We were recently asked to help choose a new name for a local business. It’s a big step to rebrand, but this company had evolved so much in its offering and had moved location since it started that it made sense. Their current business name didn’t reflect what they did and instead gave the wrong impression.

So I thought I would let you know how we go about finding a new company name. This is relevant if you are naming a new business or if you are looking to rebrand.

  1. Who you are
    Knowing what your business is about is key. What do you offer your customers and what will you offer in the future? You don’t want a name to limit you in location and services. It’s also important to know your audience and the type of name that will resonate with them.
  1. Your competition
    Research of your competitors’ names is one of the first steps. It’s then best to choose a name that is different. You don’t want to sound too similar to a competitor just down the road from you.
  1. Make a long list
    Brainstorm to make an initial list of names writing down all the ideas you can think of. Try to remember your Unique Selling Point (USP), your product, your audience, adjectives to describe what you do, your location and perhaps your own name.
  1. The alphabet
    Remember that a lot of directory lists are ordered alphabetically. If you can be in the A section or even start your business name with a number it could mean your business is chosen more frequently. However, your name should still make sense for your business.
  1. Your own name
    Many business owners choose to use their own name or initials. The issue here is this doesn’t say anything about what your business does or its USP unless you are already famous! Also, including your own name in your business name might make selling your business much more difficult. There are particular industries, such as Accounting, where it has become the norm to name a business in this way.
  1. Creating a new word
    Common phrases, slang words and idioms that are used in the industry can be useful. But a completely made up word may need a lot of explaining. Try namemesh.com – Namemesh is a great tool that combines words and displays them immediately.
  1. Your location
    Using your location can limit your market, unless you know for a fact that your customers will be local.
  1. A benefit or positive word
    It’s often good to use a benefit of your business as a business name as this is what someone will type into a search engine. It should still try and describe what your business does though. For instance a dentist could call themselves ‘Bright White’. Positive words are also useful to show you are top of your industry although these are often over used. So try and discover something that is different and meaningful.
  1. Long names
    Try to keep your business name as short as possible to make sure that it is easy to remember. Be careful about using an Acronym though as shortening your name just to letters will mean you need to market properly to ensure your customers know what it means.
  1. Look at spelling and pronunciation
    Some words are often misspelled so it’s best not to use these in your business name. If a name is hard to spell it will often be typed wrong into the address bar so won’t be found. Also, if your name includes a word that is often mispronounced, your word of mouth advertising will suffer.
  1. The Domain Name
    Your brand is going to be the strongest if you can get the .com domain. Don’t forget to check that the domain name is available before you make a final decision. It’s also wise to claim your custom URL on popular social media networks as well.
  1. Limited Company and Trademarks
    It’s a good idea to make sure your business name can be registered at Companies House if you want to Incorporate your company at any point. You can do a web check here http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk//wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo to find out if you are likely to be able to have the name you want. Be warned though – Companies House won’t except names that are too similar! You may also want to undertake a trademark search. Even if you aren’t planning on trademarking it’s useful to do this to ensure your name is unique and you are not infringing.

Hopefully these ideas will give you something to think about but if you need some help on naming your business please get in touch.

We also offer branding and logo design services, to find out more please click here http://silverstonedesignsolutions.com/services/branding/