CHOOSING A NAME FOR YOUR NEW BUSINESS
When you decide to launch your own venture it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of finally making it happen. But let’s get the name right. Here’s how to make sure your new brand is memorable for all the right reasons.
If you’ve decided to bite the bullet and become an entrepreneur, what to call your new business isn’t as easy as you might think. A snappy and memorable name is a must – because if it’s tricky to share on social media or doesn’t stand out from the competition, you’ll soon falter. We got some expert advice from Brand Communications Coach Aarti Parmar to find out what to consider when naming your business brand.
Does it resonate with you?
Start with understanding our business brand DNA. What’s your purpose? What are your core val- ues? What’s your vision? Think about your key brand attributes; brand perception, brand person- ality, unique selling points (USPs). Understanding your relevant target market and the problems you’re solving for consumers with your product or service will make the naming process a lot easier – by aligning it with your business brand purpose.
Don’t make it too long
Remember people will need to type in your URL when they visit your website for the first time. And how will it work in your email address? Bit longwinded and off-putting if you have to type in something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t make it complicated
Imagine yourself having to tell somebody over the phone what your email or website is called. Is it easy to spell? Hear? Pronounce? Is it a mouthful? This can be a problem if, for example, it’s in another language, so make sure yours is easy to say and hear. Do you actually like the name? Does it make people feel good? You’ll spread the word with more conviction if you feel genuinely happy with it. Avoid numbers, letters, abbreviations, alternate spellings and anything else that might trip people up, eg, www.great-2-connect.co.uk
Will it work on social media?
You will be using this name for social handles, some of which only allow you certain number of characters. Will it look tiny in the circular ‘profile photo’ on Twitter? Can it be abbreviated? Is it available? Is it easy and catchy to say ‘follow me on XXXX on Instagram?’
Make it logo-friendly
This name may well be used on multiple platforms eg business cards, website, social media, App, print collaterals brochure, leaflets, even merchandise. So if you have a brand name that consists of 3-5 words, how will that look at its smallest size? Is it still legible or do words start getting lost? Some of the most successful brands are super short eg Google, Nike, Apple, Gucci, Tesla, Lego – all with a simple clean logo marks that work on multiple platforms and mediums.
To be obvious or not?
A name that ‘says what it does on the tin’ can work great. Think Airbnb, which was originally a business where clients turned the living room of their loft apartment into a little bed and breakfast with just an air mattresses on their floor. Obviously that model has changed now, but the name remains – and it’s totally memorable. Less obvious can also work – the brand name IKEA is derived from the initial letter of each founder’s name. From an SEO perspective it does work in your favour if what you do what is in your name, eg www.familylawyers. However, you can get your website SEO-optimised to be found for what you provide regardless of your brand name. A good exercise is to ask friends and family, if you were looking for my products/services what would you type into Google?
Is it already taken?
Check the availability of the name and URL before creating a brand identity. You can do this by going to the Companies House website which you’ll find by browsing the Companies House website. Check on the URL by going to www.name.com and doing a search on it. Don’t forget that if it’s already been bought as a .com you can always make it a .co.uk, or even a .uk.
What do you want to be known for?
Think about how you want to be perceived. If you are the brand – eg, if you’re a consultant or a figurehead of your company – you may want to use your own name. If you are looking to grow a team or are selling a product your name may not be appropriate.
Think business vision
If you are thinking of expanding into range of services – say, events, conferences, books etc – will your name cover them all? Or does it imply that you only provide one product or service? Choose a name that has the scope to fit with your long-term plans.
Words: Aarti Parmar, Brand Consultant. Brand Coach. Brand Designer www.aartiparmar.com