What Makes a Great Business Name?

If you're about to launch a new business, you know that there is a lot to do before you sell your first product or provide your first service. You have to register your business. You'll set up a business bank account. You'll write a business plan, make hiring decisions, and iron out your offerings. All of these require one crucial step that many get stuck on, it’s choosing a business name. After all, what you decide to call your company can make or break your business. Your business name could affect the number of referrals you get, how long your business stays relevant, and even how much you can grow.

If you want to choose a business name that will stand the test of time, follow these tips to discover what makes a great business name.

Great Business Names Are Memorable
We see a lot of business owners playing it safe when it comes to naming their business. They go with business names that are highly descriptive, but lack imagination. Joe's Car Repair. Burt's Pest Control. Jan's Hair Salon. While these business names get points for being easy to understand, they lose mega points in originality. If people who are new to your business don't know who Joe or Burt or Jan are, why would they remember the name of your business? There's nothing to differentiate you from Dan's Car Repair, Bob's Pest Control, or Jane's Hair Salon. They all start to blend together in the mind of your customer. And the last thing you want to do as a business owner is blend in.

Do yourself a favor and choose a business name that people will remember. Having a memorable business name will make it easier for them to find you once they need to use your product or service again. If they've had a good experience with your company, having a catchy business name that's easy to remember makes the referral process even easier. Your customers won't have to go digging for a business card or going back through their search history to give your business name to a friend. Instead, it will be right on the tip of their tongue. And the friend will remember it too, making it easy for them to visit your store, call you, or hire you.

Great Business Names Are Easy To Spell & Pronounce
Think it's clever to incorporate a misspelling into your business name or come up with a name that could be pronounced in six different ways? Think again. All this will do is confuse the customer, and this is one of the worst offenses you could commit. People don't like to be confused or feel too dumb to spell your business name or say it correctly.

If you're considering a name that is hard to spell, you're making it exponentially more difficult for someone to find you through an online search. If they don't know how to spell your business name, they might not find it at all.

Pronounceability is part of what makes a great business name, especially in the growing era of voice search. It's estimated that, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. You can prepare for this in advance by creating a business name that's easy to pronounce. Imagine the frustration someone would feel if they tried to get directions to your business or find out your phone number with a voice search and not get the results they need because they're saying your business name incorrectly.

Great Business Names Are Simple
Apple. Walmart. Amazon. Some of the most iconic brands of our time are also the simplest. These businesses didn't let trying to be clever detract from the point: make it simple for your customers. Make it easy to understand. Make it memorable. Don't make them work for it.

So how do you create a simple business name? Many of our customers like the short business names we offer because short is essentially synonymous with simple. You could also try coming up with one word or a two-word phrase that could represent your company in the simplest way possible.

Start thinking of the simplest brands that you're familiar with and see what they all have in common. What can you learn from them? How can you apply what you've learned to the naming of your business?

Great Business Names Allow Room For Growth
One of the problems with choosing a business name based on the product you sell or the service you offer is that it signifies very short-term thinking. What if you add products to your product line in the future? Or expand into a new segment? Or create a department to fulfill a separate yet related need your customers have? Or start to serve a broader target audience?

For example, if Bob's Pest Control decides that they also want to offer lawn services, it will be extremely difficult under their current brand name. And if Jan's Hair Salon wants to add mani-pedis and massages, customers won't know that by the name of her business.

Part of what makes a great business name is the space to grow. So, think big. Plan for the future. Make sure that the name you choose doesn't limit your profits in any way.

Great Business Names Work Well In Many Languages
Do you have dreams of penetrating foreign markets? If so, it's essential that the business name you choose flows in multiple languages. For example, the German car brand Audi is easy enough for English-speaking markets to spell and pronounce. But if a German insurance company incorporated the word "Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften" in their brand name, it would have fallen flat in countries not familiar with this word. (It means "insurance company that provides legal protection" in case you were curious).

Another point to note is that if you're using an invented name, the name you choose shouldn't mean something else in another language. Do a Google search for the business name you're considering and see if any foreign language results pop up. If so, make sure that the brand name you chose doesn't have a meaning that you wouldn't want your business to be associated with.

Great Business Names Avoid Trends
It might be tempting to hop on the fad train when creating a name for your business. That will make you and your business cool, right? Wrong. What's cool today may be decidedly uncool tomorrow. As a business owner, you don't want someone tossing out your company like a passing trend that's worn out its welcome.

When coming up with a business name, think about if it would be relevant ten years ago, and if it might be relevant in the next ten years. Stay away from current trends and fads and go with a brand name that will stand the test of time.

Are you struggling with coming up with a brand name for your new business? We can help! At BrandBucket, we offer company name, domain, and logo packages that take the guesswork out of creating a strong brand. Search business names by industry by clicking the button below.


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