Research shows that what you name a business can powerfully influence the way your prospects see your product or service offering. However, before we kick off any discussion and naming a business the best piece of advice from the experts is don’t set your heart on a company name before you’ve made sure it can be trademarked and that no one else has already taken your name. Below are 13 considerations every business owners should go through when naming a business:
1, The name of your business should be easy to pronounce and spell. This is especially true if you do business internationally. For example, consider the Korean automaker “Daewoo” or the large Danish shipping company “Maersk” whose names are hard to pronounce, let alone spell.
2, The name should not be easily confused with names that already exist. For example, “You Fit” is a health club and so is “Fit U.”
3, Don’t name a company in a way that limits your expansions in future years. IBM stands for ”International Business Machines” and NCR stands for “National Cash Register.” Both companies sell computers and software and have been forced to only use their acronym.
My son Josh works for Tire World. I guess at one time they just sold tires, but today they do a lot more. When most people see their business name “Tire World”, they never think about the other services. I’m sure this situation hurts their ability to be viewed as a full-service diagnostic and auto repair facility.
4, Try to find a name that describes what your business does, such as “Jiffy Auto Lube” or “Federal Express.”
5, Avoid trendy names or names based on current technology. Avoid them like the plague. When the trend/technology dies out, so does your business. “Crumbs Cup Cakes” or “8-track Heaven” are good examples of businesses that died when the fad or technology died.
6, Using your own name for your business is a hedge against infringing on someone else’s name.
7, Ask yourself, “How will the name sound over the phone or in a video?”
8. Become a verb. Of course, the goal of every business is to have the company name become a verb. When we want to search the internet, we don’t say “bing it” or “yahoo it” – we say “google it.”
9. Start with the beginning of the alphabet. It is always good to have a name that starts with a letter closer to the start of the alphabet. In the days dominated by the Yellow Pages, companies would use names like AAA Plumbing to make sure they appeared at the beginning of the category. Today, with internet searches, the ability to appear at the top of a list is dependent on many factors and many companies no longer consider names that start with a letter closer to the start of the alphabet as important. However, rest assured that someday your business will be listed in a directory. For instance, you’ll be in a directory when you have a booth at an expo. Having a business name that starts with a letter closer to the beginning of the alphabet will help you appear at the top of the list.
10. Do not include a number in your name. The question in everyone’s mind is whether the number is a numeral or if it’s spelled out. Businesses with a number in their name, and subsequent URLs, all too often have to explain how their name is spelled when talking to new customers.
11. Avoid foreign names with uncommon letter combinations in English-speaking countries. Zhuijang and Xiaomi may be common in China, but they are difficult for English-speaking people to spell much less pronounce.
12. Choose a name that starts with a capital letter. A capital letter in the middle of a sentence alerts the reader to the proper name. Having a name that does not start with a capital letter leaves the reader confused. Sure companies like “intel” and “xerox” have been re-branded to use all lower case letters, but the rule for the rest of us is to use an initial capital like Google or Coke to make them stand out in the middle of the text.
13. Consider a name with all caps such as IKEA or BEST BUY to make sure your name stands out even more in the body text of your message.
14. Consider a name with repeating first letters in the name such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Coke Cola, Weight Watchers, Steak and Shake.
15, Consider names where the words in the name rhyme such as StubHub, YooHoo, FireWire, Lean Cuisine, and 7-Eleven.
If after reviewing the 15 considerations for naming a business and you feel that you want to register a trademark in the U.S. you can go to the Trademark Office to begin the process.
When it comes to naming a business, will your business’s name stand the test of time?
IF YOU LIKE OUR CONTENT PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND SHARE IT ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS. THANK YOU!