How To Choose Your Business Name

The name of your business is the very first aspect of the business most people will come in contact with. Many people will often meet your business name before meeting the business itself. It is also what will accompany the business for as long as it lives and even after it dies. Thus, in choosing a name for your business, it is important that you give it all the importance it deserves and take your time to get the best.

Why is choosing a business name important?

  • Your business name can make your business popular within a short time or doom your prospects.
  • Your business name goes a long way to form part of your brand. In fact, just the business name alone is capable of marketing the business more than anything else, if well-chosen. This is why business names must not be chosen hastily.
  • Your business name creates a right identity for your business or mars it, along with your
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    chances of success.

  • Your business name is one of the voices of your business and it’s always saying something.
  • A well-chosen business name will attract people to your business and give you an opportunity to win them over.
  • All your business legal decisions shall be based on your business name, since all your documents will carry it.
  • You may eventually be creating a website for your business and your business name will constitute your domain name.
  • You won’t be changing your business name as often as you feel so as to have something new.
Unfortunately many business owners choose sub-standard names for their business. In this post, I present to you ten things to take into consideration when choosing a name for your business. Follow these tips and you will get a name for your business that stands out.

Keep it Short

The best business names are short. One-word business names with two-syllabi are ideal. Names like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, FedEx, Yahoo, Apple, Sony, Samsung, Nokia, Honda, Shoprite, are all one-word, two syllabi names that rock. However, it could be three or four-syllabi like Toyota, Mercedes, Picasa, Toshiba, Alibaba, Coca-Cola, or a unique one syllabus name like Sharp, Nike, Dell, Sprint or Shell, and it will still do a good job. Anything more than this becomes a phrase and it is not good for a business name. Exceptions are institutions and corporations.

Make It Sharp

A good business name is sharp, not dull. The sharpness of the name depends on the first letters and the combination of the words that make the business name. Using words like Success, Good, Nice, Best, Victory, etc. makes your business name dull. In fact, the best words to use for your business name are words that are not used in day to day conversation. Strange words, wrongly spelled words and words that make use of letters like Z, F, Q, K, X, V, will do the deal. Think of names like Xerox, Suzuki, Kia, Volvo, etc. These are sharp words that will wake up any sleeping mind, any day any time.

Add Some Creativity

In choosing a business name, you must avoid names that are too obvious. For example, naming a restaurant business, ‘Nice Food Restaurant’ is not cool. But naming it ‘Mouth Power’ brings in something new and wins the attention of your customers. Naming a car ‘Wonderful Car’ is unappealing but calling it ‘WONDERS’ will certainly appeal more in the minds of your customers. Let your choice be an uncommon one with some creativity in it.

Make It Easy To Keep

When naming your business, one important thing you must consider is how easy it will be for your customers to keep the name in memory. Often they may want to talk about your business to potential customers and if they find it hard to remember the name, it will be a minus. Your business name cannot be something like “ASKERTIREAT” or “FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BARBING SALOON”. Make your business name as short as possible but not complex to pronounce. An ideal business name does not take more than a second to pronounce it. The longer it takes to pronounce, the longer it takes to memorize.

Raise Curiosity

The best business names are names that cause people to think and talk. When the name of your business has a whole story to tell, it will always make people more curious to know what story you are telling. Imagine calling a restaurant Dreamland Restaurant, Hot Vapor Restaurant, Red Pepper Restaurant, Kuchina Restaurant, Foods and Flavors, etc. All these are names that will make people ask questions; and when they can’t get the answers, they will come to know why your business has the name it has. This will bring them closer and could keep them forever, if you know what to do.
Your business name could sound foolish, but that could be just why it makes your business popular. It could make people laugh but then after they laugh, they never forget the name. It could make people think and ask questions. Whatever it does that makes it hard for people to bye-pass the business so unnoticed, is worth it. Be creative in naming your business.

Reveal The Business

As already mentioned above, the first thing people meet when they come across your business is likely the name. A good business name speaks of the business but not in a straight forward way sometimes. For example, what do you think the name Sharp, speaks of the kind of TVs they produce and how do you think the name Caterpillar describes the type of vehicle it stands for, same with Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hotmail and Facebook. Some names just summarize the business’ operations, others speak of one quality or the other which the business has and want to communicate.

Leave Out Punctuations

It is not usually common to see business names with punctuation marks although we have a few like Yahoo! Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s. Realize that the punctuation did not really change the name very much as it could still be read the same if written without the punctuation sign. Using punctuations is not really necessary for your business name.
However, punctuations when well used could be a real spice to the business name. This is especially effective when the name is written on print documents or bill-boards. Otherwise, the effect is minimal.

Leave Out Abbreviations

Just as in the case of punctuations used for business names, there are few times when you see businesses going for abbreviations for their business name. For example: AOL, AT&T, BenQ, DHL, MTN, HTC etc. Some of these businesses do this intentionally to raise curiosity in the minds of the people, who will be seeking to know the meaning.
Your business name should not cause people to be curious to know the meaning of the name but to know the business. How many people who own Toyota, Mercedes, Honda, Suzuki, Samsung and Sony products really bother to know what the names stand for? But the names are in themselves powerful and will cause people to want to know what they offer.
Like I said, you don’t have to use abbreviations for your business name when there are many idle words you could use, just put your creative mind to work. Also, if a name is made up of many words, it could be reduced to abbreviations and the name will be drowned in a few letters that will make no sense. Watch out for these.

I am sure you can now sit down and get to work, coming out with a business name that rocks. When you start thinking and you get one or two options, don’t stop at that and get satisfied. Very often, when I think of business names, I get them like some kind of inspiration and I am tempted to always think I have had the best. However, later I get a better one and I feel different about the former.
Take some time to think deeply before settling on your business name. Think about all the products and services you will be offering; think about the far future of the business and you will make a better choice. It is worth investing much time into coining a name for your business.
When you choose a name for your business, choose one that is strong and goes down in history and never easily gets lost in the crowd of names of similar businesses.
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