Choosing the perfect name for your business


‘What’s in a name?’ Plenty in fact, especially if you’re running a business. With a carefully chosen name, you can stand out from the competition, convey the right message to your customers and more importantly, develop brand recognition.

However, getting it wrong can be absolutely disastrous for your business. While you may have a great product, the wrong name can oftentimes leave your business floundering in a sea of mediocrity. 

Having gotten all of that out of the way, we now take a look at why it’s all in the name. 

1. Be distinctive: Apple. Amazon. Uber. 

Besides being named for a fruit, a tribe in Greek mythology consisting only of women and the German word for ‘super’, these are 3 of the most recognizable brands in the world.

You’ll also immediately notice that these names are extremely distinctive which is a key aspect of today’s lesson. Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of underestimating the importance of choosing the right name for their business.

Business names form the basis of branding and are used to stimulate emotional responses in their customers. If there’s one thing we can learn from other successful businesses, it’s that their names tend to be sticky; which means that they remain in the mind of a customer for longer periods of time.

When coupled with successful brand engagement initiatives, this can lead to customers associating positive experiences with a particular brand name i.e. yours. In the long-term, this goes a long way towards generating brand loyalty and improving rates of customer retention. 

2. Sometimes, shorter is better

Humans are forgetful creatures and given that we’re bombarded with stimuli nearly 24 hours a day, it’s easy to see why short, concise business names tend to be better. A study conducted at the University of Stirling has confirmed that shorter words are more easily remembered. Perhaps this is why companies such as Pixar, eBay, Facebook and many more are so easily remembered. 

3. The best names have a good story

People love a good story and the same could be said when one refers to your business’s name. Having a story behind your company’s name puts a face on a typically faceless organization and at times can even help you engage with your audience. 

For example, Lego is one of the world’s most beloved toy makers and the story behind their name is one nearly every fan can tell you. Founded by toymaker Ole Kirk Christiansen, Lego derived its name from the shortened version of the Danish word for play well which was “leg godt”. Besides being charming, it also encompasses everything the Lego company is about; the creation of fun toys for children.

4. It should not inhibit growth

A good business name should grow alongside you. So, if you’re looking to sell baby clothes in the state of Arizona, maybe avoid names such as Baby Clothes Arizona Inc. Limiting your offerings to a specific product or service and the city will only serve to confuse customers and cause further complications in the future.

5. Have an original brand name

Market differentiation is already difficult enough under the existing circumstances. While you may be tempted to ride on the coattails of a competitor, it’s usually much better to be original. When choosing a brand name, avoid one that sounds too much alike with that of an existing business.

Not only does this make you look unoriginal, it also confuses customers who may be attempting to look you up on Google. More often than not, this can lead to you unintentionally generating leads for your competitors instead. So, when in doubt, stay true to yourself and be original.
Choosing the right name can be more difficult than guessing who is going to win the college football bowl games. However, with these few tips, you should have no problem coming up with the perfect name for your new enterprise.


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