It’s possible that you have already lost or missed customers because of a difficult or confusing company name. At the very least, there are two main problems with a poorly-conceived name: It either makes it harder for your customers to find you, or it’s difficult to remember your business name.
This is why you’re always better off taking some time to come up with a simple, concise, and memorable name for your business.
A creative name is overrated; a unique name is not.
Let’s be honest. Way too many businesses put all their energy into coming up with a name that sounds really cute when actually, unless you’re extremely clever and witty, they usually end up sounding pretty lame and not particularly memorable.
It is far more important to focus on making your name memorable and simple than it is to make it clever. In the end, if the quality of your business is excellent, then it doesn’t matter that much what your name is because that quality will attach itself to your name, whatever it is.
At that point, all you really need to worry about is that your company name doesn’t sound like any other company’s name, so that there is no confusion about it.
Don’t make it too long or complicated.
Not to say that businesses with short names are inherently bound for success, but the most profitable ones do tend to have shorter names, e.g., Google; Oreo; Levi’s; Canon; LEGO; Sony. Surely, there is psychology behind this (though I’m not privy to it) but the point is that people like simple.
Especially in a time when we are bombarded with advertisements through all forms of media and from all kinds of businesses and product options, we as consumers are naturally drawn to a simple product that doesn’t require us to take time to process the name of the company.
It doesn’t even need to apply to your business.
A common misconception about naming your business is that it has to apply to what your business does, which it absolutely does not. The perfect example to illustrate this point is how bands are named. A band of musicians is a business like any other, and they have discovered a basic principle about naming an organization: It doesn’t really matter.
When you think of bands like Air Supply, Led Zeppelin, or Cream, it becomes clear that the name of an organization does not need to relate to what it does, for people to embrace it.
Think it through…
The most successful businesses know when things are coming before they happen. This same idea also applies when you are choosing your company name, if you consider how it may be perceived in any kind of negative light.
You don’t want to call your business something that is associated with another company that famously failed or did something terrible, for example. In the same way, it’s probably not a good idea to use a name with words in it which remind people of controversy, or really anything that has negative connotations.
As clever as the name may be, it’s just risky to call yourself anything that may leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth.
To recap, here’s what you need to remember about naming your business:
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Unique matters more than clever.
- Avoid negative associations.
- It can be random, as long as it’s memorable.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.