When you start building your business brand… The first thing you’re going to need to decide on, is a name. This is a pretty critical step, and I remember how it had me stumped for ages, I agonised over names… whether to include what I did in the name [and what if I changed my mind about what I wanted to do], ugh… there were so many factors to consider!

A couple of the DreamDoers have been asking me about how to choose the right name for your business, and so I thought I’d outline some things you need to consider when naming your baby!

This is a pretty long post… so I’ve chunked it into sections for you:

  1. I’ve highlighted a couple of the naming trends in this infographic
  2. I’ve then outlined a couple of the pro’s and cons you need to think about before making your decision on one of those options
  3. Then I shared a couple of things to consider, to make sure that naming your thing isn’t an #epicfail!

1. Some of the business naming trends in an infographic:

InfoGraphic_Business-Name3

2. Each of the trends outlined:

2.1 It all starts, by asking yourself: Am I my business?

This is going to sound kinda vain, but the first thing to consider is whether or not your business is all about you.

Are you the centre of the brand?

Are you the face of the business

Are you the skills behind the business?

If the business is all about you, for you, or you are in the centre of it [aka: no-one else could ever run it or take over it], then you may want to consider making use of your name [or a form of it]:

I could use my name

Many solopreneurs are using their name as their business name.

Why do they do this?

It’s easier to change your business as you change. Whether you start off as a wedding photographer, and move into kiddies photography… if your clients google your name, they’ll find you easily.

Qu: if I have a hard to spell name, wouldn’t that make me harder to find?

Actually No!

If your name is trickier to spell, there are chances that the person would actually need to think harder about spelling your name.

Examples of this in action, are:

[This is a really popular decision, but don’t forget to check out the pros and cons below]

2.2 Maybe you’d prefer to highlight what you do:

Having the “what you do” as your business name, really makes things clear [in terms of what you’re offering]… Sometimes this is done fabulously, sometimes it’s executed quite badly.

The two most common options, are two either combine your name and profession; or two just highlight what you do.

Combining my name and profession:

Adding your profession or business type to your name is a great way to boost yourself in search engines.

Examples of this could be:

[Check out the pros and cons below…]

When your name is linked to what you do:

The “what you do” name is another popular option, and takes a lot of guesswork out of the equation.

Examples of this could be:

[Check out the pros and cons below…]

2.3 Other [slightly more abstract options]:

More and more, people are also opting for abstract, interesting or unusual business names, to help themselves really stand out from the crowd.

 

Link your business to a place:

Sometimes the place is directly linked to the place or product (think Seattle coffee company), sometimes it’s named after a random place (like amazon)

[Check out the pros and cons below…]

An interesting combination of names and things:

This option is becoming more and more popular.

[Check out the pros and cons below…]

An Abstract / Unrelated name [to what you do]:

Abstract names, that are seemingly unrelated, or have a fresh mix of components are quite intriguing, and could encourage people to explore a bit further.

Some interesting options are:

SideNote: I would probably include Acronym’s in here… it’s the quickest way to shorten longer names

[Check out the pros and cons below…]

3. But what are the Pro’s and Con’s of each of these options:

HowToNameBusiness2_InspiredbyeEmma

Pros:

You and your business are aligned

As your business changes, you can align your business accordingly, people move with you (the person) and continue to follow what you do All people need to remember, is your name

Cons:

You can’t sell your business / get someone to take over the brand you’ve built

If something goes wrong in your business, people will remember who was behind it

Pros:

You are linked to what you do

The profession you’ve included helps you when someone googles it (ie photographer)

Cons:

Again harder to sell your business

If your business changes (you move from photographer into designer) you would have to start building your audience again

Pros:

Good for searching

Easier to remember (and forget)

Cons:

Not always that inspiring as a brand

Pros:

Good for google searching (Nashvillephotography.com – and your website comes up)

It’s easy to remember (that designer in New York – newyorkdesigns.com)

Cons:

When naming your product after a place, if that place has really great google ranked websites, you’re needing to compete with that – before they even find you

You could get lost in the crowd of other competitors (when I search for New York designers… All the other designers in New York will come up along with my site)

Pros:

Fun names are usually easy to remember, and stand out

Cons:

Sometimes if it’s so random, the Client may forget who you are!

Pros:

Crazy names are usually so off the wall, that they actually stick in our minds, because we need to pay attention to them

These names are easier to sell long term

Cons:

Some are so abstract, or tricky… That it’s hard for people to remember the name

Acronyms are very easy to get lost in a sea of letters, and you would need to have an exceptionally strong brand to stand out.

4. When naming your thing… There are a few things you need to consider, so that it isn’t an epic fail from the start:

HowToNameBusiness_InspiredbyeEmma

1. Does someone else already have my business name?

Start by googling it

Check .com and local options (ie. Co.uk, .co.za, .nz)

If someone has the .com – do I scrap the name?

  • If you intend on going international, rather consider a different name
  • If you’re a local business… It should be fine to keep the local .co.za option… And if
  • If the .com option is a similar business to you, you may end up sending them all your business / enquiries

Go through domain providers who have a domain search (like hetzner)

Check with your countries business registry

2. What are the meanings behind the word I’ve chosen

Some words multiple meanings… so a word of caution when thinking about the words you’d like to use.

So if I wanted to call my business “sick marketing solutions”… Some clients may think that I help sick businesses, and others may think I only help businesses that are sick.

Also… Different countries have different interpretations of words, and what is cool in one country, may be frowned upon in another country

Maybe I didn’t consider the word at all… And I thought custard and lime would be a fun name… But I didn’t factor that if I mixed the two elements… It could curdle… and what is that saying about the business I offer… Or because they are opposite elements… Will I be offering a bitter sweet solution!?!?!?

3. They checked the name through with friends and family:

Now I’m not saying that all friends and family are clueless… But if they are not your ideal customer, and they don’t get what you offer… Don’t be surprised if they don’t get your business name either.

Sometimes, too many opinions can put you off moving on!

4. Too much emphasis is placed on the name

This sounds contradictory to what I’ve already said, but something I learnt from my days in corporate retail…

Sometimes it’s less about the name you’ve chosen, and more about what you choose to do with that name.

Any business name could look awesome… Or really crappy, depending on whose hands you leave it in.

Here’s to successful business naming and creating… 

Which option did you choose when creating your business name… and why?

Em sign

Ps. Naming your dream is your first step… the real magic is turning your dream into something you Do!