Guy Kawasaki in his book “The Art of the Start” has a very interesting way of highlighting the importance of choosing the right name for your business. According to him, “A remarkable name for your organization, product or service is like pornography: It’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it.”
I totally agree with him. You might think that creating your business name is such a simple process – but actually it is not. Choosing the right name has ramifications in terms of the ability to create a strong brand, even ensuring top-of-mind awareness among your target audience. You’d want to give this process as much thought as choosing the business you started.
Kawasaki has some pointers on how to choose the right business name:
- Be early in the alphabet – Always consider where your business will be if you are in a situation where businesses are listed alphabetically — in trade shows, in yellow pages directory. You’d want to be among the first, if not the first.
- Avoid numbers – People may not remember the numbers or whether the numbers are spelled out.
- Pick a name with verb potential – This is my favorite tip especially if you have dreams of becoming the next Google, whose name has become a verb (“google” the term).
- Sound different – You don’t want to be confused with another product or brand that sounds so alike your name (e.g. Claris, Clarins, Claritin and Claria). I guess this wouldn’t matter if you have the resources to spend building your brand and advertising your name, but if you don’t, it really is better to sound unlike the others.
- Sound logical – Try to select a name that matches what you do. I suppose it reinforces easy recall.
- Avoid the trendy – Consider a name that will endure for decades
Of course, if you have a great product, you can give it the lousiest and most illogical name in the universe and the business would still work.