How to choose your business name

One of the first ways your potential customers will see and interact with your business is through its name. A simple name can convey so much meaning instantly, and eventually it can potentially hold a huge amount of power over your entire customer base. You might feel a lot of pressure to choose wisely, so what factors should you consider?

Does the name convey your brand’s values? Think about what it will immediately bring to your customers’ minds, and whether that image matches up to how you want your brand to be perceived.

Is the name too outside-of-the-box? There is something to be said for being unique, but that doesn’t automatically make a name memorable or meaningful. A random name can be confusing and make it harder for you to explain what you offer.

Is the name too generic? On the other side of the coin, you may benefit from explaining what your business does right there in the name, but this could mean you’re making it harder to carve out your unique identity, especially online. Try combining a unique name with a mention of your product or service, rather than just choosing one or the other.

Is the name meant to be funny? It’s not advisable to use puns or jokes in your business name unless your particular niche is highly suited to this. Steer clear of comedy where possible to avoid coming across badly in your professional communications.

Is the name location-specific? Sometimes it’s a great idea to proudly incorporate your local area into your business name, as this can increase confidence in your brand for local customers. However, make sure this doesn’t limit your scope later.

Is the domain name available? You will probably want a website to promote your brand, and in many cases this will be essential. It’s worth checking that your ideal website name isn’t already taken by someone else, although you might be able to get a suitable variation.

Is it easy to say and spell? Difficult names can make it difficult to spread the word about your company through word of mouth, or talk about over the phone without misunderstandings. Unnecessarily misspellings are rarely a good idea unless you keep it very simple.

Does it have any hidden meanings? Your business name could mean something different (potentially negative, funny or offensive) when taken in the context of a different language. Make sure it doesn’t have any undesirable connotations that you may have missed by testing it out on a few people before making a commitment.