One of the first steps for every entrepreneur is to choose a name for his/her new business but deciding on the right name can be tricky. Your company’s name needs to be memorable and it also needs to convey what type of service or product you’ll provide to your prospective customers. Not to mention that there are also several legal issues to consider.
Some business owners believe that the best names are the most creative ones while others think that a company name should be descriptive and informative. In my experience both types can be effective if the name is backed by the appropriate marketing strategy and partnered with a descriptive tagline and logo.
For example, when I launched my Homeowner Referral Network (HRN®), my husband and I created a list of potential names for my new business until we finally hit upon the name “Home Remedies”. I loved the name instantly but didn’t want prospective customers to think that I was in the business of selling homeopathic medicine. In order to explain my services more clearly, I worked on developing a descriptive tagline to partner with my business name along with a logo that incorporated the shape of a house or tools.
If you’re launching a new business and are trying to choose a good name, you should first decide on what you’d like to communicate to potential customers. If your name is more descriptive than it will be easier for you to explain what type of service or product you provide.
Next, try to pinpoint what type of image you’d like to establish for your company. For example, do you want your business to convey a local, hometown feel or do you want to be perceived as a larger corporation? The typeface in conjunction with your business name and logo will the first impression you make on potential customers.
If you’re having difficulty deciding on a name, you can brainstorm by making lists of adjectives and keywords that best describe your business and pairing them together. If your name is recognized in the community or you just want to give your business a more personalized feel, you can try including your first or last name in your business name. There are also several websites like http://www.rhymer.com/naming.html that can help offer name suggestions. Once you have a list of your top choices, share them with family, friends and industry related professionals to get their input.
And finally, keep in mind that your name shouldn’t be too long. If people can easily pronounce your name or understand it when it’s spoken, they’ll be more likely to say it.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to 2-3 possibilities, be sure to check with your state government to be sure that the name isn’t being used by another business. And, if you plan to operate your business in other states or nationwide, you should search the US Patent and Trademark website (http://www.uspto.gov/index.html) to be sure that the name you’ve chosen doesn’t infringe on any existing trademarks.