A lot of people who come to us for websites, marketing and help with branding are startups, taking their first foray into the world of business. As such they often don’t have a name yet for their business and are looking for some advice on what to pick.
We thought we’d throw together our key tips for you when thinking about that all important name, to get you started:
1. Make It Future Proof
It might seem funky and cool to pick a very current phrase or play on words, but in a few years trends will have changes and then you’re left with a name that is at best dated, or at worst makes no sense at all!
2. Be Creative
Having said that, be creative. Come up with a name that is unique, speaks to the style or you and your business and, most importantly, that is memorable! You want people to remember you and your brand. But also do your research – make sure you’re being ‘creative’ within the realms of the business sector you’re in, as otherwise you could inadvertently make yourself an ‘outlier’ that people find hard to relate to.
3. Be Simple But Effective
A name that can be spelt and said easily will mean it is more likely to stick in customers heads. Don’t forget, you want people to recommend you and if they can’t even spell your name you have no chance!
Also, sometimes saying it as it is the most effective approach. Don’ be afraid to have a name that literally spells out what you do – that will help you in search as well!
4. Do Your Research
Following on from point 2, make sure you check out the other people working in your sector. See what they’re doing, how they’re doing it. The challenge is always to pick a name that makes your business stand out, without making you seem like you don’t actually operate in that market. Researching your competitors will inspire you but also help you refine you USP (unique selling point), which is key!
5. Geography Is Key
Where is your target market? Are you hyper-local or international? Will you need multi-lingual or is it all English speaking? These might seem like big questions to answer but they are important. A name that works in all languages might be required, in which case something more obscure might be better. But if you core market is within 10 miles of where you are then think about including a key local area in your name. This will help you SEO on your website and local people will take pride in supporting an obviously local supplier.
6. Length Sometimes Does Matter!
Think about how your business name will translate into a domain name and then an even longer email address. This is also true for appearing in business directories. A shorter name will be easier to work with, remember and won’t be almost impossible to ever list anywhere because it is too long.
Choosing a name that appears alphabetically further up the list is also a good idea. If you appear in the top few results in a search or listing means you are more likely to be chosen by people reading those lists!
7. Trading Names
If you want to have a practical or longer registered business name, don’t forget you can always have a trading name or style. This is when a registered business (e.g. John Smith Trading Company Limited) actually choose to trade as something much more catchy (e.g. JSTC). Don’t forget, you may need to register this as an official trading style depending on what sector you are working in.
Make sure before you go ahead with creating anything that you’ve checked what is available. The last thing you want to do is get all your branding and marketing setup only to find someone else already has your key assets owned. Things to consider are:
- Company Registered Name (you can check this on companies house: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company-name-availability)
- Domain Name
- Social Media Pages / Accounts
It is worth doing a little Google search on your intended name as well to see what else comes up as well. You don’t want to be too similar to other businesses in case people accidentally go to them instead of you!
9. Check The Rules
Depending on what sector you will be working in, there may be guidelines or even laws governing what you can and can’t say within a business name (for example, there maybe certain words or expressions you cannot use). The government website is a good start point for you to check this and if there are governing bodies (such as the FCA for finance) also check their guidelines as well.