2013
08.26

Naming a business can be something of a minefield with not only things to get right but a lot to avoid getting wrong.  Here are some of the easy mistakes to avoid when creating a new business name.

When forced to come up with a catchy name, many new business owners take part of an adjective and stick it onto a noun, essentially colliding the two words head on to create a new word. The results are names that have a certain rationale to them, but look and sound awful.

Don’t Force Names

It’s a bit like mixing pizza and ice-cream, both are fine on their own but mixing them together isn’t to everyone’s taste. The common train crash approach to company names can involve the neo-words Ameri, Tech, Corp and Tron.  If the resulting name looks like it is forced, then that’s because it probably is.

Avoid using words so generic that they don’t stand out.   It’s more important than ever to highlight your uniqueness if you are working in a niche industry.

It makes you memorable and helps your brand recognition when advertising. Whereas traditional companies more often than not had boring names such as General Motors, this can only work well if you are the first and only industry in your sector.  That is why Amazon picked a unique and catchy name rather than just General Bookstore Inc.

Avoid Clichés

Ensure your business names are not a cliché.  Instead if simply going for one of the many overly used metaphors that imply that they are the best in their industry such as Pinnacle, Gold or Apex, try going for a name that combines metaphor with positive sounding words.  Castle Anti-Virus for example tells customers both the industry which they are in whilst the word ‘Castle’ gives the impression of strength and security which is essential for online protection.

Watch Out For Jargon

Avoid the use of obscure or technical words in your business names.  While it is great if you can find a name that has special significance for you and your customers, don’t pick a name that is too obscure.  You might be number one but having a slogan in Latin telling everybody that you are will only leave customers feeling puzzled no matter how pleased you are with it.

Having previously selected a business name and realizing it isn’t working but doing nothing about it is probably the worst thing you can do as a new business owner.   Many business owners know they have a problem with their name and just hope it will somehow magically resolve itself however this approach is only ever harming your organization.

Make Sure it Works

There is no shame in changing a business name that isn’t working.  Picking successful business names does not necessarily involve the same skills that are required to successfully run that business.  If your name isn’t working then change it, otherwise your business will never realize its full potential.

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