How to Name your Business?

How to Name your Business?

“…Name your business with your name and do whatever you want. Change your niche, forget about marketing rules, etc….”

I heard this recommendation so many times that I almost believe in it. But even if this idea works 15% of the time, it’s surely better than nothing. Let’s see when it does work and when it doesn’t work.

It will work for artists, musicians, writers, public people. But it may not work if you build the business and plan to sell it later. When you are going to plan serious businesses, which you can sell later, it’s better to have the name which related and connected with the business.

If you choose to use another name, here is another catch. Is a name supposed to be about the business or it can be abstract?

Here are few thoughts from experience.

The name which has “that’s what you sell” in the name helps you to be memorable as an expert. (Apple Computer Inc., for example, they changed a name after they changed the product line to Apple Inc.) It makes your company searchable online in a better way, especially if your site has the same name as your business. It gives to your potential clients a lot of clarity that these people are in this market segment. Because of the previous points, it’s a bit easier to advertise and promote the business with the very direct name. But with time, it’s harder to get such names.
If your name, however, doesn’t contain the connection with your niche, you can create a powerful explanatory tagline and use it along with the name.

An abstract company name seems like a good solution in the overcrowded market. But because no one knows what does, it means it’s a bit difficult to remember. That mean it will require more promotion, more budget and more creative approach to advertising. I bet you can give me a dozen of the big brand names which means nothing. But I would ask you to remember a few things, how long time ago they become famous and how much money they invested to this popularity.

The another option is to create an abbreviated name. It often works well for large enterprises like PricewaterhouseCoopers known as PwC. You will spend more to promote such names, just like with abstract name.

So what to choose? Your name or some business name. If you do not plan to sell your company you can experiment with your name. You can even add the indicative market word to it, like “Joe’s Jewellery”. If your name is not pronounceable or very ethnic, it will work the same as abstract business name (people will have difficulty in remembering it). Then maybe use the name which people can remember.

I would choose the name which reflects what you do, and if you want to use your name yet add an indicative market word to it. Something like Jackson’s Computers may be boring but use both the function and the family name.

P.S. Don’t be confused or stopped by the business naming.  Many large companies changed their names and logos in the beginning. Just go with the name which seems appropriate and efficient enough at the moment.

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