Naming your business (or child)

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(Just FYI, you can also use these hints and tips to name a human child too). 

Naming your business is like naming a child. You can’t just flick to the first page of the baby name book and choose ‘Aaron’ and then be done with it.

You gotta do your thorough research.

You have to get the name right.

You have to be memorable.

Your business’s name has a humungous impact on how your future customers will view you. The name needs to embody your values and your characteristics.

(And well, a child’s name is basically a just gamble on what personality you hope they will have). 

Most of all, you will want it to stand out.

But how?

Choose something that’s unique.

Don’t be a plain Jane. (No disrespect to the Jane’s of the world; it’s a figure of speech).

No more ‘The Sweet Shop’ and no more ‘General Plumbing’.

Sometimes you have to be less descriptive and more striking.

Don’t.

However don’t be too striking in that you miss the boat completely.

Stick to minimally invented names, like Xero, which means ‘dry’ in a different langauage, but it’s still not made up.

It’s going to be hard to keep the scales balanced, but almost everyone else has managed it!

Choose something that idiots will get.

In the nicest way, of course.

Ensure your business’s name is one to two syllables, is easy to spell and easy to pronounce, like GOOGLE, (or Bob, because school rosters and Starbucks are a nightmare for unpronouncable names).

Make sure it’s catchy too, like YAHOO.

Give it some oomph, such as BING, whereby you make the sound BING when you say it like you are BING-ing off a sentence to search. You know, onomatopoeia.

Don’t.

Don’t use puns. You will sound overly-desperate, aka ‘punny’, just stick to having a really sticky name.

Avoid picking a name that limits your business. JAMIE’S ITALIAN leaves room for lots of different dishes, if it were called JAMIE’S PIZZA HOUSE, people that don’t like pizza (a select few I can assure) would probably not want to visit as they would fear either they don’t serve steak or that it isn’t as good as their pizza, which of course, they don’t like.

Deep breath.

And, leave your name out of it, just in case you ever want to sell your business. Fiona’s Flowers may be lovely for you Fiona, but think of your future potential buyer Sergey and his chance at making it with that name. Plus, Fiona’s Flowers is boring, come on.

Also! If at any point you have to explain your name, you will risk devaluing your company (and your child). Just a thought to consider.

Choose something legal.

In Australia, you have to register a company name with ASIC.

I am not 100% sure about what you do when you name a child, but I imagine it is something simailar.

You also need to make sure the Name and Internet domain is available for your business.

I’m not sure how many Aaron’s there are in the world, so maybe check your child’s name too.

Don’t.

In regards to your domain names, don’t choose a name that is spelled differently than it sounds. So no silent F’s or C’s for business or child.

Don’t copy. It’s against the business law, as always.

Consider some natural inspiration.

By choosing an animal as a mascot and as an inspiration for your brand name, you get all of its associations in both a subliminal and also on purpose way.

For example, Firefox’s logo includes a foxtail, and is naturally associated with speed and nimbleness, just like a fox!

And Twitter has their little blue bird that helps with their ‘tweets’.

How bout that?

Take MSN too. Even though their name isn’t associated with a butterfly, just their logo is, they are still memorable as it isn’t a ‘made up logo’ so to speak, unlike IGA whereby their image is totally made up.

Remember: an image is worth a thousand words.

And fruit! So many children are being named after fruit, like Gweneth Paltrow’s little girl Apple. !

Don’t.

And one don’t: same as you shouldn’t use your name in your business’s name, don’t try and use a country or town or region in the name. It will simply limit your growth. Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC for this very reason.

And how many more children named after Britain’s capital do we need in this world, seriously?

Annie

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