Choosing a business name has never carried more meaning than it does today in 2021. A business name needs to be memorable, have a domain available, be easily searchable and not too common. With so much to think about, what are the most important things to consider before committing to a name?
Here are the top 8 things to consider before committing to a name:
So what do we mean by each of these points? Here is the breakdown.
A domain name is the highest on this list because we love looking at things from a digital direction. There is nothing better than having a .com domain, it makes your business seem large and important. For more common names these are often unavailable or incredibly expensive. Hence, you may need to choose a .com.au or an alternative domain. When you are selecting the name you want to use for your business, perform a quick search on namecheap.com to ensure there is a domain that you like and can afford.
Searchability is extremely important. This is where it is important to ensure your name is easy to remember and spell. The best example for this is the accounting software Zero... or Xero. When Xero first launched they had a large challenge to overcome, prior to becoming an integral part of anyone business vocabulary, everyone was searching for "Zero" and no one could find their website. Eventually, they began to advertise on the word Zero to ensure they were not losing these clients. Whilst this is no longer an issue for Xero, it is a real issue for many other businesses. In our case we had a unique name being Ten Squared, however, it took our website a long while to outrank Googles calculator. Hence, put yourself in your customer's shoes and investigate what you are competing against on Google.
This point is also in relation to searchability. It is important to consider what business name can be unique to your company but still make sense. Whilst doing this steer clear of acronyms, this can make the name confusing and difficult to remember, also never use misspelling, this is a killer for searchability, you lose a huge portion of your word of mouth advertising. Hence, your name has a real impact on how your business can grow.
When considering uniqueness it is also important to understand the issues associated with choosing an industry word as your company name. When you choose a name like "Soaps Of Melbourne" when people are searching for your company they will be presented with a number of other companies making soaps, additionally, you will have incredible competition to rank even for your own business name.
Make sure your name is catchy. Yes, this means "Australias Best Website Developers Incorporated" is a terrible business name, not just because it sounds bad, but because it is too long to remember. Additionally, making up your own word like "Flooofity Blanket Co." can make it incredibly hard to remember as your customers have no existing memories to associate your business name with aside from the classic "I can remember it was a weird name and started with F".
When considering legal issues, the main consideration is assessing any trademarks. A great place to start is to conduct a trademark search in your country. This is the main legal consideration however, different names may carry additional legal considerations.
In many cases a logo and a business name are synonymous. Both your logo and your business name convey the same message, they both represent your brand and they need to relate to one another. Hence, it is important to consider your logo even when you are choosing a name. For instance, if you would like to go with a wordmark logo, you might want to limit the length of your business name.
Where your business is heading is also essential to consider. For example, you might begin selling laptops and call your business "The One Stop Laptop Shop" and down the track, you decide to sell mobile phones, tablets, speakers and TVs. Your business name now limits the customers that walk in your door. Those who walk past your shop or scroll past your website might not even realise that you stock those items. Hence, make sure you seriously consider where your business might go and ensure that your name will grow with you.
Get your feedback early! Don't wait till after you have started making progress to request feedback. Choose a few contenders and ask people which one they love the most. Then wait a few hours, and ask them again which one they liked, if no one can remember the name after 2 hours you might have a problem, if everyone remembers and can recall your business name then you are onto a winner!
When choosing a business name there are various considerations that need to be made. With each of the points outlined used to guide these decisions, you will likely end up with a name that you love and works for your business.