This is a problem that crops up a lot in business; for example, a newsagent sets up a house syndicate and a shop decides to enter a new product line selling vitamin pills in the shop, etc. Well, what are they going to call it? It needs a name as a name adds to the offering.
Naming a new business or product line - it's one of those things that always crops up when you're in business! You've got an idea; now you need to come up with the perfect name to match.
It may seem simple, but finding a name that really captures your idea can be tricky. I've been there myself many times! I read an interesting article on Facebook by a professional who, for a living, advises people on what to name their business ventures. He charges thousands of dollars for doing it, but he sparked many people's interest in the subject.
Here, I'll walk through the key steps for brainstorming and evaluating potential names for your brilliant new business venture. With the right name secured, you'll be that much closer to promoting your brand to future customers!
Brainstorm Possible Names
I think it best to write down any words or phrases related to:
- Your products or services
- Your brand identity or values
- Your location or community
Look at competitors or businesses you admire for inspiration. Use name generators or dictionaries to spark additional keyword ideas.
Look at some ideas for a business name from overseas. I find a search on a similar country to Australia, like Canada, useful. Now, if it works for these Canadians, why not for you in Australia? Now, several websites can help you. My current favourite is here. I have used it for years. But there are many more such sites, so pick the one you like. Now, put these ideas into the search box individually, flick through the options and their proposed names, and write down the ones you want. I am sure there are many good ideas here.
If it is a one-off, which is not going to be used much except for inhouse, you may not need to worry much about checking, but if it is something that is going to get legal, do not get too attached to a name yet; verify first:
- The website domain name is available to buy
- Suitable social media handles are available on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Trademark searches on IP Australia don't reveal conflicts
For a website, try to link it to your actual name if possible. Your new website should feed the shop, and your shop should feed the new website. Why reinvent the wheel so use the resources you have?
Now, talk it over with people, but trust your judgment, as you will have to live with the name. So, pick a name that communicates your business.
Check social issues
Shorten the proposed name.
See if you like it because it is the short name you and everyone else will use over time. For example, people rarely say my company's name, "POS Solutions" when talking about it, but say "POS". Make sure the shortened name looks good. If for example you called it Cheap Books, well people talking about it will say Cheap, its not a good image they are conveying.
Check foreign languages
This is to avoid embarrassing or offensive meanings in other cultures so check the proposed names and grammar in Google Translate to see if your name works well in their languages:
- Check the languages spoken by your customers
- Also the most commonly spoken languages in your area.
- I would also check Italian, Greek, Chinese, Hebrew and Arabic in Australia. For this, as the spelling is difficult use the search by voice.
You do not want someone telling you the cafe name means "*gh^%@!" in their language every few days. I had a client who discovered that his business name, based on the street he was on, translated into English, meant something like a castrated pig store, which is, to Eastern Europeans, a particularly nasty word. The guy who named the street, I am sure, had a terrific laugh when the council adopted it. So I strongly suggest you check your proposed name in several languages.
I get this a lot as my wife is French and tells me this shop's name is bad French grammar but I have also seen shops name that are in bad English grammar. Your shop looks instantly unprofessional.
It is worth the time, as a good business name can go a long way to making your business and/or website.
Note: Sometimes, you get only a limited choice. This site was handy.