Choosing a Company Name or Brand Name

You have come up with a fantastic business idea, researched the market and competition. Now you need to think of a catchy company name or brand name to attract your customers' attention. Should be easy! shouldn't it?

You are very likely to find that the first potential names you think up; someone has already thought of it and used it themselves. Type your business name ideas in Google to find potential conflicts and do a search on the Companies House web site, if you live in the UK. You don't want to spend money on logo design, advertising, signage, packaging, etc. to later find yourself being sued for using another company's name. Do your research thoroughly, or hire a solicitor to do it for you.

Naming Tips

Here are some simple tips to think about when choosing a name:

  1. The shorter the name the better. A single word would be best, but the chances of thinking of an unused one are slim, especially if it can be found in the English dictionary. Better to make up a word yourself. If you cannot find a single word appropriate, then try combining two words together. An adjective and noun combination, for example, Blue Elephant, is often used.
  2. Make sure that people can read it and easily pronounce it. Ask your family, friends and colleagues for their feedback.
  3. Choose a name that relates to the type of business you are starting. This is useful from a marketing perspective, but if you later expand your business into other areas, your company name might become a problem. Think long term.
  4. Think about your target audience and the image you want to project to them. Are they young, fashionable and hip, or are they more mature? The language you use affects this.
  5. If you are going to do business overseas, be careful, your name may not translate well, or be offensive, in another language.
  6. Avoid time sensitive words which might be fashionable now, but will sound dated in ten years time.

When thinking of a business name you should also search for available internet domain names at the same time to make sure that the name is available and not already registered.