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So how do you create a winning business name? First thing is to get your family,
friends and/or colleagues together for a business name brainstorming session and
work through these six rules:
1) A winning business name has to be memorable – but easy to spell.
Obviously, your potential customers/clients need to be able to remember your business
name, but they also need to be able to find it easily if they’re looking for it in
a telephone directory or on the internet, so choosing a business name such as “Whatchamacallit”
is a bad idea. Having a unique name is good thing but it can become counter productive
if people do not know (or remember) how to spell it.
2) A winning business name needs a visual element.
What popped into your head when you read “Whatchamacallit”? Nothing Right? Most people
don’t visualize anything when they read this business name, but generally we are
hard-wired to “seeing” images when we read or hear language, so incorporating a visual
element into your business name can be a powerful aid to customers’ memory (and also
a powerful advertising tool for you in the future).
3) A winning business name has to have a positive connotation.
Many words have both denotation (literal meaning) and connotation (emotional meaning).
A word’s connotation can be positive, neutral or negative, depending on the emotional
associations that people generally make.
The classic example is the difference between “Home” (which has a positive connotation)
and “House” (which has a neutral connotation).
So when creating a business name make sure you’re choosing words that have positive
connotations so that people can associate them with your business – and also make
sure these connotations are suitable for your business.
For example, if you are starting a transportation business, you don’t want it to
have a weak sounding or negative name, such as “Butterfly Transport” or “Breakdown
Trucking”. You want a business name that conveys strength and reliability. A choice
such as “Stallion Transport” or “Sure-hold Trucking” would be much better. Notice
how all these names have a strong visual element.
4) A winning business name needs to include information about what your business
Chances are good that your new business is not going to become a universal brand
(like Ferrari or BP) overnight so having a name like ‘Kildoe’ or ‘A-Jay’s’ won’t let
people know what you do unless you give clues as to what your business is about,
like ‘Kildoe Cars’ or ‘A-Jay’s Engine Oil’
That’s the reason why you see so many landscaping businesses that have the word “landscaping”
in their name, and hair styling businesses that include words such as “salon” or
“hair designs” in their names.
Including information about what your business does in your business name also makes
it easier for potential customers/clients to find your business in phone books and
directories (both off and online).
5) A winning business name has to be fairly short.
Once again this is vital because you want customers to be able to remember your business’s
name (and be able to tell other people what it is)! But it’s also important for promotional
purposes. You want a business name, for example, that will fit well on a business
card, look good displayed on a sign or in an ad, and perhaps even a business name
that will serve well as a domain name and show up well in search engines if you have
an online business. So keep it as short as possible.
6) Colourful business name.
One last tip is to think about colours when you’re choosing a business name. Colours
will be an important component of your business logo and other business promotion
materials such as your future business website, etc. Colours have strong emotional
associations, too. Red, for instance, is an aggressive colour; its fiery elements
are associated with speed, excitement and passion while green is a calming colour
associated with growth, renewal and nature.
You’ll want to create at least two winning business names, and three is even better,
because once you’ve chosen a business name, the next step is to register itand your
first choice may already be taken.
So do you now have a winning business name that meets the requirements of all six
rules above? Good! Hopefully you’ll be living with the name for your new business
for a long time – and it will continue to attract new business.
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