Tips On Choosing A Name For Your Business
Once you have decided on an idea for a business and have began putting together your business plan, it’s time to develop a name for your new company. But how does one go about forming the perfect business name?
Start by deciding what you want your name to communicate. To be most effective, your company name should reinforce the key elements of your business. Your work in developing a niche and a mission statement will help you pinpoint the elements you want to emphasize in your name.
Naming consultant Gerald Lewis uses retail as an example: “In retailing, the market is so segmented that a name must convey very quickly what the customer is going after. For example, if it’s a warehouse store, it has to convey that impression. If it’s an upscale store selling high-quality foods, it has to convey that impression. The name combined with the logo is very important in doing that.” So the first and most important step in choosing a name is deciding what your business is.
Should your name be meaningful? Most experts say yes. When you are creating your name you should give priority to real words or combinations of words over fabricated words. People prefer words they can relate to and understand. That’s why professional namers universally condemn strings of numbers or initials as a bad choice.
On the other hand, it is possible for a name to be too meaningful. Business owners need to beware of names that are too narrowly defined. Common pitfalls are geographic names or generic names. Take the name “San Pablo Computer Monitors” as a hypothetical example. What if the company wants to expand beyond the city of San Pablo, California? What meaning will that name have for consumers in Chicago or Pittsburgh? And what if the company diversifies beyond Computer Monitors into software or computer instruction manuals?
Specific names make sense if you intend to stay in a narrow niche forever. If you have any ambitions of growing or expanding, however, you should find a name that is broad enough to accommodate your growth. How can a name be both meaningful and broad? Descriptive names tell something concrete about a business – what it does, where it’s located and so on. Suggestive names are more abstract. They focus on what the business is about. Would you like to convey quality? Convenience? Novelty? These are the kinds of qualities that a suggestive name can express.