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Things to Consider When Choosing a Name for Your Small Business

Company Name
May 9, 2014
| Articles

Choosing a name for your business or company is something that some might deem rather straight-forward. Well, think again. Choosing the right name can be as meticulous and crucial as your product or business plan as a whole. There are numerous factors to consider when establishing your brand as an entity. Let’s discuss some of the most essential ones.


The Importance of a Name

“Ideally a name is relevant, positive, memorable, reasonably short, not too generic and not too similar to a competing name”. – The Name Inspector.


Apart from the above mentioned you have to keep in mind that people form certain connotations with certain words. With the right company name including the ideal wording, the public will be attracted to your brand without even knowing why. Your company name should be reflective of your service/product, your industry standards and the audience or market you want to attract.


What Type of Service or Company Are you Running?

Consider the type of service you are running when considering a certain company name. In order for your audience to relate to the product/service they must make an immediate connection between the name presented to them and the service or product that they will receive.

  • Does size matter?

Some might argue that the size of the company should influence the name chosen, but every company should keep scalability in mind. If you are positive that you will only be of service to local clients and customers you might add a local touch to the name to hint to location of the company or service. Think in the lines of a small bakery in Chicago named ‘Chicago Cupcakes’.


  • Keep Profession in Mind

The specific industry that your company falls in will also dictate the type of name that you will choose. If you are registering a professional, accredited service you might have a more toned-down, ‘serious’ name whereas a costume hire company’s name could have some play on words.


  • Solopreneurs vs Companies

With the industry and type of profession in the background, the type of management might also play a role in your choice of name. As a solopreneur you are directly linked to your brand and can almost be seen as an extension of it. Small business might rely on this fact and even include it in their name, such as ‘Candy’s Cleaning Services’. Bigger companies won’t necessarily have this direct link between their personal and corporate identities.


Who is your Audience?

Another factor to consider when choosing the right name for your business is the audience or following that you want to attract. You will be providing a product or service to the public and obtaining these loyal clients and customers will be one of your main objectives.


  • Comprehensible

The name of your business should be easy to understand for everyone. It shouldn’t be pretentious or difficult. You want to guide your audience into supporting your business, and this guidance should be as easy as 1, 2, 3. On the note of comprehension, you want your name to bring understanding and knowledge to the public, choosing an acronym as a company name might make sense to you but it can be confusing and perceived as unrelated to your audience.


  • Pronunciation

For your company name to be memorable, it has to be easy to read and pronounce. If you cannot remember what you have seen or read on advertorials, chances are you won’t be thinking about it again. Thus you should keep the phonetics in mind when choosing a name.


  • Eliminate Jargon

In the world of business you should never assume anything. Rather omit industry jargon from your company name to prevent your following from feeling misguided or even left out. Try to view your business from your company’s perspective to give you an indication of what would and wouldn’t work.


What is Your Branding Strategy?

  • Your Corporate Identity

While brainstorming business names, also keep in mind that you will be developing a business identity from this name. Keep colour, size and word length in mind for the design processes to follow.

“Adding a visual element to your brand name could up your odds of being recalled when a purchase decision is on the table. This could mean using words that spark imagination or displaying the name in a visually unique way in the logo”. – Adhere Creative


  • Timeless or Trendy?

If you have a shortlist of names for your company, do the timeless vs trendy test. Choose a name that could stand the test of time and not just something that is ‘big’ in the media at the moment. You don’t want your following to view your business as something that will just pass like the latest trend.


What Is your Competition Up To?

Take tips and find inspiration from companies that are already successful. Is there a relation between the names of the successful companies? Try not to choose a name too similar to that of your competition.

Google the names you have in mind to get an idea of your online competition in regard to keyword rankings. And, obviously, it’s crucial to find a domain for your company’s website, so make sure that you will be able to obtain a domain name with your desired company name.


Image Courtesy: 123rf.com

By Anneke Steenkamp
Categories: Articles
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