14 Tips On How To Create A Good Brand Name

If the name of your business blows, then you’ve got zero chance of success. I know that it sounds superficial, but unfortunately it’s true. 99% of the time it’s the name of your business that makes the first impression on a consumer – So your business’s name best be dressed for success.

So how do you better your chances of developing a business name that will have consumers hungrily licking their lips for your products? If you keep the following fourteen pointers in mind as you try to have a billion dollar branding brain-fart, then it’s doubtful that you’ll end up choosing a bad name.

Let the pointers begin!

1. If you don’t consider yourself a good marketer, then you need find
someone who is IMMEDIATELY. When you’re brainstorming to figure out your business’s name, you need a marketing professional to give you insight on how a particular idea for a name could be positioned to the public. “Google” is a catchy name, but in the company’s infancy no one was able to guess what type of business they were by just looking at their name. Despite this seemingly bad situation, a marketer was able to step in and advise the company how this catchy name could be given life via some fancy marketing.

2. Your business name should reflect the key elements of your company. Look towards your business plan to help you figure out the aspects of your company that need to be promoted within the brand name.

3. Take a glance at the names of the other businesses within your industry. What is it about certain names do you like? Or dislike? What about the name makes it effective or ineffective? Figure out what you like, and don’t like, about other business’s names, and you’ll be a 101 steps ahead of the game.

4. Unless you have a million dollar marketing budget, your name needs to plainly tell consumers what it is your business does. In other words, it needs to be meaningful. Use real words, or combinations of real words, instead of terms that don’t even appear in the dictionary.

5. Sometimes a name can be TOO meaningful. Stay away from using geographic terms in your name. If you’re “Dallas Donuts,” and you decide that you want to expand into other markets, what are you gonna do with your established brand name? Also stay away from using generic terms that could potentially become dated in the future. Example: “Victor’s VCR Repair” probably wouldn’t be very successful in today’s world of DVDs.

6. In order to avoid being too meaningful with your name, try developing a term that’s a bit abstract, yet still descriptive. The name of my business venture, “bizMAVERICKS”, is a perfect example. It tells people that my product deals with the genre of business, and is geared towards people who are ambitious within the field. It’s not too broad, or too limited, in it’s persona… It’s PERFECT ; ) Haha.

7. Choose a name that’s easy to pronounce. How do you expect word of mouth marketing to kick in, if the public can’t even wrap their tongue around its pronunciation.

8. Stay away from naming your business after inside jokes or puns that only you understand and appreciate. I could start a business by the name of “FAWF” but only I would be able to truly grasp the meaning of the brand – And as a business owner, I want more than just myself, and close friends, as customers.

9. Only use “Inc.” at the end of your business’s name if you’re actually incorporated. I know that’s obvious to most people, but you’d be surprised how many “Business Inc.’s” are out there that don’t even understand the concept of incorporating.

10. Try to make up a new word for your brand name. Sometimes coined names can be more meaningful than existing words. If you’re starting a new business you’re more than likely introducing a new product, or a new twist on an existing product – So why not makeup a new name while your busy acting as an innovator? You’ll find that the new name will increase the freshness of your new business idea.

11. The best friends you can have during the process of naming a new business are Mr. Dictionary, and Mrs. Thesaurus. Yes, yes… I know you have a strong vocabulary, BUT IT AIN’T THAT STRONG!

12. Bounce your ideas off friends and colleagues to see how they react to the sound of your new brand name. When you pitch the idea to them, make sure you say the name in a confident manner – If you appear unsure of the names value, they will catch on to your uneasiness and reject the idea immediately.

13. Would it be beneficial to begin the name of your business with a letter that appears towards the beginning of the alphabet? As a kid I was always picked last because my last name is “Williamson”. Will your business be called on last when customers search for your services in a phone book or online directory?

14. Finally, once you’ve narrowed down your list of business name ideas to around 5 good ones, it’s time to do a trademark search. If your search reveals another company by the same name, then mark off your list of possibilities. The last thing you need during the launch of a new company is a lawsuit over a trademark.

Hey bizMAVERICKS! It’s question time… What’s your business’s name, and how did you go about creating it? How much of an impact has the name had on the success of your company? Post your answers in the comments section below…

After you leave a comment, check out these additional pointers from Igor over at bizmord.com/Blog!

Wishing you continued success…

bizMAVERICK-
Brad Williamson

Add yourself as a Friend on the bizMAVERICKS MySpace profile!

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Author: Brad Williamson (27 Articles)

Who is Brad Williamson? Well... I'm a lover, entrepreneur, and fried chicken aficionado. ...Nuff said.

Comments

  1. My company (Paladin Pictures, Inc.) recently created a dba to address some of the issues Brad points out in this article.

    We are a film and video production house and back in the early 90’s when we developed the company name our focus was to try and position ourselves as a producer of feature-length motion pictures (hence the “Pictures”). But as we’ve grown we’ve became recognized as a leader in the arena of educational media (a long way from feature films). The problem worsened because we still do features, so in a sense we’re like multiple companies under the same name.

    To help solve the problem we set up several dba’s… Paladin Education, Paladin Transfers, and Paladin Audio now all fall under the umbrella of Paladin Media Group, a name that much more acurately depicts who we are and what we do. Of course for the motion picture side and for legal purposes we still use Paladin Pictures and Paladin Pictures, Inc.

