Start Strong With the Right Business Name
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Starting a business is a remarkable process. Either on your own or with partners, there are so many decisions to make, equipment and materials to purchase, store locations to rent or buy, and numerous other intangibles, which fill your imagination. Not to mention, you’re making your business dreams a reality! It’s all happening and you’re in charge. By the way, what are you going to name it?
So, maybe Walt’s Wonder Emporium And Olde Fashioned Ice Cream Churn is a bit of a mouthful. But, no worries. We can work with it.
Starting out any venture, business or otherwise, should be predicated with the right kind of motivation and a clear mindset of where you want to go and how you’ll get there. Naming your business is akin to applying the lightning to Dr. Frankenstein’s creation. When you name your business, you’re applying purpose and motivation and giving it a life of its own. You’re also beginning the branding of your company and that is an important factor that should be curated carefully and with some measure of a specific design. Let’s take a look at some methods for creating the right name for your business to help you start and stay strong.
Meaningful and Unique
Ideally, your company’s name is the first impression, calling card, and memorable logo, all in one. While you may not have that perfect design in mind yet, you can start by considering names that mean something to you and your clientele. A company name should make reference to the owners, the service or materials you provide, or a general sense of positivity, which can be related to your company. The best names usually spawn from the personal conversations and initial motivations, which got the business ball rolling. So, what is it that makes you want this company ownership?
For Glen Bell, the naming was derived from a combination of his product and his name. Although he originally sold his tacos from a stand by the name of Taco Tia, I bet you can guess the famous change which took place.
In the case of IKEA, the letters are the Swedish founder’s initials and the farm and nearby village in which he grew up; Ingvar Kamprad Elmytard Agunnaryd. As it turns out, Kamprad often applied mnemonic devices to objects and locations by using proper names and nouns in order to help overcome his dyslexia.
And Starbucks, which got its start in Seattle, developed its name and logo as a reference to nautical themes; fitting for their location. In literature, Starbuck was the First Mate from Moby Dick. Continuing with a siren/mermaid queen inhabits the logo. These kinds of personal, deep-rooted, and storied names often convey real authenticity to the customer base and help in creating personal connections between consumers and companies.
Short, Yet Memorable
Another important factor to consider when choosing your name is the length and sound of your company name. Does it sound good when you say it? Does it sound like another word? Is it a word that is memorable and, again, how does it relate to your business? A good rule of thumb is to keep the name between two and three syllables and one or two words. The more succinct, the better.
Also, avoid making your business name too over-the-top or difficult to pronounce. A clever twist is great, but confusion or strange references may turn away more than it attracts. At one point Amazon was called Cadabra, as in the magic phrase abracadabra. But, when a lawyer for the company misheard the name as cadaver, it was time for a change. Fortunately, Amazon was available, and, with reference to grand sizes, it has clearly grown into its moniker.
Availability and Similarity
Sometimes your great idea is someone else’s great idea, as well. Great minds think alike, right? You can avoid this scenario by having a couple of names available for your final selection process. Consider at least three options for your company name and website domain name.
Additional words or numbers in your name may also help you stick to your unique designs. Just the same, if there are other businesses, especially in the same industry with similar names, it’s probably best to strike out in a different direction. Originality and uniqueness always count and you may be overlooking an even better name option.
Another helpful option for securing your perfect name is to check the availability of your name and domain as you’re going through your brainstorming process. If you pick a name but find out early on that it’s not available, you avoid wasting time warming up to an idea that isn’t actually available.
Long-Lasting and Flexible
When you do start to settle on a name, think about how it can grow with your business. Will it make sense when you branch out and begin to occupy new markets, or will you be painted into a corner? Names with staying power are able to flex to match a business’ growth and changes, which it will inevitably encounter.
Virgin corporation comes to mind here, as the UK conglomerate is actively managing and running numerous business entities.
Everything, from an airline to sports teams, multimedia services, and even mobile phones has had the Virgin name attached to them. The ubiquitous nature of the name, which makes reference to the founders’ relative lack of experience in the beginning, has become an international symbol of success. Simple. One word, two syllables, normal spelling, and oddly memorable.
In the end, you have to choose the name which works best for you. But dig deep and make sure you really think it through before jumping on a trendy or brash name. Much like naming a pet, think about how it will sound being said over and over. Is Rumpus really the name you want to yell at the dog park?
Find that name that evokes some power, too, and then build on that name. Build the reputation of your business and work ethic and see your name become a symbol of that hard work and success.
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