Top tips for choosing a business name that makes you stand out
All global business giants, but where did their names come from?
Where do you even start when trying to come up with a name for your business?
1. Understand who you are and what you stand for
Your business’ name should be memorable, but it also needs to do what it says on the tin.
That means it needs to tell your potential customers who you are and what you do.
Sounds obvious, right?
But you’d be surprised how many people start with naming their business before they’ve even established what they’ll be offering and who their target customers are.
Then, when they switch tact (or ‘pivot’, to coin a phrase introduced during the Covid pandemic), their business name suddenly becomes meaningless.
So, before you start thinking of potential business names, firmly establish:
- What your product or service will be
- Who your target audience is
- What your business stands for
2. Establish your brand identity
A ‘brand identity’ might sound flashy and shiny and potentially like something you definitely don’t need if you’re a small start-up.
But actually, establishing your brand’s identity right from the get-go can be hugely beneficial to your business in the future.
Your brand’s identity runs through everything, including your business’ name, your logo, the colours and fonts you use and the way you communicate with your customers.
Your brand identity is your personality. It’s your public-facing persona.
By determining how you want to be seen can really help when it comes to deciding on your business’ name.
3. Have a naming brainstorm
A brainstorming session is a great way to break the seal on the process of naming your business.
Start by writing down as many words as you can that are associated with your business and the products or services you offer, as well as your location.
Let’s say your new venture is a digital marketing business offering services to small and medium businesses in Bournemouth and Poole… you could start with:
Committing these keywords to paper (or screen) can really help spark ideas, or combinations of words that could form the name of your new business.
For instance, after brainstorming those words associated with our Bournemouth / Poole marketing company, we came up with the business names:
- Click Coast
- Funnel Hive
- Beach Leads
- Make Waves Marketing
Jot down some name ideas you like so you can compile a list of ‘potentials’.
4. Don’t rule out ‘your name’ as your business name
Sometimes, the perfect name for your business is staring you in the face.
That’s right – your name.
Let’s go back to our marketing business…
If the founder’s surname is Moore then Moore Marketing has a rather lovely ring to it, doesn’t it?
Alliteration works brilliantly in business names, like this, and can help your brand stick in the mind of potential customers.
5. Make sure your business name is available online
So, you’ve come up with some brilliant business name ideas and you’re ready to sort the wheat from the chaff.
That means working out which of those names you can actually use…
Do a Google search
The first thing to do is to hop on to Google and search for the business names you’ve come up with.
If you see companies with the same name appearing in the UK, you can almost certainly rule those out as a potential name for you business.
Even companies based abroad with the same name could impact on your ability to be found on Google, so consider these carefully, too.
Do a Companies House check
If you’re looking to incorporate your new business, log on to Companies House and check to see if some annoying so and so has already registered the names you’re considering.
Get feedback from people you trust
Even if you’re really set on a particular name for your business, getting some feedback from trustworthy people can sometimes throw things into the mix you may not have considered.
That could include negative connotations that may have passed you by.
Find a domain name
A website is more often than not the first port of call for a new business when it starts marketing its services.
So, once you have some name ideas for your own company, you’ll need to see what website domains are available.
In the case of our marketing business, we might be looking for makewavesmarketing.co.uk in an ideal world.
A quick search on GoDaddy reveals that the .co.uk domain is taken, so we’d have to decide if that was a deal breaker for that business name.
We could, however, consider makewavesmarketing.uk, or even makewaves.marketing, both of which are available.
New business, new office
If you’re thinking of creating an amazing new business this year, how about an inspirational office space to call home?