Business Name Ideas – Some Simple Guidelines

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet but does this apply to business name ideas? Find out more.

Thinking of business name ideas is not the quickest or easiest process but it’s one of the most important tasks you will undertake when you start your company. Good or bad, your company name is the first impression most people have of your organisation. If you decide to change your name, it can be very expensive and time consuming to re-brand your business. Here are 10 ways you find a winning company name that does the business.

The name is memorable

When brainstorming business name ideas, you want to choose a name that a consumer remembers for all the right reasons. A creative industry calls for a creative name such as ‘A Snip Above the Rest’ for a hairdressing salon or you may want to play on words such as ‘Bean Me Up Espresso’ for a coffee shop. However, for a business such as a lawyer or doctor, you may decide to keep the name more professional and more corporate sounding.

Choose a searchable name

In this internet savvy world, it is ideal to choose a name that has a domain name available and low competition on Search Engines. If you choose a catchy name that is similar to other businesses, you may find that your business name is buried in the search results even for your company name. The name should also be easy to spell and if possible, try and use a keyword. This works well for organisations such as the ‘Queensland Theatre Company’.

Choose a name with positive associations

A business name that is unsuitable for your industry or just plain inappropriate, distasteful or bordering on the offensive such as ‘Stiff Nipples Air Conditioning’ or just sounds like a rude word will reflect badly on your business. Many words have both denotation (literal meaning) and connotation (emotional meaning). Choose names that have positive associations and signify trust and authority.
Choose a name that won’t date

A name that may be fashionable here and now or have popular culture references may not be understood or relevant fifty years from now. When thinking about business name ideas, think of a name that is funky and fun if your industry allows for it but will also last the distance in the corporate world and won’t date. Your business name needs to grow and develop with your business (see below).

Make it easy to pronounce and spell

Unfortunately the reality is that if a customer cannot pronounce your name correctly, this may inhibit them from calling your business or using your services. It’s a barrier to sales that most companies do not need. However, there are always exceptions to the rule and a quirky company name such as ‘agent provocateur’ which sells lingerie and breaks a lot of the business name guidelines may enhance your business and add a certain savoir faire.

Choose a name that will allow your company to grow

If you are planning to stay in one locality and have no plans for expansion, it is recommended that you use a localised keyword such as ‘Queensland’ in your business name (as above). However, if you do have plans for business growth whether that includes different regions or introducing different product categories, you should choose a name that will serve your company’s needs now and well in the future.

Use personal names

Some business experts say it can add credibility to your business say using your own name such as ‘Dick Smith’ or ‘Harvey Norman’ and this certainly works well in certain professions. Others say it may indicate that the business is a small entity and people may prefer to deal with a larger company. You can get around this by adding your name and associates or use a combination of a personal name and descriptive name such as ‘Dell Computers’.

Descriptive business name

Choosing an intrinsic business name is another strategy employed when thinking about business name ideas. People will be able to know at first glance exactly what your company does whether you own a gym, you are an accountant or you provide SEO Services. This strategy can work well for businesses. Examples include ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ and ‘International Business Machines (IBM)’ which do exactly what their business name says.

Build your unique brand

Businesses such as ‘Virgin Blue’, ‘Microsoft’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Google’, ‘Nike’ and ‘Cadbury’ have chosen names that defy all the business rules and spent a lot of money building their brand and educating customers about the products and services they sell and what they stand for as a company. In a lot of instances, these names are very unique and usually one word that is easier to remember and spell for the average consumer.

Emphasise your business image

Adjectives describing your product or service can be effectively used in a business name and they allow customers to be able to instantly conjure an image of your company simply by the name such as ‘Hire a Hubby’ or ‘Merry Maids’. The name you choose reflects the quality of your business and that image can be conveyed clearly to your customers purely through your company name alone.

There are several different strategies you can employ when choosing a name for your small business. These are just a few. Choosing a business name is an important part of branding your business. Think long and hard about the name of your company because there is no quick and painless way to change it. Once you have brainstormed business name ideas and settled one you like, register it straight away and buy the domain name.