It’s easy to spend too little time finding the right name for your business. Just how important is it?
A Rose by Any Other Name …
Naming your business, products and services: is it tactical or strategic? Tactical implies names are temporary, do a job and once finished, can be disposed of. Strategic implies a name says something about you and sets the scene for many years to come.
You can change your name. When you start out in business, you get to a point where there is pressure to change your name because your vision is clearer. Perhaps it’s best to start with a name that will do for early months but not embed it too much into your business. The challenge of changing urls, business cards and other publicity can be daunting.
A good name is one you can live with, even if you change what you do. Perhaps, you have a personal brand and it helps you whatever you do.
There is a vogue for meaningless company names, eg Carillion, Amey, Consignia, Onyx. Superficially, they sound good but many associate them with poor service. They are big companies, bidding for government contracts. Their names give nothing away about what they do because they do anything that pays.
Choosing Your Business Name
So, choose a plausible name and try it out. Ask friends or potential customers. Feedback helps but does not guarantee the name works as part of your marketing.
Say it aloud and get others to say it to you. What does it sound like? Is it easy to work out how to spell it? Does it sound like something different from the spelling?
How does it feel to speak the name aloud? Does it feel silly or sensible, strong or weak?
Write it down as for a url. Be aware that words run together can be read in several ways. For example, “therapist” can be read in two ways, one of which you may wish to avoid.
Will the name come up when Googled? How easy is it be to find your business online with that name? Remember competition is such that a name that works well to begin with can lose its advantage when a competitor finds something that works better.
All these are things to consider. Few are absolute reasons to use or abandon a potential name.
Words Have Meanings
- Does your business name remind prospects of the change you seek to make? Even if they don’t know the history of it?
- Does saying your business name change customers’ attitude to help them believe the story you tell?
- Does the name have room to gain a secondary meaning, so that it becomes associated with what you sell?
Perhaps the most important aspect of a name is it should be memorable. If someone knows it, they should be able to find you. This is particularly important in the early days of your business, when you are not well-known and you benefit if people remember anything about you.
As you become better known, a good name comes to be associated with your business and what you sell. So, think about this when you choose the name. You sell something remarkable and so you need a remarkable name.
So, to what extent should your name show literally what you offer? My business name does that but “Market Together” also says something about my approach. It is memorable but is it remarkable? I believe it speaks to those who share my values, in other words those who I wish to communicate with are those for whom my name may seem remarkable.
If you have authority in the marketplace it is possible you can get away with more prosaic names for your products and services. The rest of us need to be remarkable about our names. But beware words like “awesome”, they are not remarkable!
Following this thirty-sixth post to encourage coaches to reflect on relational marketing, take this opportunity to sign up below. You get a weekly round-up of my posts and a pdf about how to make sure you are charging what your business is worth.