We often talk about the difficulties of business. We talk about profit margins, bottom lines, employee troubles, competitors, getting investments, etc. These are all definitely significant difficulties for any business endeavor. But before any of that occurs, you’ve got a difficulty to deal with that people don’t seem to talk about that often. I’m talking about choosing a name for your company.
Sometimes, people have a great name for their company before they even fully know what it is their company is going to do. But for most business owners, trying to choose a name is a torturous struggle. Things aren’t rolling off the tongue. Brains hit a brick wall. Names have already been taken. There are a lot of barriers when it comes to choosing a name.
We’re going to take a look at the things you need to bear in mind when naming a company.
One of the best ways of standing out in business is having a business name that uses wordplay. And I’m not just talking about the name in and of itself. I mean having a name that lends itself to strong wordplay. That’s not to say that sheer simplicity doesn’t work. In fact, there are companies out there who have managed to combine simplicity and wordplay brilliantly. Just look at the UK’s Compare the Market’s advertising campaign, Compare the Meerkat.
Considering the law
Of course, one of the biggest difficulties here is choosing a unique name. If you go ahead and do business under a name that’s already been taken, you’ll find yourself in legal trouble eventually. This is why you need to do your research thoroughly. Use the Internet to make sure that absolutely nobody has trademarked the name already. You may find businesses that are trying to operate under a given name. But if they haven’t trademarked the name, you could still use it. (This depends on your moral leanings, though!) The same applies for you. If you want to operate under a name, make sure you know how to trademark a word.
You don’t want your brand to get lost in translation. When you pick a name for your company (or for a product), you should give some thought as to what the words might mean in another language. Plenty of companies have fallen victim to not doing their research here. Some famous brands went red-faced when their names and slogans meant unfortunate things in other countries. While you can’t be expecting to know every linguistic possibility of a given word, you can at least do some quick searches in a translation tool.
Many business owners will be tempted to name the company after themselves. This can be good for certain businesses - if your business will be a law firm and you’re planning to work as head attorney there, for example. But most of the time, this course would be a mistake. You’ll end up pigeonholing the brand, as well as yourself. It’s better to create a name that you can play around with a bit more. Plus, if something goes wrong with that business, it’s easier to separate yourself from it if it’s not named after you.