Keeping It Real While Naming Your Business
“What’s in a (Business) Name?”
As Juliet famously said:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
First, I don’t actually believe this. At least not in relation to choosing, what is possibly, the single most important component of branding your business — deciding on a name.
Second it’s hard to be original. Someone else could have claimed some of your best ideas before you even knew you had them. This produces a unique challenge. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of [legal] troubles.
Case in point, the Shakespeare quote at the beginning of this article was the obvious choice to introduce the subject of naming a new business venture. So obvious, that several other blogs (even the Canadian Intellectual Property Office) used it first. If you’re unsure about the availability of a business name you can check with your local registry office.
Your business name is vital to the success of your company
Understandably, your business name is vital to the success of your company. It’s a fine line to walk because your goal is to choose a name simple enough for your customers to remember, yet complex enough in the subtle details to embody within it everything your business stands for.
While it is tempting to follow the examples set by Interac, Tumblr, or Google and play with language to create a brand-new word (pun intended). It is worth bearing in mind that these are giant companies with budgets to match. With a strong marketing strategy, any name can work. What we suggest is to merely work smarter, not harder.
In most cases — simplicity is best
Abstract names such as All-star, Pinnacle, Summit, or Wind, can be effective insofar as they offer more Flexibility than static, literal, regional based business names. If you feel the nature of your business may evolve over time or relocate, then maybe an abstract name is actually a pretty good idea. However, much like the remixed versions of language invented by companies like Google, an abstract business name needs dedicated marketing efforts to support (and explain) what your company is and why customers should come to you. If we only ever saw the word “Google” on a bus stop or billboard no one would have any idea what to make of it. Branding is holistic.
Entrepreneur.com republished a great article with some smart advice. “The more your name communicates to consumers about your business, the less effort you must exert to explain it.” This comes back to using real words, and literal language. Albeit, if you can get away with a clever double-entendre, do it. Not everyone will get it, but those who do will appreciate your business all the more for it.
When choosing a business name, keep the following tips in mind:
• Choose a name that appeals not only to you but also to the kind of customers you are trying to attract.
• Choose a comforting or familiar name that conjures up pleasant memories so customers respond to your business on an emotional level.
• Don’t pick a name that is long or confusing.
• Stay away from cute puns that only you understand.
• Don’t use the word “Inc.” after your name unless your company is actually incorporated.
Finally, be sure to test out the new name on your oldest, most trusted, and most honest friends. If they laugh at you, it’s a sign.
When you have the name perfected, own it. You can register your trademark with any registry office. The fees are posted on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office site. This is an important step because the registration provides proof of ownership. It also provides you with exclusive rights across Canada for 15 years and may be renewed indefinitely. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you to protect your products and services from imitation and misuse from infringement under the Trade-marks Act.
If you want people to remember your name: keep it real
So, if you want people to remember your name: keep it real.
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PixelNerd is located in Edmonton, Alberta. We have been creating engaging online experiences that draw on our experience in Graphic Design, SEO, and Website Design