How to Select a Business Name

Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. Posts: 1,012administrator Site Admin
edited January 2017 in Selecting a Business
I've seen quite a few threads asking for help with selecting a business name. So, I thought I would share my thoughts.

Oftentimes, selecting the name of your business can be the toughest obstacle to get through when trying to start and plan your business. A lot of ideas, second guessing, research, testing and more must take place before the company name becomes official.

Let us also keep in mind that when you're starting a business from scratch, there are several things you must pay attention to, which can cause you to lose sight of smaller details -- such as giving enough thought to selecting the right business name. Things like research and development for products, selecting a business type (LLC, Corporation, DBA, etc.), building a website, securing startup capital and much more on your plate. That is a lot to take in, but you still must give ample thought and effort to selecting the perfect name for your particular business.

Here are a few tips to do so:

-Make sure it is easy to pronounce and resonates with your target market : You don't want to pick a name that people won't be able to say or spell. If people are typing the incorrect name into search engines, this can heavily affect your organic search efforts. It also can affect word-of-mouth marketing for obvious reasons. Consider testing the name with friends, family, colleagues or even a focus group first.

-Think about your branding strategies: Ponder this question: Does your company name allow you to easily position itself as a top brand in your industry? This doesn't mean you have to have a business name that is extremely literal or descriptive about your products or services (in fact, many experts advise against that), but marketing and branding efforts are truly important for startups (or any company). Make sure your target audience knows what you're offering and what you stand for, and your name should exude that. On another note, make sure copywriting is strong and error-free.

-Differentiate yourself from the competition: If you are entering some kind of untapped market with zero competition, then it may be OK to use general terms, but you'll more than likely have one or several competitors in your industry. Your business name needs to stand out. You need to use uniqueness to your advantage and position your company in a niche market. Like I said above, you don't want to be too descriptive with your name, rather, have a name that is memorable and sets you apart from the competition. This will help with your advertising, marketing and branding/positioning efforts. Though, this must be done strategically, as you'll still want to make sure the name is relevant (or can easily become relevant once branded correctly) to your niche market. Of course, do your due diligence and make sure your name is not already in use.

Community, do you have any tips when choosing a business name?
Ryan O'Bleness
Community Manager
StartupNation, LLC

Comments

  • maryannfarrugiamaryannfarrugia Posts: 11subscriber
    First of all I would like to thank you RyanOBleness for posting a topic like this. Sometimes its really hard to select a business name because it needs to be catchy and nice to hear in the ear. The name wil also be your business brand so it needs to be nice because you will promote it. Don't just selfishly decide a name very fast, it needs a lot of thinking.

    Maryann Farrugia CEO, Sales & Managing Director
    http://www.offshorebusinessprocessing.com/maryann-farrugia
  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. Posts: 1,012administrator Site Admin
    First of all I would like to thank you RyanOBleness for posting a topic like this. Sometimes its really hard to select a business name because it needs to be catchy and nice to hear in the ear. The name wil also be your business brand so it needs to be nice because you will promote it. Don't just selfishly decide a name very fast, it needs a lot of thinking.

    Maryann Farrugia CEO, Sales & Managing Director
    http://www.offshorebusinessprocessing.com/maryann-farrugia

    Thanks, Maryann. I am glad you found the post intriguing. I completely agree that your business name is also a big part of your branding efforts, so it is vital. It is, indeed, something that takes intense thought and should not be rushed.
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
  • Jeff MarlonJeff Marlon Posts: 71subscriber Bronze Level Member
    One more thing I want to add is that business name should be like that which is easy to memorize but still be very unique that it can attract target market as much as it can.
  • SteveStraitSteveStrait Posts: 13subscriber Bronze Level Member
    Great post Ryan!

    Too many businesses are stuck in the little details and not the important ones.
    Its important to spend time on the details but as you are the captain of your ship,
    your most important asset is your navigation to the final destination.

    Before we get to the tips on how to select a business name,
    - A name isn't THAT important. Its pretty rare for a well executed company to fail just because of their name
    - A name is only a small part of your overall BRAND

    Starbucks for example, doesn't define coffee in its name at all.
    Its overall brand conveys way more than just coffee.

    Brand consists of (but not limited to):
    - Logo
    - Tagline
    - Mascot/Personality
    - Typography
    - Color scheme
    - Graphics

    So for all new business owners reading this, put some thought into choosing your name.
    But don't waste months going over the options.

    2 administrative criterias before selecting a business name:
    - Is the trademark available?
    Its easy to do a trademark check. Obvious as to why you don't want to choose a name already registered to a company.
    Double check on similar sounding names as well.
    You do not want to create a company called "Dasney Land" - doesn't matter if your last name is Dasney :lol:

    - Availability of domain names/social media accounts
    Make sure the .com, .net and org are still available.
    Social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook...

