How to pick the right name for your Business

What’s in a Name?

Just like your name, the name of a company stays with it all its life and is the foundation of the business structure. A misalignment in the basic structure is going to affect the personality and character of the company. A name is one that resonates with people. Take Facebook, Google, Amazon. The name is not descriptive, but distinctive. It becomes memorable and reflects the character of the business.

This is the reason why new businesses need to start off with the right name. Choosing a name that neither suit your brand nor has no connection with the brand personality is never going to get that solid brand recall. Can you relate to a law firm that's named ‘Happy Hours’. Absolutely not, we immediately think of a bar, right?

Mistakes to Avoid while Choosing a Name for your Business

While naming a business can in itself be taxing, there are a few things that can really get in the way and muddle up the situation. Here’s a look:

Involving everyone will lead to a Compromise

Yes, you’re incredibly excited about your new business and want to choose the perfect name. Asking your friends and family is not going to hurt, right? Wrong!

What’s perfect for you might not be perfect for someone else. At the end of the day, too many cooks do spoil the broth. When you involve too many people in the naming process, you can’t keep everyone happy. Obviously you are going to go only with one name for your business. So, if you go with the name your mom suggests, you might end up offending your partner, who really wanted you to go with his/her suggestion So, where’s the compromise? You’ll choose a dull name that everyone is happy with. Now that you have pleased everyone, are you pleased?

The best thing to do is to keep the people involved in the minimum. Hand-pick the people you want in your decision-making circle, people who contribute the best idea. Choosing a name is not rocket science, it just takes some extra wit.

Forcing the Name never Rings a Bell

According to Landor, few things make a name great – Alliteration, Rhyme, Onomatopoeia and Morphemes. And, a lot of people use this as a said formula. Know that this isn’t fixed, and a name shouldn’t be forced. Using nouns is also a great approach. Take Apple, and Amazon for example.


Adjective + Noun

Some people try to fuse an adjective and a noun to create a catchy phrase (or something similar to Morphemes) – it’s not going to work, and wouldn’t just resonate with your brand. This noun and adjective combination isn’t a bad approach; however, it isn’t a go-to solution. For instance, dry cleaner store named their business – Whitex. It’s clever, white + textiles. But naming a spa TranquiSpa is just forced and unimaginative. So, yea, the math just won't add up. 

Using Generic Words is Boring

There is a huge difference between using common words and using generic words. For instance, common word names for a fitness studio can be Lean Machines, Shape-Shifters, BEE FIT or Apple Bottom. On the other hand, generic names would be Fitness One, Cross Fit, etc.

When you go for generic names, there is a lot of possibilities that the name has been overused and might already be common. Your name should be unique and memorable.  Further, generic names can also be hard to trademark at a later stage. In most business sectors today there is tough competition. So, do you want to stand out or blend in? 

Descriptive Names are Limiting

So, most of you have been to the Cheesecake Factory. I think it’s a good thing that the name worked for them (or maybe the credit goes to the show BIG BANG THEORY). When I first went to the shop, I was surprised to find pizzas on the menu. Well, imagine that! This is the problem with descriptive names. If you describe one product in your company name, then you are hugely limiting your business. People who aren’t aware immediately assume that that’s about all you have to offer.  

Regional Indicators can create Barriers

So, you are proud of your origins and have an impressive business story of your humble beginning. But it’s best to leave history and geography in the ‘Aabout Us’ page of your company’s website. A business name with a name of a city or region literally puts boundaries on your business. Did you know that the innovative manufacturing company 3M was initially called Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining? They realized how much their name was hindering business prospects and strategically changed it. Well, how about you get the name right the first time?

Metaphors are Extremely Cliché

Metaphors and superlatives are exciting; however, don’t you think you are overdoing it? A lot of people use words like Dream, Perfect, Beautiful for their wedding dress store. While they seem perfectly harmless, they are thoroughly overused and underwhelming. A name can add more personality to the character of the brand. So, do you want to limit yourself to 'beautiful', 'perfect' or any other such cliché adjective?

The name of your business is not merely for identification and company registration. It acts as the base for trademark registration, branding, and marketing. So, choose well, and choose wisely!

Views: 126


You need to be a member of Small Business Bonfire to add comments!

Join Small Business Bonfire

About the Small Business Bonfire

The Small Business Bonfire is a social, educational and collaborative community founded in 2011 for entrepreneurs that provides actionable tips and tools through a small business blog, a weekly newsletter and a free online community.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter


© 2019   Created by Alyssa Gregory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service