successful business name:
“The word giffgaff is a Scottish expression meaning ‘you give me something, I give you something back’, which is our ethos with our members, so this short, sweet and memorable term seemed perfect for us. Aside from this, it was also very SEO friendly as it was not a term our competitors were trying to rank for. I suggest finding a name that is relevant to your service, but that is not so plain and obvious it gets lost in the crowd. Not only is this important for branding, it is also important for SEO; if your business will sell curtains and you include the word “curtains” in your name, it will take ages to outrank your competitors on search engines. Consult a thesaurus for synonyms connected to your product/service and see if one of those appeals to you.”
Once you have a name in mind, it is always a good idea to run it past a few people whose opinions you trust. A friend, family member or colleague may be able to offer some useful insight into whether the name works. They may also spot something that you had not noticed – perhaps a certain word has an alternative meaning in different regions, or the overall name doesn’t make sense. Getting an outside perspective can show up any red lights before you get too settled on a potential name. Peter Tuvey, Co-Founder of Fleximize shared his thoughts on choosing a business name:
“Read your business name ideas to family and friends and ask them to spell each one back to you. If there are any that they struggle to spell, or even have to think about how to spell, scratch them from your list. These ideas may be unique, but having a name that's difficult to spell could result in you missing out on valuable search traffic and referrals.”
A strong name should be simple and easy to find, so consider whether your name is short and memorable. Names that are smooth and easy to say will stick in the mind for longer. Use alliteration like Coca Cola and Rolls Royce, or short and snappy words like Kodak and Nokia. Also, note that none of these famous brand names include a product keyword in the title. Due to the success of the brands, everyone now knows that Nokia sell phones and Rolls Royce sell cars.
With this in mind, it is vital to ensure you do not choose a name that is too similar to a current brand. Do your research and make sure you are not copying a competitor – this could cause major problems down the line. Visit Direct GOV to check your company name before you commit.
With all these things to think about, it is tempting to avoid the hassle of coming up with something new and simply opt for using your own name. It could be argued that using your own name will simplify the process and make networking easier. However, Jamie Johnson, CEO of FJP advises against it;
“I would avoid naming your business after your name. While it seems like a good idea at the time there will potentially come a point later on down the line where you will either want to sell the business or part company with partners in the firm.”
Therefore, it may be wise to think twice before giving your company your own name, or naming it after yours and your business partners initials.
We hope this blog post has given you some helpful insight into choosing a business name. In summary; choose a name that describes your business and values, opt for something a little bit different, check your spellings and be careful when using your own name! Most importantly, don’t rush. If you are successful in your business, your name will stick with you for years to come. It is always worth waiting for the right name to come to you.