5 Tips for Naming Your Business
As any founder knows, your new business is your baby. And one of the duties of every parent is to name their child.
But there’s a lot more to naming your business than just coming up with a name you like. A good name will reinforce your brand and support what you want to do with your business. It will help you get your name out there.
Your business name will be with you for a long time, so it’s important to think carefully about it before you set up a business entity, a website, order signs, and other marketing materials.
Tips to help you get started naming your business
- Take your time and test out ideas. As your new business idea has likely undergone different iterations and alterations, expect the same for your name. Take your time during your early development phase to try out different names.
- Listen to feedback. Founders are frequently encouraged to share their ideas and get feedback. Listening to this feedback leads to a better product or service in the end. Follow that same advice for naming your business. Listen to people’s reactions, both positive and negative. If a name is not connecting for several people, it’s time to try something new.
- Take the naming of your new business seriously. Logos and visuals can change, and marketing tactics will change, but the name of your company, product, or service will likely stay the same. Take the naming process seriously, whether you do it yourself or hire a branding firm.
Make sure your name is easy to spell and pronounce and isn’t too similar to a competitor’s. Also, go with something memorable and on-brand rather than clever.
- Do your due diligence researching the trade name. If you intend to start a business entity like a corporation or limited liability company, it’s a good idea to see if anyone else is using the name. Start with a Google search. Also, search your state’s databases for businesses with the same name. Finally, you may want to consult with a trademark lawyer to make sure no one else has already claimed the name, and if it’s available you can protect your new name by trademarking it.
- Research and register domain names. Domain names that directly correlate with the name of a company or product are becoming hard to find. Yet consumers and brand experts agree that getting a .com domain name that connects with your brand name should be your first choice. If you find an appealing name that is available, go ahead and register it. Domain names are cheap.
Once you settle on a name, you’ll also want to register your social media profiles.
Use these tips to avoid having to rename your business
Once a company, product, or service is established, name changes are quite rare. Organizations may rebrand by redesigning their logo but nearly always keep the same business name. When you don’t, it often raises questions. There are only a few times when it makes sense to rename your business, and these include:
- Legal issues around trademark infringement. This is not a place where you want your new business to be. It makes you look like you didn’t do your homework.
- Reaction to a negative reputation. Some firms have renamed themselves to disassociate themselves from a blemished history. Knowing this, many consumers see renaming as a red flag.
- A change in direction for the company. This is the one instance where a renaming really makes sense. As your company grows and changes, you may eventually find that your initial name is no longer a great fit. This is a unique opportunity to better connect with your prospects and customers. But you don’t want to be doing this too frequently.
The name of your new business can be powerful by quickly explaining your offering or creating an immediate emotional connection. A great name can be priceless, whereas a weak brand name makes everything about growing your company more difficult.
If you don’t know where to start or need some guidance, Branding Compass can help you navigate this process.
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