What You Want To Avoid When Naming Your Business
When you’re starting a business, there’s one decision that a lot of people can find surprisingly tricky, that can hold back launch efforts for quite some time: finding the right name. It’s not unwise to be careful when naming your business. If you really hit the ground running, you can be stuck with it as your company grows more and more popular. As such, here, we’re going to look at a few mistakes you don’t want to make when naming your business.
Avoid anything too cliched
When you start thinking of names that fit your business, then you’re likely to first start off with some basic word association. It’s not uncommon for florists to think of names related to blooms, spring, petals, and so on.
You want to make sure that you avoid these most basic names if you have any intention of growing your brand beyond a small store. Otherwise, these cliched names are going to get lost amongst the whirlpool of companies that are named the exact same.
Don’t choose names that are close to your competitors
It’s a sadly common strategy that new business owners will simply look at their competitors, think of a name that sounds vaguely similar, or even one that’s just a few letters off, and launch with that. This is not a clever way to try and siphon customers away from your competitors. First of all, it can make your business look like a cheap imitator, it prevents you from being able to grow into an original and authentic brand and, what’s more, you could find yourself in legal trouble if you name your business too close to a competitor’s. You want to stand out from the competition, not blend into it.
Be mindful of naming it after your family
There are a lot of businesses named after the individuals or the families who started them. If you’re starting a family business, then it might simply make sense. If it’s a local business, and you have no plans to expand, that might work fine.
If you’re planning to grow to reach customers across the state, country, or globe, then you should make sure there are no major players with the exact same name, which is more likely if you’re using any kind of family name.
Same for local names
Again, if you’re running a local business, then including the name of the location that you operate in and serve might make it easier for customers to find you when searching online, for instance. However, if you want to reach any customers outside of that range, at all, then the same name is going to limit you, as people will think your business is only built for customers within that area. You have to consider how far you want your business to grow, as you’re stuck with your name, and it can take some considerable work to rebrand.
Getting tricky with pronunciation or spelling
You might think that one way to change a particularly common name into something unique is to switch up the spelling, aim for a different pronunciation, or even use numbers and special characters instead of letters. It’s going to make your name different, yes, but it’s also going to make it a lot more difficult to communicate with others. How is someone who hears the name, but doesn’t see its spelling, supposed to know what to Google? If you have to explain it to them, you risk losing their attention. Keep it simple.
Not considering your brand
Your name is a part of your overall brand. It’s not something you should name in a vacuum. If you’re trying to create a business with a sophisticated, professional brand, then a name that sounds too conversational and poppy might be offputting. If you’re trying to create a family-friendly brand with a bright image, then you don’t want to sound like a law firm. Working with a brand naming consultant can make sure that you consider the name within the scope of the entire brand strategy. You have to be careful with your word choice.
Neglecting to do your research
Of course, if you’re landing on a name, then you should take the time to research it, to see if any businesses have the exact same name. You want to be especially sure that none of your competitors are named anything remotely close. Again, you want a name that sounds original. There are online tools you can use to see if a business name is taken. If it’s in a wholly different industry, you might only need to add a word or two to the legal name, such as the services you provide, to differentiate it enough.
It’s not suitable for social media
This is a consideration that is becoming increasingly important in an online world. When you’re moving your business to social media, having a name that’s too long to fit as an account name, or using a name so common that you can’t simply use your name as your handle, can require you to do a little extra work to create an online brand presence. This shouldn’t supersede the other elements we’ve talked about, but is worth thinking about especially if you’re going to be an online-focused business.
Asking everyone and anyone what they think of it
While you might have more than one key decision-maker behind your business, that doesn’t mean that you have to make naming it a process that involves everyone’s input. If you’re too open and invite too many people to share their opinions, then every name you come up with is going to have multiple objections for different reasons, and every person is going to want to show their worth by proposing their own alternatives. It can become a never-ending cycle and can be extremely frustrating to deal with.
Take your time to research your name, but don’t allow yourself to get stuck for too long. Working with the right professionals can help you find the name that works for you a lot more quickly.