Choosing a business name for your new venture is one of the most exciting and vital parts of the journey.
Your business is your baby, and you surely want to choose a name which suits your company perfectly. This may seem like an easy task at first, but choosing a company name can be more challenging than many people realize.
There are so many factors to take into consideration. The great thing is, there are also a lot of excellent tips, advice, and strategies for how to come up with a business name. Scroll down below to find out!
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How to Come Up With a Business Name
Here are some tips for creating a catchy business name:
1. Get to Know Your Brand
First and foremost, get to know your business and your brand. By understanding your brand better than anyone else, you can better understand the goal of your business, and you can align your business name with that goal.
To understand your brand, ask yourself questions like:
- What product or service does my business provide?
- Who is my target market?
- What daily, weekly, and yearly outcomes am I striving for?
- What look do I want my business to have?
- What feelings do I want my business to create for my customer?
Before you can move on to the next steps of how to choose a business name, you need to understand your business and its objective. Without understanding these things, you will be shooting in the dark. Business is strategic, and choosing your business name should be as well.
2. Understand Your Target Market
When deciding who your target market will be, paint a picture in your head of the person reaching out to you to do business. Get very specific, even name the person if that helps.
What does your target customer look like? Are they a stay-at-home mom who loves to cook but needs more time to do so between running kids around to school and sports practice? Are they a college student who is struggling to keep up with their homework?
Ask yourself what solution your business is bringing to the table and who that solution is tailored to. By understanding the person you are providing a solution for, you can more easily develop a business name that targets that person and catches their interest.
3. Get Specific
If a lot of contemplating and banging your head against the desk trying to come up with a business name has still left you with nothing, then try getting specific to what your business offers. One of the great things about being particular is there is no question as to what service or product you are providing. If a customer needs that product, they know you are offering it.
You can even throw your first or last name at the beginning of the business name and follow it with the service you provide–for example, Jill’s Tax Filing, Barry’s Landscaping, and Hudson Air Conditioning. These may not be the flashiest business names, but there is no question about the service they offer.
Think of all the majorly successful business out there that use a person’s name:
- Coco Chanel
- Tommy Hilfiger
- McDonald’s (Named after the McDonald brothers)
- Abercrombie & Fitch
Being specific can also help with search engine optimization if you are running your business online. This factor may allow your business to get picked up when potential customers use specific search terms in their search engine. If the search engine sees a match, for example, if someone types “writing services” and your name is “Bob’s Writing Service,” you may be more likely to be seen.
This is a simplified explanation of SEO. There is more to it than just the business name, but this is something to consider before putting your business online.
4. Get Creative
It is also okay to get creative with your business name, especially when building a brand. Think about successful businesses that have created a brand around their creative name. Notice that the names tend to be simple and relatively easy to remember.
Do you notice that they are all comprised of a single word? By keeping it simple, these companies have come up with names that are easy to remember. For potential customers to revisit a particular company, they need to know and remember the name.
The key to these companies’ success is their fantastic ability to brand themselves. Each one of them has a logo or look about them that is very memorable. For example, the primary colors of the Google logo. The simple, black Nike Swoosh. The blue smiling face of Amazon.
These companies are experts at planting the seed in a customer’s head and staying relevant to the customer. The customer comes to know the brands so well that they become a part of their daily life.
When choosing a business name, think about your target customer and how you can become indispensable to them. Be easy to remember so that they will keep coming back to you for business.
5. Use Your Geographical Location
Using your geographical location can be a smart business move when choosing a name. The reason is that it highlights you out of an ocean of businesses offering the same service.
For example, if someone has a business called “Cindy’s Tax Service,” she competes with the entire internet to offer her tax-related services. However, suppose she calls her company “Sugarland Tax Services” and mentions somewhere on her website that she provides the best tax services in Sugarland, Texas. In that case, she is more likely to get picked up when someone searches for “Tax services in Sugarland, Texas.”
People often like supporting businesses in their hometown, so naming your business appropriately and registering the address of your business can be a clever marketing tactic to get local customers.
6. Use Acronyms
Using acronyms is another way to keep a business name simple and easy to remember. Maybe you have come up with a great name but feel it’s too long. Turning it into an acronym can be an easy way to keep the name but shorten it to make it memorable.
Some examples of successful businesses with acronyms as their business name are:
All the above names stand for something longer, but they have been shortened into an acronym and are incredibly memorable, one of the keys to repeat business.
7. Try Stories, Mythology, and Objects
Another fun and creative way to develop a business name is to look back at stories, mythology, or objects that mean something to you. Ask yourself, “Is there something important or interesting to me that I can use as my business name?”
For example, a new business owner loves the story of the god of light, Apollo, from Greek mythology. They may choose to name their electrician business Apollo Electrical. There’s even a play on words there because the business owner is an electrician, and Apollo is the god of light.
Using an object as a business name can be a great marketing tactic as well. Look at Apple, for example. Apple is excellent at marketing and branding. They used a simple object as their business name and created a matching logo with an apple. Both factors make it unique and memorable for the consumer.
8. Get Your Friends and Family In on the Action
If you are struggling with the idea of how to name a business or have come up with a few business names and need feedback, one way is to ask your friends and family. Request that they do not worry about sparing your feelings and that they be honest with you.
If they are not honest and are only supportive regardless of their real thoughts, they will not be doing you any favors. Your family may want to support you no matter how poorly you’ve set up your business, but Joe Shmoe will have no interest in helping you unless your business catches his interest because it meets a need of his.
Family and friends can be a great resource in which to get differing opinions and creative ideas. Coming up with the best business name can even be made into a fun game over dinner, with the winner of the best name for your business getting the prize of extra dessert.
Get creative with it and enjoy the process.
Related Read: 10+ Best Business Books for Entrepreneurs
9. Use a Business Name Generator for Fast Ideas
Those tips above are a great place to start when deciding on a name for your business.
If you’re not feeling particularly creative or don’t like the business name ideas you’ve come up with so far, try a company name generator online. There are multiple free business name generator options out there, just a Google search away.
For entrepreneurs and cofounders who want a unified experience, check your business name idea against matching website domain names, social media profiles, and existing trademarks. You don’t want to finalize something that may actually already be taken!
If you have some final-stage ideas for your new company name, do a trademark search first to check if there’s already something similarly named out there in a related business field. If you get past that, see if you can secure a solid website domain name (e.g., businessname.com, companyname.io). Then, do the same with social media profiles. If you’re lucky, you’ll have your business identity checked off your to-do list before even setting up your limited liability company or corporation!
And, if that fails, unfortunately it’s back to the drawing board. Head over again to the online business name generators, or, better yet, get some trusted pals involved to brainstorm business names and ideas with you!
A Great Business Name is Your Handshake With the World
Building a business can be a challenge, but with the correct information and education, it can be one of the most exciting things a person can do.
Your business name is one of the first things a customer gets to know about your business. It is your handshake before they get to know you better to decide if they want to hire you or purchase your product, so understanding how to come up with a business name and brand your business is essential.
If you would like more advice on topics related to entrepreneurship, startups, and ideation, visit the Goodwall Blog’s entrepreneurship articles for tons of valuable information to help you start on the right foot.
Related Read: Entrepreneurship Glossary of Vocabulary Terms Defined