What’s in a business name? Almost everything. Don’t compromise on your next business name. It’s as crucial as every other thing you need to start a successful business. The name you choose will permanently be your business image as long as your business remains operational. Unless of course at some point, you want to rebrand. Even at that point the naming process will begin all over again. Your business name will dictate which web domain you can register, your trademark, and how people identify what you do. Don’t take it lightly.
Before you rush into registering your business to get that killer idea off the ground, you need to have a good think about your business name. Choose something your customers will identify with. And also what can meaningfully reflect the product or service you intend to provide. Nike was originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports. Yes, Blue Ribbon Sports. Nike sounds a lot better than Blue Ribbon Sports, doesn’t it?
Here are three things to keep in mind when making a decision about your business name.
1. Think different.
You don’t necessarily have to include a key industry word in your business name. It may not ring a bell about exactly what you do, but if you do your branding right, you will stand out and be synonymous with everything your industry represents. Think Apple, Starbucks, Airbnb, Uber, etc.
“The word Samsung in Korean means “three stars” and was chosen to represent the virtues of being “big, numerous and powerful” (like stars in the night sky, or so the story goes). And it’s also easy to remember.”
“Amazon was nearly called Cadabra, as in ‘abracadabra’… as in the conjurer’s exclamation. Bezos wanted his book retail site to be so quick and easy that it seemed like magic. In 1994, this is exactly the name Jeff Bezos incorporated the company under, but the site went online in 1995 with the name of Amazon, taken from the Amazon River for being the biggest river.” writes Ben Woods of The Next Web.
All these companies are doing amazing and are great at what they do and represent. Apple stands out – even though it does not describe what they do! But it took time to build the brand. Starbucks has become shorthand for coffee. You can’t be an overnight success if you intend to be different. You have to work for it. If you do it right, you will win big in the end.
2. KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.
Nobody will remember you if your name is complex to remember or even mention. Consumers have too many things to worry about. The last thing they want is another complex name that promises to solve a certain problem they have. You don’t want to be that company that gets everything wrong. Don’t confuse your prospective customers. A name should not be overly complex or require explaining.
3. Is your business name web friendly
What should be the priority? Do you pick a business name based on whether there’s an exact-match domain name available? Or do you get a URL that perfectly fits your business name? That’s a huge problem in the age of online business.
Business names and domain names have always been a problem. Sometimes you have the perfect business name but when you want to go ahead and register the domain, it’s already registered by someone else. Or another company may be operating with that domain. It’s frustrating. Some entrepreneurs who don’t want to change their business names acquire those names from the original registrars.
“If your business model revolves around the Web, or if you’re planning to spend a lot of money on online marketing, then an exact-match domain name should be a top priority. Think Netflix, Yelp, Spotify or, yes, even Google.” People are going to automatically default to your company name as your URL, and if that URL directs them to someone else’s site, you’re losing out on valuable business prospects. Plus, an exact-match domain name helps you get found by search engines, instead of someone else.” says Janine Popick founder of VerticalResponse.
Choosing a business name should be a strategic decision influenced by a lot of things. Think now and the future. If you are still around in the next ten years, will you be proud of the name you are choosing today? Do you plan to operate abroad? Think about potential connotations in foreign languages and cultures. if you need, there are lots of great business name generation tools you can use to kickstart the process.