Deciding on a business name

dreamstime_s_45626766What’s in a name? How much importance should you place on the name of your business and what impact will it have on the success of your business?

Your name is a large part of your brand so it is important that whatever you choose it reflects your business, what you do and how you want your image to be portrayed. Some business choose to use their own name as their business name. Lots of tradesmen who have spent time in the business building a reputation, whilst working for others, decide to use their name when they go it alone. This gives them immediate recognition and reputation. Others like to have something that looks more official – something that they can create a brand around.

Traditional reasons for picking a name

Traditionally businesses used to get most of their work from the Yellow Pages. Being listed alphabetically was a huge influence on what businesses were called. Everyone wanted to be first in the listings for their category/ies and many businesses started to call their business something beginning with the letter A. This soon became competitive as everyone caught on and businesses started to add AA and even AAA to ensure that they were first. It wasn’t a great strategy but it worked for those who generated most of their business from the Yellow Pages

Domain names

Now a lot of importance is placed on the domain name of a website. As many people now search for what they are looking for in major search engines like Google, it is important to meet the requirements of people’s searches. Until recently the trick was to secure a domain name that matched what people were typing in to the search bar. However due to recent changes in Google’s algorithms an Exact Match Domain is no longer as important as it once was. Is it still better to have a name that “does exactly what it says on the tin”?

Does it make sense?

Some of the biggest brands in the world have names that don’t relate to what they produce? What does ‘Apple’ have to do with phones? Why is Google called Google and what is Tesco, Next or Ikea? Does it matter? Not if you have enough money to invest in a brand. You can choose any name if you have the money to support it and build the brand. Think about the brands that do make sense though – Toys R Us – that makes complete sense – it’s a toy store! Pets at Home, Goldsmiths and T-Mobile all have easily recognisable brands that describe what they do.

What should you do?

Consider all the options, think about your web name, Facebook page name and all the other places that your company name will be visible. Will it make sense? You may not need it to make sense for people to understand what it is that you do. You might choose to have a one word name or you may feel it’s better to have a multiple word name that in part describes what you do like Harveys Furniture store. What about an acronym?  Lots of companies use their own initials or the initials of a longer name. Whatever you do take your time, ask for people’s feedback and test it out with a logo design before you decide on the final name. Hopefully it is going to be around for a long time!