    The name Paladin dates back to the knights of Charlemagne who were charged with the task of preserving the values and virtues of their culture. That obviously has significance to who we are as a company, but a lot of folks only know the word from the old TV series and automatically think “have gun will travel”.

    We do have occasional issues with how Paladin is pronounced (point #7) since it’s not a real common word. Some people put the emphasis on the wrong sylable while others butcher it by turning it into palladian or paladine.

    I remember sitting in a diner back in 1991 with my original biz partner and a dictionary (point #11). As we wrote down all the possibilities for a name. It’s amazing the things you can come up with late at night with a waitress continually bringing you food and drink.

    Thanks, Brad, and keep up the good work!

  2. I chose Dirt Road Photography as the name for my new landscape photography business last year. I thought long and hard about my niche – what set me apart from the other photographers. The difference was that almost all of my images are created while I am on dirt roads. It made perfect sense. I also liked it because it did not wed ME to the product, which is good because I have little experence, and so I could expand in the future to a retail location or gallery that offers prints and services from a number of different artists.

    I recieved confirmation that it was a good name recently when I was on the phone with a photo lab I do business with in another state. They knew me right off the top of their head without having to look up my account because (as they told me) I was one of only a handful of the thousands of accounts they have who didn’t use the photographer’s own name in the company name.

    So I guess that is what I am adding – unless YOU are a known and respected individual in your field, maybe you shouldn’t name your company after yourself.

  3. Abi Jones says:

    Whether or not you have a business that’s online, number 13 is more important than a lot of people think. Folks still use the yellow pages, offline and online. It doesn’t mean you need to be ‘AAA Florists’ but it does mean that being ‘Zoe’s Flower Shop’ will put you at a disadvantage.

  4. A very good article. Thanks!

    My business name is my name itself. It’s not even an Englsh name and I haven’t met any one who can pronounce my name correctly.

    I’m not planning to make it a brand name or a corporate though, it’s just a simple graphic design and web design business.

    I needed a web site that I could show some of my portfolio to the potential clients and maybe attract some more local small businesses.

    At the very beginning, I was thinking between choosing my own name as the business name and picking a name tht sounds more “business” or “corporate”. As you stated at #9, I believe that I’ve chosen the right way.

    • No Inc at the end of the name because it’s not an Inc.
    • No business like name because it’s not a “business” even though I’m making money through this job (freelance graphic design and web design).
    • No business look web site, because I would disappoint the potential clients.

    Can I grow my business with this name? I don’t think the name I picked is the best name for a graphic studio or whatever it would grow.

  5. Hero,

    The answer to your question all depends on your business’s purpose. Do you want your company to be a recognized name in your industry where people can easily approach you on their own for your services? Or would you rather “pound pavement” and find your next project on your own? (And FYI… There’s NOTHING wrong with that approach)

    A brand name is intended to be memorable – and I’m sure it is memorable to the clients you’ve already worked with – but I unfortunately can’t imagine it becoming a super-brand without a great deal of marketing supporting it. BUT, who am I to make that assumption? I am just one of many people in this world, and I could possibly be the ONLY individual who feels the way that I do.

    There’s always hope for any combination of letters to become a recognized brand name – It all depends on your purpose for it, and how you’re going to position it to the public.

    And if you’re happy with the current performance of your brand, then that’s honestly all that matters. But if you feel just a shadow of a doubt towards its effectiveness, you might want to consider tweaking it a bit.

    Good luck Hero, and keep up the good work. The portfolio on your website proves that you’re definitely talented!

    bizMAVERICK-
    Brad Williamson

  6. Brad … this is a very good list of things to consider.

    Another big mistake business owners make is by naming their business with their initials. (I call it … “when nothing comes to mind”).

    I wrote my own list on this topic before in my blog. If you allow me to place a link here …. this is it. http://www.bizmord.com/Blog/archives/62

  7. I enjoyed reading this list Brad. It’s a good way for anyone first starting out to keep it clean and simple. It’s very well written! Just goes to show you that those who “keep it simple”… prosper

    Luc

  8. Very good post with great ideas. To tell you the truth i couldnt imagine some of the marketing technics that you describe.
    Thank you

  9. Good list, Brad.

    I created a random name generator and believe it or not, some people use it with very little thought. They dont consider any points from your list, not even no.2. Its typical of the whole web2.0 movement tho – act now, think later!

  10. Great read, and very helpful! But still a great task at hand. I am currently trying to possible re-name and re-brand myself. And it is truly a difficult thing to do, racking my brain!

    Thanks for the insight again!

    Matt D

  11. hi, i have chosen DayVinci Technologies for my software company, based on My first name Day then Vinci for the creative part of the company and of technologies for what does is. as a company maybe it would work, i’m actually asking wether it will?
    but as a product maybe i need to find some better right?

  12. Best Online Florists says:

    Thank you for this information’s about how to choose the right name for your business. When i opened my flower delivery shop i choose´d a nice name, but i didn’t think it over enough.

  13. Very good tips for a business name choice. Marketing is a complex task, the name is important. Thanks

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  1. [...] It was a very interesting read to say the least and it got me thinking about the ways in which people choose to name a company. If you’ve ever read any of Brad’s articles then you’ll know that he has a very unique and to the point way of writing. Here is an excerpt of his latest article, 14 Tips on How to Create a Good Brand Name… [...]