Crafting a business name is one of the first steps that a start-up must take. It seems like a simple process, but there are many pitfalls that unwary entrepreneurs fall into. Your name will be with you for years to come, and while it is possible to rename a company, it can be a costly process.
Here are some of the most common business naming mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Poor attention to detail
Choosing a name at random will emerge in the quality of your brand. Carefully consider your business name and find one that suits your company ethos and values. Building a brand around a name that has no meaning will make your job harder.
Choosing a name based on a current trend will make your brand appear dated within a few years. Instead choose a name that will be relevant both now and, in the years, to come. Make a list of businesses that have stood the test of time to see what they have in common for some inspiration.
Using complex names
You should choose a name that is easy to spell, pronounce and hear. Complex names will not stick in customers’ heads and can be misheard. Your name should also not be too long as it will be less memorable and harder to integrate on social media sites like Twitter.
Going it alone
Selecting your business name by yourself means you are missing out on valuable insights from other team members and professionals. Use a company naming service like NameStormers to help you select the right business name and avoid making common mistakes.
Lack of clarity
Your business name needs to set the tone for your business – it should show what type of company you are and what you sell. It could be direct and include what you do as a business, or use a name that indirectly informs customers. To find inspiration, research keywords associated with your business.
Similarity to competitors
Make certain that your business name is not similar to any of your competitors. Once you have a selection of names, search online to see if any other businesses have similar names. Furthermore, check trademark registries and domain name availability. Once you have settled on a name, you should trademark it and register your business domain names.
Failure to conduct research
It is worthwhile finding how customers will view your name before you settle on it. Put your chosen name before a test group and get their feedback on how it makes them feel about your company. This is also an opportunity to see how easy it is to say and hear among customers.
Choosing something generic
Opting for a generic name can be as detrimental as choosing one that is too complex. You should select a name that makes you stand out among your competitors. For instance, many companies are called “The X Company”. While this shows what your company sells, it does not reveal who you are as a brand. Avoid generic names like this.