How to Create Your Company Name
Your company name is an integral part of your brand identity. If it is no good, people may have a tough time recalling your company. And that is bad news for whatever it is that you’re selling. If it is downright weird or funny, people will remember you for the wrong reasons.
On a side note, not so long ago, we have even changed our name, it wasn’t an easy decision nor process. If you are looking for a name change or starting a new business chances are you also need one of the services we proudly offer.
The good news is that you – and only you – are in charge of christening your company. Unlike the poor folks who were stuck with ridiculous names their parents gave them – like Saint West, Psalm West or Sir Carter – you can spare your labor of love a name that doesn’t make others chuckle, roll their eyes or simply ignore.
The bad news is that even the brightest businesses can make a boo-boo or two naming their companies or brands. Case in point is Amazon, whose brands James & Erin, Buttoned Down and Single Cow Burger, made it to Fast Company’s list of 2017’s worst brand names. But this is Amazon and a few thoughtless choices in brand names are unlikely to cost the behemoth big sales. But small and relatively unknown companies can’t afford the same mistake: people may not exactly feel enthusiastic about visiting your Curl Up & Dye Salon or feel emotionally connected to your Little Hope Cemetery.
Don’t let a poor choice of name be your undoing. Whether you or a third party service will ultimately create your company name, it is important not to lose sight of certain maxims, discussed below.
Elements of a good brand name
Unique: It is easy to spot a name inspired by another, more famous one. You will only be drawing attention to the bigger brand with this approach. In a worst-case scenario, sounding too similar to another company may embroil you in a legal tussle.
Timeless: Riding on the coattails of a trend is never a good idea for the simple reason that fads are temporary, and your company is forever. The name you choose should reflect who you are to make you come across as authentic and trust-worthy. Naming your new tailored made hats business Game Of Hats might not be a good idea after all.
Simple and easy to pronounce: Gucci, Adobe and Porsche are pronounced wrong all the time. Admittedly, they’re not suffering very much. But it’s a risk for anyone who isn’t already an established brand to pick a name that people struggle to pronounce. Keep it simple and easily recallable.
Fluid: Dollar Shave Club (DSC) was a top name for a brand that started out selling razors for a buck a piece online. Now they also sell deodorants, antiperspirants, and a full range of hygiene products. We’re waiting to see if DSC will consider a name change. Lost My Name is another famous brand that started by selling a book title ‘Lost My Name’. After some time, and after a couple of successful investment rounds, they published other books with other unique titles and finally changed their name to Wonderbly.
A fluid name is a safer bet than one that associates your brand with a single product or idea, especially if you plan to expand your product line. A name you can own: If the names you have shortlisted are already taken by companies in your industry, you’ll have to continue your search. If the name exists for companies in other industries, you may be able to keep it.
You can cross-check by performing these searches:
- A Google search (self-explanatory)
- Checking on Lebanon official IP website to see if any results come up.
- See if there are any private portals (ex: 5index.com and yellowpages for Lebanon) that offer business name search
The process of finalizing a name is complete only after verifying that you’re not encroaching on another company’s intellectual property rights. We advise checking in with your lawyer on this matter. For optimization purposes, especially if you want to sell online, you may also want to consult a quality SEO company in Lebanon and take their advice.
Ideas and tools to discover the perfect company name
You may have noticed that a great many law firms are named for their founder-partners (ex: Badri & Salim El Meouchi Law Firm) and there are fewer that are not names of partners (ex: Allied Legals Law Firm). Lawyers may use this tactic as a way to build goodwill on their names. If you provide legal, accounting or construction services, using the founder’s name/last names of founders is fine. However, if you’re a product-based company, think twice about this approach, even if you like the sound of Cadbury, Ben and Jerry’s, Chanel or Harrods.
A descriptive brand name is one that easily conveys what you do: think General Motors or Toys R Us (pretty utilitarian) and Netflix or Snapchat (quite creative). It is often tough to trademark descriptive company names that use common words or phrases, so brainstorm carefully.
You may be keen on an evocative brand name, one that positions your brand distinctively and brings to mind the values you stand for or the unique experience you deliver. Nike, Amazon and Airbus are classic examples to seek inspiration from. Lexical brand names bank on wordplay. You can create a lexical company name by modifying or integrating existing words. Think Dunkin’ Donuts, Kleenex, Houzz and Band-Aid. A creative modification or mash-up will go far, while anything less will sound cheesy.
Acronyms may be quite easy to come up with, but they are difficult to remember as they don’t mean anything to people. Acronyms can be used as a fallback tactic if you cannot come up with any descriptive, evocative or lexical brand name. Chances are you will, so you can safely do away with acronyms!
- Use a thesaurus to find catchy synonyms and related words close in meaning to the idea or value you want to convey through your brand name
- Check out glossaries of terms to find words for your business that people can identify with
- Get your creative juices flowing by listening to songs or reading famous poems and quotes
- Take a walk in nature, gaze at beautiful sceneries and chat with creative contacts
Some more tips when creating your company name
- The name should neither be vanilla nor obscure
- Avoid the lazy approach of simply truncating words: Tech Corp, QualiMachines (quality + machines), SureChem (sure + chemicals) ☹
- Run your shortlist by staff, family, friends and trusted acquaintances in the creative industries
- Don’t entrust name creation to a committee; to arrive at a consensus, they will most likely end up suggesting a safe, boring name. A better option is to have everyone on your staff provide their input and then take a call.
We can help! Contact us now to get a free consultation.