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A Quick Guide To Naming Your Business

How to decide what your business name should say about you and your company.

The first thing to remember when naming something is not to rely too heavily on another’s advice.

Don’t forget about the law and conduct a legal name search. The last thing you want is to hit it big, then be forced to change your name because a tiny company has the same name and wants $100 million from you for the rights to it.

Start by sitting down and making a list of what you want your name to stand for in the mind of the consumer. Your name should reflect your name and your positioning.

You must decide what you want your name to imply. It’s usually the first thing your prospects learn about you. Here are some of the things your name can tell your prospects about you:

  • Quick
  • The best
  • Convenient
  • Highest quality
  • Experienced
  • Fun
  • Outrageous
  • Reliable
  • Inexpensive
  • Guaranteed
  • Recommended
  • Honest
  • Dangerous
  • Unique

Eight Simple Rules for Choosing a Business Name

1. Your name should have a positive ring. 

Avoid anything negative. Your name should make people enthusiastic and optimistic
2. Avoid difficult names. 

If people have trouble pronouncing it or spelling it, they won’t remember it
3. Make your name unique. 

You don’t want people confusing you with a business that already exists, especially if it’s one with a poor reputation.
4. Don’t use a name that will limit you down the road. 
5. Use a descriptive name, such as Jiffy Lube. 

Note that this name also conveys a benefit.
6. Don’t get caught up in trends or fads. 

While it may be profitable in the short run, focus on the long haul.
7. Your name should reflect your identity: 

dignity, largeness, local identification, quality and other descriptive elements.
8. Pick a name that looks and sounds attractive 

on the phone, on the radio, on your letterhead, and on your website.

Once you have your list of attributes, try it out on peers and focus groups.

Now you’ve got to make a decision.

Do you want a name that’s generic, descriptive or fanciful?

Fanciful  names are easy to protect however they do not convey who you are and what your brand is about.

Descriptive names are easy favorites. They communicate enough about your product to help the sale, but they’re unique and stick in the customer’s mind and help stop the competition.

Lastly, you can use a generic name. These names are virtually unprotectable, but they have the ability to immediately telegraph what your business does.

By Jay Conrad Levinson

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