When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child, we spent weeks figuring out just the right name. We thought of all the scenarios of how people would receive him, how it would look on his college applications, on his business card, how it would sound coming out of my mouth when I yelled at him…needless to say we thought of everything possible that gave him that “je nai se qua” (AKA that something special) that would make his footprint on the world memorable when his name was used.
Naming and owning a business is a lot like naming and having a baby. It’s something you want so bad to be yours and you’ll work so hard to have it and while in the end it’s totally worth it, there is going to be a lot of tears, not a lot of sleep, and probably a lot of money spent to take care of it. So why would naming it be any different?
Also as part of mom duties and blog duties, I also double as a super agent in marketing, public relations, and social media consultant. I’m pretty lucky that I get to be a part of the growing up process of a business – no matter what age it’s at – and nuture it to the next stage. Also sounds a lot like rearing a child, there’s no such thing as ever being “done” with marketing a business; it just changes the stages it’s in.
But ironically enough many people don’t take the time to think of all the scenarios naming their business (and their website) and why you need to take in account so many different points of view before landing on just the right name for your
Picking the Right Name for Your Business
1. Does it describe what you are? There is something for getting to the point of a name. Calling a company Bob’s Dog Sitting gets to the point of the business and leaves no room for wondering if just “Bob’s” is a dog sitting service or a bakery. It says what it is and thus acts like your own SEO (search engine optimization.) However, you have to think about the big brands and how they became household names. Does Apple, Starbucks or Tory Burch say what their business are in just their name? Nope, they built a brand based on going to the next step.
2. Create just the right recipe for uniqueness, but not too off the beaten path. Calling yourself “ABC Cleaning” might put you first in ABC order, it doesn’t exactly make your company standout. Conversely, if you use something so unique like “Obelowys” then the name is so unique that it doesn’t have the sticking power you want for building a successful brand. Just like a good song, if you can’t figure out the name of the song in the lyrics, you won’t necessarily go out and buy it later.
3. If you can’t pronounce it, spell it, or it doesn’t fit in a Twitter username, it’s not the right name. This is a pretty easy explanation. Remember that film that Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck did together and began their long romance until it fizzled? The answer to that is my first point, but my second is that both the relationship and the movie went down in flames, but that much star power shouldn’t have put the movie on the list of one of the worst ever. The blame here went to its name “Gigli.” Most moviegoers and media didn’t know how to say it, so they didn’t go and see it. This same rule applies to your business name. If your potential customer constantly will misspell the name of your business or it’s so long the name won’t fit on social media, then you know it’s worth throwing back in the pond for another fist.
4. Do your homework! This is a huge one…you don’t want to create a name that 15 other people in your city have for a hair salon. You also don’t want to create a business name like let’s say “Apple.” and not expect to have lots of confusion – and if you’re not careful – lawsuits. Recently a restaurant in my neighborhood named their Italian restaurant the same name of a big celebrity chef’s eatery in NYC. When the big restaurant found out the new restaurant had used their copyrighted name, a cease and desist letter appeared in their mailbox. Too bad it was AFTER they had printed menus, secured their social media, and had an expensive sign mounted. That was a lot of money and resource time wasted that could have been avoided if they had done their homework on the front end.
5. The biggest and most important: Land it and immediately claim your website and your social media channels. While you’re developing the right name, you should also be checking at the same time if the website and social media channels are available. One company I worked with had done so much work to create just the perfect name and then found out no part of the name or even an acronym could be claimed.
[Tweet “People expect your company name is also how to find your company on the web and social media. “]
I’ve seen it happen so many times that a business works so hard for so long to come up with the right name only to find someone bought your .com several months before you. Thankfully, there are now more creative and memorable options than ever to find the right website domain by using a “not-com name” like .PIZZA, .FLORIST and .COFFEE (and many more!)
Speaking of food, Name.Kitchen, powered by Donuts, helps to make the process easier for your restaurant, cleaning business or law firm. Designed as a resource to help you create just the right recipe for your company’s name. Geared toward entrepreneurs (aka “business chefs”), Name.Kitchen offers tools and inspiration on cooking up that perfect identity with tons of apps to get your brainstorming going and then to Claim Your Name.
Still a little leery of going with a “not-com?”
See what other companies did creating their name and brand with the Name.Kitchen’s “I am.__” video series from real customers going through the same process of you to create your perfect baby…your business.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Name.Kitchen.