    Now on to the rapid-fire tactics and an example:
    1. Acronym - KFC
    2. Alliteration - Coca Cola, Jamba Juice
    3. Amalgam - Nabisco (National Biscuit Company)
    Taking 2 or more words and combining them
    4. Evocative - Amazon
    5. Foreign Word - Volvo
    Real or made up like Hagen Daz
    6. Initials - m&m's
    7. Ingredients based - Pepsi
    Pepsi is named after the digestive enzyme pepsin
    8. Geography - Cisco
    Cisco was founded and named after San Francisco.
    They even chose their logo as the San Franscisco bridge.
    9. Onomatopoeia - Meow Mix

    Some resources you can use:

    http://www.thesaurus.com
    http://www.rhymezone.com
    http://www.morewords.com
    http://www.onlineslangdictionary.com

    Hope this helps somebody!
    Want to find a profitable niche market for your product biz? Download my free report to learn how.
  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. Posts: 1,012administrator Site Admin
    One more thing I want to add is that business name should be like that which is easy to memorize but still be very unique that it can attract target market as much as it can.

    Yeah, you likely don't want to have a business name that is hard to pronounce or impossible to memorize. Likewise, you want to make sure your branding clearly defines what it is that your product(s), service(s) or content does.
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. Posts: 1,012administrator Site Admin
    Great post Ryan!

    Too many businesses are stuck in the little details and not the important ones.
    Its important to spend time on the details but as you are the captain of your ship,
    your most important asset is your navigation to the final destination.

    Before we get to the tips on how to select a business name,
    - A name isn't THAT important. Its pretty rare for a well executed company to fail just because of their name
    - A name is only a small part of your overall BRAND

    Starbucks for example, doesn't define coffee in its name at all.
    Its overall brand conveys way more than just coffee.

    Brand consists of (but not limited to):
    - Logo
    - Tagline
    - Mascot/Personality
    - Typography
    - Color scheme
    - Graphics

    So for all new business owners reading this, put some thought into choosing your name.
    But don't waste months going over the options.

    2 administrative criterias before selecting a business name:
    - Is the trademark available?
    Its easy to do a trademark check. Obvious as to why you don't want to choose a name already registered to a company.
    Double check on similar sounding names as well.
    You do not want to create a company called "Dasney Land" - doesn't matter if your last name is Dasney :lol:

    - Availability of domain names/social media accounts
    Make sure the .com, .net and org are still available.
    Social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook...

    Now on to the rapid-fire tactics and an example:
    1. Acronym - KFC
    2. Alliteration - Coca Cola, Jamba Juice
    3. Amalgam - Nabisco (National Biscuit Company)
    Taking 2 or more words and combining them
    4. Evocative - Amazon
    5. Foreign Word - Volvo
    Real or made up like Hagen Daz
    6. Initials - m&m's
    7. Ingredients based - Pepsi
    Pepsi is named after the digestive enzyme pepsin
    8. Geography - Cisco
    Cisco was founded and named after San Francisco.
    They even chose their logo as the San Franscisco bridge.
    9. Onomatopoeia - Meow Mix

    Some resources you can use:

    http://www.thesaurus.com
    http://www.rhymezone.com
    http://www.morewords.com
    http://www.onlineslangdictionary.com

    Hope this helps somebody!

    Yes, branding is important, but I think it goes hand-and-hand with the name of your business. Like you said, the word "Starbucks" doesn't mention anything about the word "coffee," but now it is synonymous with it. There would have been no branding possible without first coming up with an easy to remember name that can resonate with its target audience. So, I agree that your business name does not always need to iterate what kind of company you have, or what you offer. However, the name of your business is important and it is something I think that a certain amount of time needs to be dedicated to. You can't brand anything until there is a name attached to it. As I mentioned above, there are certain aspects you have to consider when determining your branding plan. That starts with the name.

    Thank you for your insights and ideas, Steve!
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
  • ElexalexElexalex Posts: 56subscriber Bronze Level Member
  • ankit007ankit007 Posts: 254subscriber Silver Level Member
    Naming your business can be a stressful process. You want to choose a name that will last and, if possible, will embody both your values and your company's distinguishing characteristics. But screening long lists of names with a focus group composed of friends and family can return mixed results.
  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness Birmingham, Mich. Posts: 1,012administrator Site Admin
    ankit007 wrote:
    Naming your business can be a stressful process. You want to choose a name that will last and, if possible, will embody both your values and your company's distinguishing characteristics. But screening long lists of names with a focus group composed of friends and family can return mixed results.

    Thank you, ankit007. Focus groups will likely cause mixed results, yes. But do you have any alternative ideas to focus groups, or would you just go with the majority's selection?

    Best,
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
  • bharat.nimblechappsbharat.nimblechapps AhmedabadPosts: 186subscriber Silver Level Member
    Wow this is the most informative thread.
    I am online marketer at Nimblechapps Web Development Company | Mobile Game Development Company
  • sinGNsinGN Posts: 116subscriber Silver Level Member
    1.Unique and unforgettable
    2.Keep it simple
    3.Make some sense
    4.Give a clue
    5.Easy to pronounce and remember
    6.Avoid unusual spellings
  • Natalie MNatalie M Posts: 14subscriber Bronze Level Member
    Such great pieces of advice! Yes, selecting a name for your business can be difficult and tricky. The name must be simple, easy to remember and unique.
  • saravanansaravanan Posts: 389subscriber Silver Level Member
    • You can choose the name of the Company depending on the object for which the Company is going to be formed.
Sign In or Register to comment.