Choosing your company name is a very important part of creating your own business. You want to get it right the first time or you risk losing out on more business than you can know.
Descriptive business names, such as
- Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)
- Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd
- Country Music Hall of Fame
- International Business Machines (IBM)
- Dunkin Donuts
has been a popular way to name businesses for a very long time. The message is clear, and its easy to remember. Surely the goal of finding the right business name is to capture the essence of your company and deliver that message in a single word or short combination of words to the public, right?
Sometimes it is, but not always. Before you make a decision, here are a few points to take into account when choosing your own company name.
Restricting your business
You might start as a web design company and therefore name your business WebStudio4. But its not uncommon for companies to decide to expand their business or branch off. By having a specific name, you will be stuck with a specific brand. For example, WebStudio4 might decide to sell software as well as designing websites. It will be hard to market your new venture when your name conveys that you are specialists in only one particular area.
Hard to find
When searching for a business online, most people type the name into Google. If you use generic words in your business name, such as WebStudio4, it will be difficult to cut out the thousands of other web design studios. You will need to spend a lot of money positioning your company on top of the search results.
URL and Social Media
It can be difficult to get .com URL's for generic words and even harder to get the corresponding Twitter and Facebook account. Before assigning your name, check that it has not already been used.
By using generic or descriptive words, be aware that the trademark examiner might refuse to pass it on the grounds that it would prevent others from using normal words.
So... How to find the perfect business name
Look for a name that generates only a few Google matches, therefore cutting out the competion on search engines.
Short names are normally easier to remember and easier to spell. Consider how hard it will be to spell your company name to customers in person, on the phone or when giving out your email address.
Catchy and memorable
If it is short and easy to spell, then it is probably already easy to remember. The important point is that unless you have the money to advertise 24/7, you need to make sure that when potential customers do see your name - It sticks!
A non-descriptive business name will also give you the opportunity to do your own branding without people making assumptions on what you do as soon as they see your business name, and therefore not giving you the opportunity to correct any ill assumptions or to see what you CAN offer them.
Inspired by Seth Godin