Your business name is fundamentally important, it’s the part of your brand that is present in just about everything you do – from your business cards to your invoices, from your networking meetings to your telephone conversations, and from your website to your social media.
It’s at the heart of everything you do and a great opportunity to engage with your audience in a meaningful way – time after time.
That said, business owners often don’t give their business name much consideration and end up storing problems for the future.
Changing your business name further down the line can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive.
There are many different ways to approach naming your business, some are more effective than others. We’re going to the look at some of the common techniques used and the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Historically one of the most common methods of naming a business was to name it after the founders. Think Ford, Cadbury or more recently Dyson.
We’d also place names composed of initials in this category, such as the car brand TVR – named after their founder Trevor Wilkinson.
In our recent post on keywords, we explained what keywords are and why they are important in search engine optimisation. More and more businesses are including keywords in their business name to increase the traffic from search engines. Our client Salsa Dance Leeds has used this technique effectively to drive new customers from search engines.
Similar to including keywords in your business name, you may be tempted to include a location. This location may well be a keyword itself, or you may simply want to affiliate yourself with a particular location.
A feature of a product or service is something that it has, whereas a benefit is the thing that it does for the customer to improve their situation.
Customers are particularly interested in the benefit that a product or service will give to them. Therefore a viable naming strategy is to include the benefit that you will convey to your customers.
For example: Hotmail, Tasty! Sandwiches, and Amazing Glazing. Notice that these three examples include both a feature – mail, sandwiches, glazing; and also a benefit – hot, tasty, amazing.
Creating a new word or a misspelling of a dictionary word is increasingly becoming a viable strategy for finding a unique name in a cluttered namespace. Google is an intentional misspelling of googol – which is an incredibly large number.
Using something completely out of context can have the same effect as creating a new word – e.g. Apple or Amazon.
Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ naming strategy, for a professional name generation project we tend towards creating a new word, that both communicates some benefit and includes keywords where appropriate. Which is no mean feat!
Hopefully the above list has sparked some ideas and got you thinking about names in new way.
Once you have some ideas for a name, the hard work really starts. Why not test your business name ideas against our checklist, the properties of great business names or if you’ve found a name you’re happy with find out if your business name is available.
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