How to Choose a Good Name For Your Business

Choosing your name is one of the first steps. It's also one of the most important. Don't rush through it.
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Your name is important. In the moments after a potential customer hears your name, they will make a hundred judgements about you.

How to Choose a good name for your business

They will:

  • Decide if they like the sound of your name
  • Think of words sounding similar to your name
  • Try to figure out what exactly you do
  • Consider if they like the sound of your name
  • Wonder why you chose that name
  • Dream about what they'll be having for lunch
  • Conclude by choosing whether to like you or not

So, as you can see, choosing the right name is incredibly important. It is the first point of contact, and you want it to be a good one. This decision is something not to be taken lightly, so here are some suggestions on what to do and what not to do.

Choose something unique

Your company's name should be deliberately dissimilar to your competitors' names: You want the be the first business someone thinks of when they hear your name. Get a little creative! Your name is the chance for your personality to shine through. It might take some time to find a name that is just right for you, but when you find it you'll know.

Your name should be easily understood and spelled

Yes, it is easy to pick a name that is unique if you start grabbing letters from all over the alphabet and throwing them together. But after John Doe the consumer hears about you and wants to look you up, he sure better be able to intuit how to spell your name in the search bar. If your company is called “Phireflyz”, then someone who hears about you by word-of-mouth is probably going to be doing searches for “fireflies” for about 2 milliseconds before giving up. You will lose a lot of potential customers. That is no good.

Additionally, you want a name that has some indication of what you do. You don't want a potential customer scratching their heads about what you do. What you do want is your customer to feel smart when they make the connection between your name and your company. For instance, "Google" is named after a googol (a huge number: a one followed by a hundred zeroes), indicating the size and scope of being a huge search engine.

Don't pick a cliché name

We see these all over the place, and they are often signified by the inclusion of one or more of the following terms: "top", "#1", "American", "super", "by design", "developments", "solutions", "United", "-tech" (as a suffix). There are many others, and the goal is to avoid them totally. Yes, other companies use them. Yes, they have worked for others. The difference is that the successful companies using these names have usually been around for a while. They are already quite well established. If you want to get your name off of the ground, then you'll need to find an original name.

Have a name to live up to

Your name is a sign of things to come: it's a prophecy which you are setting out to fulfill. Therefore don't choose something that will limit you as your business grows. Choose a name that you will be proud to herald.

Don't feel stuck in a name.

If you get going, and find that your name just isn't working, don't feel stuck. You can change your name. If you are afraid that rebranding will affect you negatively, you might need to weigh your options. Is sticking with a mediocre name for the rest of your life going to hurt more than a month or two of confusion while you change it? If you have come to really dislike your name, it's probably something to seriously consider. Handled correctly, rebranding can be relatively benign, with the huge benefit of a new name.

It all comes down to this: don't hurry into naming your business. Give it serious thought. Ask friends and family about their thoughts on a potential name. With a little research and brainstorming, you can come up with a name that will give you an edge against your competitors.

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