It’s the perfect time to make a splash in the hospitality industry by capitalizing on consumers’ renewed eagerness to travel, dine out, and experience the world. As surges of people prepare to book their next trip, meet up with friends they haven’t seen in a while, and go on new adventures, you have a golden opportunity to establish your new hospitality brand. But first, you need a name.
Many founders of companies that are just starting out think of a name as a finishing touch, like chocolate on a pillow. They assume that it’s not as important as the services, products, and experiences they provide their customers. But the name is more like a concierge; it greets them and introduces them to all you have to offer. If your name doesn’t set the right tone, your prospective customers won’t give you another chance to impress them.
What Makes a Good Hospitality Company Name?
Whether you’re opening a boutique hotel, a bed and breakfast, a restaurant and bar, a transit service, an event planning company, or any other business that prioritizes guest satisfaction, you need a stellar name that will set the right expectations. A good hospitality company should define the following:
- The guest experience
Consumers don’t appreciate broken promises, even implicit ones. If your name suggests luxury and indulgence but the actual customer experience is no-frills simplicity, your guests are going to be disappointed. Opulence, relaxation, thrills, flashy entertainment, rugged adventure, convenience, local charm, all-inclusive pricing, unique architecture, and rich history—whatever it is you deliver, you need to make sure your name aligns with it.
- Your brand
You need a name that is memorable, concise, and hints at everything you have to offer. Beyond that, however, you need a name that you can build a brand around. Your company name should put you in a good position for future growth should you ever decide to expand or try new things. The name should also lend itself to a comprehensive naming architecture, which is essentially a blueprint for naming new products, services, locations, or offshoot businesses/brands in a thematically consistent way.
- Your target demographic
Communicating your brand personality and experience is important when you name a hospitality company, but so is knowing exactly what kind of customer you appeal to. Do they prioritize an upscale experience, or do they care more about affordability? How far are they willing to travel to visit your business? Are they young professionals traveling for work or families making memories? Are they hoping to have a social experience or for seclusion and privacy? Why would they book with you as opposed to a competitor?
Dos and Don’ts of Naming a Hospitality Company
We’ve been creating names for years, helping numerous clients from diverse industries build strong foundations for their brands. We know the challenges involved in the naming process and we know how to avoid the common pitfalls. Here are a few tips for naming your hospitality company:
- Do be careful of trademark infringement
Naming newbies often make one major mistake: they get emotionally attached to a great name before they check to see if it’s available, both legally and online. Even searching your favorite name in the government’s trademark database is no guarantee that you will be aware of every potential legal conflict. Do your due diligence before you latch onto a name, and definitely before you officially start using it. Once you invest money and resources in a non-viable name, it’s tough to go back.
- Do perform linguistic screening if necessary
Availability isn’t the only factor to consider; it’s also important to make sure your name is not offensive or off-putting in other relevant languages and cultures. A linguistic screening will help you understand the context of a name and ensure that the meaning is at least neutral to key demographic groups.
- Don’t limit yourself
Always leave room for growth. That means that you should be careful about using geographical terms, personal names, or too-specific language that puts you in a narrow slot in the industry.
- Don’t expect everyone in your circle to agree on one name
Whether you’ve only entrusted a few close colleagues or you’ve gathered an entire focus group, you shouldn’t expect a unanimous vote on a name. Usually, company names that get approval across the board are the “safe” options. They don’t take any risks or rub anyone the wrong way.
It seems logical to pick a name that everyone likes, but there’s a reason no one dislikes that name: it doesn’t evoke strong enough emotions or images. And that means it won’t make much of an impression when put to the test with your target.
- Do ask for help if you need it
Naming is an art and a discipline. We’ve been doing it for more than 30 years, and we still learn something new with every client and every project. It takes not only creativity, but research acumen and market knowledge as well. Naming your hospitality company is a monumental decision, and there is no shame in asking for a hand.
How NameStormers Can Help
The NameStormers methodology is unique and proven to produce names that our clients enthusiastically embrace. Coming up with creative names is only part of the process, and we are so much more than human name generators. We learn about what makes your company unique before we start brainstorming, and then, once we have a list of name candidates, we perform a preliminary trademark check and circle back with you for feedback on the names that make it to the next round.
If none of them feel like a fit, we’ll tweak or go straight back to the drawing board. Once there’s a name you feel comfortable moving forward with, we test it with your target audience and prepare it for launch.
Are you ready to get started on naming a hospitality company? Get in touch with us today!