Naming and Branding

Tips When Naming a Company

Written by Clayton Reeves for Gaebler Ventures

How does naming your business affect the potential of the company? More than you may think. In certain situations choosing a name may be one of the most important initial decisions you make.

Why is a company name so important?

Tips When Naming a Company

What makes naming a company one of the most important decisions you will make? How should you tackle coming up with a company name?

These are all important questions to ask when deciding what to name your business. First of all, it is the initial impression that anyone will get of your company. This can impact potential customers, investors, and suppliers. Every stakeholder will form an initial impression based upon the name of your firm. This means choosing your name should take time and consideration. There are several steps to take in order to avoid common pitfalls in the naming process.

To Use a Naming Consultant or Not

When choosing a name for your company, there is the opportunity to hire an outside naming consultant in order to help with the decision. Firms that have expertise with names can help create meaning for your name with clever combinations and word play. In this way, it may be wise for you to enlist help from branding experts.

However, with the right creativity and personal effort, the same can be done with brainstorming by either you or your executive staff. Pricing is also an issue for startup firms when dealing with these naming companies. Prices can range from a few thousand dollars to more than thirty thousand. This can be a big pill to swallow for smaller companies who may need that money for more crucial needs.

Avoid Pigeonholing Your Company

If you make the decision to name your company by yourself, you must avoid limiting the products or region that your company can operate in. Do no pigeonhole your company by including a region in your name. If you begin operating in a city or state, it will be more difficult to expand outside the boundaries of that region if you attach it to your name.

Some examples of successful companies that HAVE done this include Texas Instruments, which has become an international seller. However, the odds are against small businesses that wish to expand outside their domiciled region.

Another faux pas in naming is to attach your main product to the title. If you make footballs, it would be a poor idea to attach "football" to the name of your company in case you expand into the production of other balls or related sports merchandise. Make sure the name applies to your company, but do not put yourself in a corner where you may be forced to alter your name should you expand into other areas of production.

Make the Name Have Meaning

Make sure the name has meaning. People have been shown to respond to names that they can understand. When the words in the name are already meaningful to someone, it will help with retention and understanding. Also be aware of the fact that some words have different meanings in different countries, regions and cultures. As the small business owner, you must be reticent of the fact that not everyone is the same as you are.

Therefore, understanding that the meaning of your name must be interpreted by people from different backgrounds is integral to forming a positive name.

When he's not playing racquetball or studying for a class, Clayton Reeves enjoys writing articles about entrepreneurship. He is currently an MBA student at the University of Missouri with a concentration in Economics and Finance.

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