Amazon. Apple. Trulia. These are just a few interesting business names that seemingly have nothing to do with the products these companies sell. The truth is that finding the right business name boils down to one thing: branding. In theory, there really is no right or wrong business name, but how the brand is marketed greatly impacts its recognition regardless of the business name chosen.
With that said, there are still some elements that you should pay attention to if you want to find the right business name.
5 Things You Should Not Do When Creating a Business Name
Here are 5 things that you should not do when trying to find a business name.
Don’t Use an Offensive name
This seems obvious but here is where it gets tricky. A name can seem perfectly fine in your language but represent something offensive in another language. For instance, Ford began selling its Pinto model in 1971 without realizing that pinto is slang for penis in the Portuguese language. Yikes! Imagine driving around Portugal in the “penis car”.
Therefore, research is important when choosing a business name. Search for all possible meanings or political and social connotations of the word before attaching it to your brand. You don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea even if your business does not ship internationally.
Don’t Steal Someone Else’s Business Name
After several grueling hours of brainstorming, you’ve finally hit the nail on the head. This is the business name you’ve been searching for and you can’t wait to use it. You haven’t registered your business yet you start promoting your brand and attempt to sell your products or services. One day, you see a concerning email from a business with the same name threatening a law suit because you have misrepresented their brand.
Avoid these murky waters by researching your chosen name from the get go. A simple Google search can reveal whether a business with the same name exists anywhere else in the world. It’s also important for you to search the Companies Office of Jamaica’s website to determine if there are any local companies with the same name. If you aren’t a Jamaican, search the website of your country’s company registry.
Don’t Use an Overly Long Name
Ideally, your aim is to ensure that your business name represents the products or services your business sells. However, an overly long business name can be distracting, difficult to include in search engine optimisation (SEO), and difficult to include in branding elements such as logos and letterheads. You want your brand to be remembered; a shorter name is more memorable.
Don’t Neglect the Power of SEO
This may seem contradictory to the previous point, but it helps to include a reference to your products or services in your business name. It’s not mandatory but it does help from 2 perspectives:
- Keywords play an important role in SEO and you will depend heavily on SEO as a startup trying to build an online presence. Do some keyword research and see if any of the most searched keywords in your niche can be included in your business name.
- There is clarity about what your business offers. Potential customers can immediately look at the business name and know what is being sold.
Let me share a personal example. I deliberately included the keywords “writing services” in my business name CEM Writing Services because I knew that my company would focus on a range of content marketing related writing services. Extending the use of those keywords throughout the website could have helped me build a strong SEO strategy.
Don’t Forget to Get Other Opinions
Ask a few of your friends and family members to give their honest opinions about the name you’ve chosen. Listen carefully to their criticism and try to find the answers to these questions:
- What’s your first impression when you hear the name?
- What are the flaws?
- Are there better suggestions?
- Is the name too ambiguous?
- Does the name attract the right attention?
Why Register a Business Name in Jamaica?
Several businesses are unregistered in Jamaica. Blame it on ignorance, but the fact that so many businesses are not registered is concerning. A sole proprietor can register a business name at the Companies Office of Jamaica by simply following the steps on the website. Doing this allows the business to potentially benefit from:
- grants and other funding opportunities
- avoiding tax penalties
- business support services offered by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC)
- other entrepreneurs not being able to steal your business’ name
Putting It All Together
Your business name is your brand’s first impression. Whether a potential customer finds it interesting or foolish depends on how well you market it and pay attention to the 5 considerations mentioned in this article. Still need help coming up with a business name? The Namelix app can help.