Why naming your business is harder than naming your children
It’s no secret that names can be used as powerful tools to start and indeed grow your business.
However, it seems that the process of naming your business or company, either turns into the Spanish Inquisition with input from all parts of your life, even from those sometimes not asked for. Or alternatively it ends up being at the other extreme and is an afterthought, as there are deemed so many other higher priorities that need to be addressed.
With the 42 Interactive team having set up several companies and business’ and the founders been involved in the naming process, we know that naming your company is as hard, if not harder than naming your children.
With children who know who your audience is, e.g. your family your friends and also the areas and circle of life or networks etc you would like them to be part of. Of course, like your business name you don’t want it to seem foolish or stupid so they risk the nasty world of bullies later on. You also probably want them to have a memorable and maybe a different or “cool” name, so that they don’t become part of the of the favourite name of the year award. Sure there are no guarantees that their name will remain unique, like in business, a raft of competition could suddenly appear using the same or similar name, where everyone is suddenly the “uber’ of their niche.
Reasons why naming your company or business is so much harder than naming your child are many, but as a base it needs to convey so much more than just a name, you want to be unique, have meaning, memorable and of course ensure that there is a web domain available for it as a start.
7 Things you need to consider when creating a name for your business
1. Be careful with initials
Ensure that you’ve considered the abbreviations and initials that others may “convert” your name to. Just as one should seriously consider naming their child Michael, if their surname is Hunt, your business name may be used in an altered fashion and to your detriment. If you name your business Fantastic Unicorns or Active Real Solution Estate, then be warned of what you may get shortened too. This is especially true in Australia, where shortening names is a national sport.
2. Tell a story
When choosing your business name you should of course consider its meaning, but more than that it should help tell a story about your business and if possible your mission and / or company products or services.
See fun stories behind 40 famous company names.
It’s important that you ensure the business name you choose has the relevant domain name available. Of course there are ways around this by using special characters such as “-“ or using some of the newer, but lesser known, top level domains, such as .co .xyz .io and others. However, in order to be more memorable we would suggest you always push for the .com or URL relevant to your country (or indeed countries), e,g, com.au or co.uk. As recall will be easier for people and they will more easily find you, even if the search engines don’t make these other domain endings less searchable. If in doubt then go BIG with a .com it will be worth the additional $ if you have in your budget.
Use this tool not only to help your website marketing but also to assist find a name in the first place.
Adwords keyword tool lets you assess how many global and local monthly searches keywords are getting to help your assessment of the names you are thinking of so you can understand what is being search and used more often.
5. Name Length – Easy to Say and Spell
As well as ensuring your name is memorable you need to also keep it simple and not too long. It sounds obvious, but longer names are of course harder to say and even harder to write / type or spell.
Another consideration is whether you can trademark your business name, this should also be looked before you settle on something final.
7. Foreign translation
If you are operating global markets or in specific countries it is worth spending a bit of time ensuring that the name translates well into those other languages.
In summary the name of your business / brand will have an impact on your success.
For sure, like naming your children, non one else can name your business for you. However, you don’t need to agonise over the name endlessly, if you consider the elements above and a lot of what you have in your mind will probably be struck off your list straight away due to not meeting those scenario’s.
Make this naming journey fun, get others to help you brainstorm and inject creativity, but at the end of the day the business is your and if you have them your baby, so make sure you take the time to get it right.