Jeff Richards, Business Development Consulting

New Business Names

Jeff Richards

Business Name Fundamentals
A Simple Strategy for Business Name Success

       by Jeff Richards

Marketing your business starts right here.  This opportunity to reach your audience in a single bound can contribute to your success or impede it.  This is your chance to stand above the competition or join the crowd.  It is your chance to announce your distinctive brand identity and act as a directory to your specific customer.

If you are considering a business name, then chances are you are developing a new business or re-defining an existing business.  Start here.

Know your audience. Know what they want.
  Know what values you want your business name to convey. First do the research or hire a marketing professional to help you.  You need to know who your customers are and want they want before you can effectively sell to them.

The largest companies do extensive marketing research, but even the smallest company with a small budget can do some research to answer these and other relevant questions:

  • Who are your customers?  Are you targeting a specific niche?
  • How old are they? 
  • Are they primarily male or female or both?
  • Where do they live?
  • What value will motivate them the most to purchase your product or service and choose it over your competitors?
  • Who are your primary competitors and how can you stand out from them?
  • How will they find your business, products or services?
  • How can you make purchasing your products or services easy and convenient and can you convey that in your business name or in your advertising slogan.

Convey a Powerful Message that Targets Your Market Niche

  • Use a professional graphic designer and marketing professional to create a custom business logo and advertising slogan that targets your audience.

Characteristics of a Good Business Name

  • It is generally short and to the point.
  • It is easy for anyone in your target audience to pronounce and spell.
  • It displays a clear picture of what you do while still being general enough to expand your business as market conditions change.
  • It creates desire for your primary product or service by stirring emotions that influence buying decisions.
  • It calls out to your primary customer and announces your distinctive brand identity.
  • It acts as a directory to your specific customer.
  • It creates an immediate picture in your mind that entices your customer.
  • It doesn’t limit your geographical location when you may want to expand.
  • It doesn’t imply any time period that may some day be outdated.
  • It is different enough to avoid confusion with any competitor.
  • It makes people laugh or gets them talking.
  • It conveys your experience and professionalism.
  • It provides your customers and employees with a clear vision of focus.
  • It helps you develop a distinctive reputation and brand.
  • It can easily be incorporated into a business logo and advertising slogan.
  • It brings referrals.

Special Considerations for Internet Marketing

  • It will save lots of confusion and makes your business stand out as the leader in your industry if the business name is available for use for a website domain name with a .com extension. Anything else is second rate.
  • Use of a popular Internet search phrase in the business name and domain will bring more visitors who are already searching for your products or services.
  • It is especially important to use a name that is easy to pronounce and spell or people may never find you or confuse you with a competitor and end up on someone else’s website; for this reason don’t use domain names for advertising that contain dashes or hyphens.
  • Use of phonetic spellings using words that you created that are a twist of real words that clearly define your business can be a creative way of having a unique business name but the downside is that people will still have to remember the spelling if they are searching for you on the Internet. Also if your name is too close to another business name selling similar products or services you may be in violation of trademark laws.
  • Consider hiring an SEO (search engine optimization professional to help you select a business name.  Their expertise in quickly finding the top search phrases for your main business service or products can not only help you attract business but also help identify the most common words to use in your business name or advertising slogan that people will identify with the most.

Things to Think About:

  • Shorter business names are easier to remember and will not only save you money when you advertise in print, but can save you thousands of dollars if you are going to invest in typical commercial signage for a retail location.
  • If you are going to depend upon any type of a directory with alphabetical advertising, such as the yellow pages, give this extra consideration.  Being first in your category in alphabetical listings can get you extra visibility.
  • If your family name is part of the title, it may limit your ability to sell your businesses to a non-family member in the future …making your business tough to sell.
  • Legal implications of using a business name are vast.  Be sure the name you slelect is not already in use.  Anything close to the same name in use for similar products or services can still be considered trademark infringement. Use of a trademark attorney or a reputable trademark search service is always suggested.

© 2006-2015 by Jeff Richards, Duplication Permitted. 

Reprint rights available by acknowledging the source and linking to our website.