Naming your business may be one of the hardest things about starting your own company. It can be a stressful process to decide on a clever name that embodies your company culture and vision. You want your business name to clearly convey your expertise and value in the market, and it isn’t as easy as you might think. There are many mixed messages about company names, with some people suggesting the name be informative and distinctly identify what the business is. Others believe a made-up word is more memorable and will leave a lasting impression. How do you know which is right? It all comes down to your business and marketing strategy. Here are some FAQs to help you find the perfect business name.
- Question: What’s in a Name?
Your business name is the first way your company communicates with the general public. It should give people an idea of who you are and maybe provide a couple key elements of your business. Choose a name that has direction but isn’t so focused that you can’t grow with it. An example would be “Kentwood Ponchos,” which isn’t a bad name, but what if the company wanted to expand beyond Kentwood? Or what if they eventually decided to sell umbrellas, raincoats and rubber boots? The name isn’t fitting for a long-term business plan. Consider the following tips when choosing your own business name.
- Choose a name that will appeal to your customers.
- Pick a name that will bring pleasant memories or thoughts to consumers on an emotional level.
- Pick a short, concise name.
- Stay away from puns only business experts would understand.
While this may seem like a silly question to some, it has real value. Some businesses are concerned with gaining credibility in a volatile market, especially companies that deal in private consulting or financial services and may need to sacrifice a made-up, clever name in order to gain the respect of the industry and consumers.
However, some companies may need that extra edge to stand out in their market. Look at your long-term goals and determine where you want to be once you’ve passed your first hurdle. If you want to be a recognizable brand that sets itself apart from the rest, then create a name as unique as your business. Down the road, many companies wish they had something to propel them forward from other companies in their market. A creative business name might be just the thing.
You will probably narrow your list down to about two to four names that pass all the tests, and it’s time to make a final decision. How do you do it? Remember to consider all of your initial criteria and your long term business goals. Which name best fits with your company culture and objectives? You might consider running the names past family and friends or going with your gut instinct. Don’t rush this process, as this is one of the defining characteristics of your marketing strategy. Many companies take months to choose a business name, but you should plan on at least a few weeks.
Narrow down your list of names to your top four or five choices that are memorable and expressive of your business culture. It’s time to do a trademark search. Now, not every business will want to be trademarked, and some state governments won’t care if your name is trademarked as long as you aren’t infringing on another company’s name. You may want to consider meeting with a trademark search firm or trademark attorney just so you understand your rights and know how to protect yourself if you’re accused of infringing on another company’s trademarked name.
Your name is the first step in building a positive company brand, and it should last just as long as your business.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.