A name is everything for a new business. Company names play an enormous role in a brand’s perception and growth. Creating a great business name is the start to attracting clients and growing brand awareness.
A name that’s simple and memorable, while creating a strong impression serves as an effective foundation for your brand. A good business name should clearly define your brand and link to a core principle or idea that your company upholds. Names that are generic, too long for social media handles, difficult to spell or pronounce, or limit business scope and expansion are ineffective.
A poorly chosen business name can force companies to rebrand. This was seen in the rebranding of Subway, formally known as Pete’s Super Submarines. Subway had to rebrand in 1968 because their name was often misheard as “pizza submarine”. In 2006, TWTTR chose to rebrand to Twitter, adding back the dropped vowels. In 2018, WW, formally known as Weight Watchers, rebranded their company name to express the trend towards body positivity and overall wellness.
Substandard business names demonstrate a lack of self-awareness by a company. It shows that they assumed they made a good choice rather than gathering feedback. It also illustrates poor attention to detail. A name that requires a rebrand demonstrates that a company carelessly rushed through the process. It also shows that a business was not skilled or motivated enough to navigate the naming process.
Rebranding not only affects company perception, but it also has many costs associated with it. Legally changing a company name requires attorney fees to file with the IRS, state, and local government. Businesses also have to pay to update other legal documents and change trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Creating new advertising, promotional materials, logos, and updating the company website can also get very expensive.
Listing keywords and phrases that match your brand is the first step in creating a strong business name. After listing the keywords, create a long list of potential names, making sure to get feedback from those around you. Stick to names that make sense rather than ones that will get a laugh.
After compiling your list, search state databases and the Trademark Electronic Search System for businesses with the same name or similar names, avoiding names and trademarks that are already in use. Next, consider how you will brand your business name by asking yourself the following questions. How does the business name fit within my brand? How will it be represented in a logo design and brand colors? Finally, check website and social media availability.