There are several things branding experts or copywriters consider when choosing business name from several eligible business name ideas.
One of it is competitiveness.
- How does business name A compare or compete with business name B?
- Does C sound better than D?
- Is E more spellable than F?
- Is there an available domain plus social media handles for G?
Is there… The list goes on and on.
Hence, entrepreneurs and business owners need to think twice before choosing company or business name, and henceforth use tested and trusted methods to generate relevant business name ideas.
There should be laid down techniques and procedures to simplify this often overlooked yet powerful process. In this post we highlight some other key things to consider before deciding on a company name for your business, but really
What’s in a Business Name?
So much. There’s so much that goes into and out of picking a business name that it should never be treated with kid gloves.
A business name
- Is your core identity
- Tells who you are, what you do
- Is how customers/prospects/vendors identify you
- Shapes your corporate image
- Differentiates you from others and competition
- Determines your logo
- Confers legitimacy in the eyes of customers, clients etc
Cars.Com for instance, was reportedly sold for a record $872m, the biggest domain name sale in known history. That’s how important a business name can be.
If you were to be considered for an industry award for instance, you wouldn’t make the shortlist without a business name, would you? You couldn’t bid for jobs or contracts without a business name either.
Why You Need to Get It Right
Change of business name is costly. It will involve retracing your digital footprints plus total rebranding of online and offline assets.
It may require change of colors, logo, letterhead, uniforms, billboards, banners, stamps, invoices, receipts, domain name, social media accounts, etc.
It may take weeks, months or even years to achieve full business name change, plus you want to avoid the inevitable confusion that arises for customers when you have to switch between two different names while the name change propagates.
Major Reasons for Business Name Change
The following are some major reasons why people change business name
- Growth and expansion
- Non-alignment with current realities, goals or vision
- Merger or acquisition
- Similarity to a recent negative event
- A major scandal, etc
Now, we take a look at 10 other major considerations to make before choosing business names.
Your customers are the primary reason you’re in business. Without them you’d either be jobless or still working a regular 9-5 job. You need to carry out some sort of name usability test with them in mind.
As a startup will your business name position you in front of your customers or make it harder to find you both locally and globally?
- Search Engine
Speaking about finding you, will potential customers be able to find you via search, will they be able to spell your chosen business name with ease and correctly? Or will they be redirected to your competitors?
You need to consider your potential customers before picking your final business name.
Search engine optimization should form part of your considerations for business name selection too. A good and easily spelt business name will increase your chances of showing up in search.
A good business name generator can help you generate several business name ideas to choose from.
- Cost of Name Change
As stated earlier, change of business name is costly. Depending on your size and industry, it could range from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Change of name from UTA to TDU was estimated to cost Utah taxpayers up to $50m. Business name change is also a time consuming process for larger businesses.
If customers have become used to your business name and brand, changing that can be a hard and slow process. Making that mental shift for some is difficult.
For instance the old acronym NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) is still more preferred to PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria), many years after the name change.
- Visually Impaired Customers
The physically challenged are another group of often overlooked customers or users. For instance a visually impaired customer will be unable to read off your business name from your signboard or flyers.
They’d rely on their sense of hearing instead if not using braille. Can they grasp your business name clearly when you sound it? Can they repeat it for voice search or to Alexa?
When you start getting press mentions for your business in newspapers, dailies and magazines, will your business name be easily or correctly spelled or wrongly spelt each and every time?
If the error appears in front page, the correction next day will only take place in a small obscure corner of the paper.
If your business name is spelt one way on your website, another way in your brochures, another way in your business card and yet another way in your invoices and receipts, you create confusion for users like journalists, writers, customers, vendors, etc.
If citing you will be a hassle, writers will settle for a competitor with a name that is easier to spell.
If your business or company name is spelt wrongly by vendors and external contractors, it may delay clearing of receipts and invoices which may affect your ability to honor external commitments as at when due.
This may give your business a bad reputation for delayed payments and remittances, causing you to lose valuable business.
- Online Shoppers
Most online shoppers search for products by store name. For instance they can type “Nike sneakers on Amazon.”
If your online store name is hard to spell or difficult to remember you may lose a good portion of first timers who heard of you via word of mouth,say from a one off conversation or some online forum they can’t remember again.
Proper business name selection should be top of list for new and intending startups.
Learning about the benefits of getting it right the first time plus the challenges of effecting a business or company name change will guide you in better choosing a name from the many business name ideas scribbled in your paper.
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Ecommerce B2B/B2C Copywriter featured in eCommerce Insights, Ecommerce Nation, Understanding Ecommerce, SmallBizClub, Successful Startup 101, Dumb Little Man, Huffington Post, Floship, Result First, The Next Scoop, SABTrends, BusinessTips.Ph to mention a few.
He is available for hire