All good business names share certain common characteristics that make them successful and adorable brands. To-be business owners can use this information to create names that will attract customers, establish market position and in due course build a flourishing business.
Here are the most important characteristics that bring clarity on what actually makes for a good business name.
Marketing and branding agencies charge thousands of dollars to produce a suitable name for their client’s start-up. And that makes some sense since there’s truly a lot of work to be done starting with extensive research of the company, its values and goals, mission and vision, competition, customers, and general business environment. I can actually point this as the number one characteristic for creating good business names – it is based on carefully designed and executed research work (I’m trying to sell my services here? ;)). Not everyone can afford expensive naming consultants, but you surely can plan to dedicate sufficient amount of time and effort for research.
The second characteristic pertains to the mental associations the name evokes. They should be positive and reflect the brand’s values. There also has to be a hint as to what the product or the service is about, i.e. a descriptive note is more than welcome. However, make sure you don’t fall in the trap of choosing a name that is too literal or descriptive or focuses entirely on one feature or product.
KISS – Keep it short and simple. This is one of the most valuable and widely used principles in marketing and is a definite must in business name development. Some experts even recommend keeping the number of letters up to 10. The major reason is to help customers easily remember, pronounce, write, and pass along the name among friends. Two nuances of this characteristic are correct spelling and avoidance of meaningless acronyms in an attempt to keep the name short.
One of the most crucial characteristics that a lot of entrepreneurs fail at is name endurance. When picking a business name you need to make sure it will outlive any changes like selling the business, entering new markets (think about the Mitsubishi Pajero case when they wanted to enter the Spanish market), enlarging the target audience, launching new products or services, going online, and so on. Think about the future and how your business’s name will stand in changed circumstances. Otherwise, you might find yourself spending thousands on re-branding.
Another common characteristic of good business names is that they all stand out of the crowd. There is this certain something that catches the attention and makes the name stick in the customer’s mind. Of course, this totally excludes the use of words that are too generic or cliched – unless you are the first company in your category which is almost impossible to achieve nowadays.
Just make sure you don’t go to the extreme of getting a name that spells some incomprehensible mixture of letters or a fun made-up word unless you have the marketing and advertising budgets to back it up.
These are the most common characteristics of good business names – catchy, meaningful and durable. But always remember to first test the chosen name, check its legal availability and find a suitable domain name for your company.