How to Name a Business

Learn More

Selecting a great business name may be one of the most important initial steps a new business owner can take to promote success for the company.

However, many who have spent time researching how to name a business may quickly discover that there are different approaches people take when selecting a name.

Some will choose a descriptive name that instantly tells the target audience what the company offers, and others will choose a purely creative name with the hope that the name will stick in people’s heads and stand out.

There is no right or wrong strategy to follow, and different approaches have each worked well for different businesses over the years. However, there are a few tips that new business owners can follow to ensure that the name they select is a great one.

Consider What The Name Should Communicate

Each business has unique products and services that are offered as well as a unique target audience. In addition, they have unique core values that they want to stay true to.

For example, a plumbing company may be focused on providing fast, reliable and quality service to a local market. An up and coming technology firm may appeal to a broader audience nationwide with a focus on younger customers who desire the latest gadgets.

The best names will communicate core values or speak about products and services, but they also will appeal to the target audience in some way. 

When selecting the name, however, it is important that a business owner not make the name so refined and specific that it pigeonholes the business later. 

Room for growth, expansion and appealing to a broader audience should still be available with the best business name. 

Think About Creative Names

A name may be based on a location or market that is being served by the company, the founder’s name, a core value that the business wants to focus on and that appeals to consumers or something else entirely. 

To name a business, the new name should not be trademarked and should not sound close to the competition’s name in any way. 

It should be unique and should stand out. Some businesses will even create a new word to use as a name, and others will adopt a different format for spelling the word or words. 

Consider Marketing For The Business Name

The best business name is one that can easily and successfully be marketed. Longer names are often far more difficult to market than shorter names. 

Before finalizing a decision about a business name, it is important to consider how the name will be marketed. 

Outlining a marketing plan or brainstorming different spins that can be taken with marketing and advertising is a great idea.

If the name seems challenging to work with from a marketing perspective, there may be a good reason to go back to the drawing board and continue to brainstorm new business names.

Also, think about how it will look on letterhead, business cards, the company website and other places. It should be eye-catching and memorable, but it should not be too long or complicated.

Get Feedback on the Name

After deciding on a name that seems to fit the business perfectly and that seems like it is a marketable name, it is important to test the name in the marketplace. There are different methods to accomplish this task.

Some business owners of a start-up will initially ask friends and family members for their feedback. In some cases, a business name may be too unique, or people may ask how to say the name.

Some may say that it conjures up negative feelings or that it looks too long or complicated. This is the type of feedback that may indicate the need to pick a different name.

If the business name passes through the first round of testing, consider using social media or other outlets to reach out for feedback from other people who you know.

It may be easy to take negative feedback personally, but consider that it is better to get negative feedback now rather than months or years down the road after the name has already been established.

Understanding how to name a business is one thing, but developing a great business name is another thing entirely. For some people, a great business name will simply come to them right from the start.

For other people, it will take long days or weeks of creative thinking and brainstorming to come up with a great name.

New business owners may also consider outsourcing this task to a naming firm or consultant, and these are specialists who will conduct thorough research to arrive at a great name for a new business.

While there is a fee for consulting services, this may result in a marketable, creative and appealing business name.