What’s in a business name? Oh… a lot. For starters, your business name is the first thing potential clients learn about you.
A business name also shapes your business and affects how people view it. Moreover, your business name provides the overall brand feeling that evokes customers to stop and listen, buy your products and services, and even recommend your business to others.
Unfortunately, many business owners forget that excellent names are not just words. Also, many aspire to choose a name that instantly communicates to their target but not all succeed.
The truth is that humans are emotional beings, so it’s crucial to bring out positive emotions when it comes to your business name. Research supports this by showing that many consumers make purchasing decisions subconsciously based on a brand name.
This tells you that choosing the right business name is vital. It could mean the difference between making or breaking your business enterprise.
Let’s give you the most critical elements of good business names that work!
Identity and Meaning: The Essence of Your Business
Business identity is the only way to give meaning and introduce prospects to the nature of your business. It clarifies your business purpose, strengths, and values so that your target customers can emotionally connect with and engage with your business.
Let’s play it out for a minute. What name comes to mind immediately, when you hear the word soda? Coca-Cola or Pepsi, right?
Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have done a great job of building effective business identities that help their brands stay at the top of your mind when it comes to their target market.
This brings us to our first point—one of the essential elements for a good business name is identity. Typically, your business identity comes to mind when people hear your company’s name, products, or services.
To establish your business identity, do the following:
- Create a tagline or slogan.
- Develop vision and mission statements.
- Create a professional appearance by obtaining a business address and phone number.
- Create your business logo.
- Choose a brand style.
- Choose your colors, image, feel.
- Establish an online presence.
Good Business Names are Short, Simple, and Sweet
Generally, short names are easier to read, spell, remember and say than lengthy ones. That said, a great business name is one shorter in length. Why?
Firstly, no one wants to strain themselves trying to remember a long business name.
Secondly, short names are helpful for public appearances, promotional purposes, and are web-friendly for social media channels and search engines.
Remember: your mind can’t retain lots of data all at once. Neither can your potential prospects, so don’t want to overwhelm them with too many details.
Helpful tips for choosing a short and straightforward name include:
- Keep it brief: Use five to ten letters with only one hard consonant
- Avoid complex symbols: Use recognizable words or sounds
- Make it easy to spell: Don’t be funny by coming up with a misspelled word
- Keep it unique: Make it one of a kind while still reflecting your brand
- Make it eye-catching: Make it appealing to a specific audience
Choosing a short company name enhances flexibility, catchiness, and memorability. Apple and Uber are shining examples of short brand names.
NameStormers recommended “Edge” for a product that needed a short and punchy name — it draws consumers’ eye and pops off Doritos packets with a memorable billboard effect.
Unforgettable: Good Business Names are Memorable
No matter what you’re offering, if no one can remember your business name, it’s not a good business name.
Memorable names are easy to remember, making it straightforward for you to brand and market your business to existing and potential customers.
Furthermore, a memorable name is easily searchable and helps you not lose potential customers to your competitors.
Think of company names like Nike, Amazon, Starbucks, and McDonald’s. These names have not only dominated the markets but are also memorable.
In the case of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc, the man who took over McDonald’s franchising, marketing, and branding, said he was not only struck by the restaurant’s efficient operations but also its sticky name.
On the other hand, complicated names are quickly unwelcomed and forgotten by customers or prospects.
One such example of a complicated name is Premier Dental Holdings. They came to us because (in addition to facing trademark issues), they’d discovered their brand name wasn’t memorable nor welcoming to customers. We suggested Brident — an approachable name that’s friendly, bright, and easy to remember.
So, to ensure your company name is a good one, it’s mission-critical to find a unique and memorable business name. Yet how do you know if your idea for a brand name is memorable?
One of the most effective approaches to test name memorability is to work with experts. Experts can perform tests to see if potential names truly stick.
Remember: A company name should trigger an emotion or sensation.
Good Names Result from Catchy Business Name Ideas
Great companies start with good names. However, good names start with catchy name ideas that look and sound interesting in terms of spelling, alliteration, or rhyme.
Yet truth be told, it’s not easy to develop catchy name ideas on your own.
In fact, many professionals and aspiring business owners work with professional company naming services. Together, we’re able to develop memorable and influential names for businesses, products, and services.
The following will help you pick catchy business names:
- Use names that focus on 1-2 key brand characteristics.
- Try risky or controversial names.
- Don’t wait for a full consensus before ending your brainstorm.
- Avoid overly comfortable names. Ie. InfoSeek instead of Google.
- Come up with names that intrigue your audience. How can you captivate them?
- Use an intuitive name with strong meanings.
Professional brand naming agencies such as NameStormers help successful companies get wonderful results by hand-picking unique, catchy, and creative names that make them stand out.
The most important benefit of working with name branding experts is that they get you wonderful results through creativity, high-quality market research, an effective brainstorming process, and proven branding methodologies.
Don’t Rely on a Business Name Generator
A free business name generator promises to give the perfect business name in minutes.
True to its name, a business name generator provides you quick, random name suggestions. Yet that’s as far as it goes, which leaves you with unending guesswork in trying to pick the perfect name.
The truth is that a great company name doesn’t appear simply because you’ve used a business name generator.
As such, putting all your faith in a business name generator is a mistake that many business startups make when trying to come up with a business name idea.
For starters, relying on a free business name generator has no reliable way to check whether the name you select is taken or not.
Another limitation with a business name generator tool is that it has no proper way, if any, to test cultural sensitivity on the business name ideas it provides you.
As a forward-thinking business person, relying on a business name generator limits your business name ideas and inclusive naming process.
The best solution is to work with name branding professionals like NameStormers. We can help you develop a unique and memorable business name that’s also been through the proper trademark screening process.
In fact, at NameStormers, we follow a proven seven-step process to help you come up with catchy business-name ideas that hit all of the elements needed for a good business name.
Stay Out of Court: Good Business Names are Legally Protected
So, you have come up with a name for your business, but are you 100% sure no one else owns it?
Once you have picked a simple and memorable name, the next step is to protect your unique business name from unauthorized use.
You can protect your business name in the following ways:
- File a DBA (“Doing Business As”): Filing a DBA lets people know you own a business. It’s required when you want to operate under a different name than the legal business name.
- Business registration by forming a legal entity: You achieve this by submitting your business name to your business names state registry. By doing so, you make a legally official statement that tells everyone you are operating under that name.
- Trademarking your business name: To ensure others aren’t using your enterprise name, trademarking it is essential. You can trademark by running your name through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Trademarking provides you the benefit of legally protecting your corporate business name from unauthorized use.
Once you trademark the name, you get exclusive rights to use it and the ability to legally stop anyone who tries to use your name.
Remember: To be certain of any pending trademark issues and to acquire peace of mind, it’s recommended to perform extensive trademark screening.
Professional Business Branding with NameStormers
If you feel overwhelmed with business naming for your company, products, or services, working with NameStormers will offer you a chance to create the kind of professional branding you need.
As a leading naming agency with roots in market research, NameStormers continues to uphold a 30+years reputation helping businesses—small, medium, and large— develop creative brand names backed by research.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today and transform your business name ideas into the perfect business name that will improve your overall brand image to get you results you never dreamed possible.
Featured Image from: Rawpixels