In Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, Juliet asks “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” And whilst that may be true for a lot of things, it certainly isn’t when it comes to naming your business. Choose the right name and you’ll be laying strong foundations for future success. Get it wrong and you might be doomed before you start.
So how do you make sure you choose the right one?
Why Does A Name Matter?
If you’ve got a great idea, a good business model, and a crack team you may feel that a name is somewhat secondary. A marketing gimmick, icing on the cake. But every business needs a name. It’s difficult and expensive to change it later on. And in the modern world, with the rise of the internet, your business’ name encompasses your shopfront, brand, ethos and product, all rolled into one.
“It’s the first thing people will see, and it will leave a lasting impression.
Another way of highlighting the importance of naming your business is to look at a few successful examples. ‘Blue Ribbon Sports’ were keen to change their name when they switched from importing to manufacturing shoes. Wanting their name to reflect their competitive, sporting edge, they chose the Greek goddess of victory as their inspiration. ‘Nike’ has gone from strength to strength ever since.
The ‘Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company’ had been making quality cases for travellers since the early twentieth century. They named one of their product ranges after Samson, the Biblical figure with superhuman strength. This created buzz and excitement, and ‘Samsonite’ went on to become a leader in the world of suitcases.
Top 3 Tips for Naming Your Business.
We’ve compiled a checklist with 3 key criteria to consider when naming your business.
1. First Impressions
Your name is going to be the first taste that customers get of your business. What does this name say about your business? Does it encompass what you do? Is it a memorable name that will stick in people’s minds? Try and avoid anything that sounds similar to other companies, especially competitors.
And it’s not just about how the name looks, but also how it sounds. So rather than focusing on the number of letters, count the syllables. Is the name easy to pronounce? You’re going to need to say it many times – on the phone, during presentations, and in pitches to the media and investors.
In short, the more your name says about your business, the less you will have to explain about it. You want your name to reinforce what your business is all about.
2. Double Entendres
You want a name that creates excitement. A name with a ring to it. Something catchy, and perhaps with a personal touch. One way of doing this is to play around with existing words and see what you can create. Be careful though, as made up words might make it seem like your product is overly complex or abstract.
And whilst you want to stand out, you don’t want it to be for the wrong reasons. We live in an increasingly connected, globalised world. So if you want your business to grow internationally, make sure the name doesn’t mean anything rude or offensive in another language.
“Cultural sensibility is a must.
Mazda was forced to rename it’s ‘Laputa’ minivan after receiving complaints from car dealerships in Latin America. They had, unfortunately, overlooked the fact that ‘puta’ means prostitute in Spanish.
US firm Wang Computers avoided a similar fate by doing some market research before promoting their slogan, ‘Wang cares’, in the UK. If you’re not sure why try reading the slogan (quietly) aloud.
Chances are that someone, somewhere is using a similar name to the one you’re using. A quick check to see where/ how it’s being used may well save expensive legal fees further down the line.
3. The Power of the Internet
You don’t want to compromise your business by picking the perfect name, only to find you can’t use it. The internet is used by pretty much everyone in 2015, so domain names are often unavailable.
Take Twitter as an example. They initally had to change their name to ‘Twtter’ as the Twitter domain name, twitter.com, had been taken by somebody else. Once they had grown sufficiently they were able to buy the rights, and they switched to the longer version.
The internet is now the main place people are likely to find or hear about your business. It is, in effect, a virtual high street. Most people will assume your business name is www.COMPANYNAME.com, so if possible aim for that.
Zervant Invoicing Software
We think that our name really reflects what we do. Zervant is passionate about helping small business and entrepreneurs succeed.
We take the complex world of invoicing, and try to make it as simple and pain free as possible.
Find out what we’re all about by clicking below.