How to Name Your Business

What’s in a reputation? On the subject of your enterprise, the reply is… a complete heck of quite a bit, in keeping with consultants.

“You’ve gotten a really restricted period of time to get a possible buyer’s consideration and reply key questions on what your enterprise does,” says Mark Joyner, creator of a e-book on enterprise naming known as The Irresistible Provide: How one can Promote Your Product or Service in 3 Seconds or Much less. “That is very true for small companies that don’t have thousands and thousands of {dollars} to spend on a significant branding effort.”

The secret’s to provide you with a reputation and tagline combo “that hits you between the eyes in a single eyeful,” Joyner says. The identify needs to be memorable, whereas the tagline must reply questions the potential buyer needs to know: What are you promoting? What does it value (not solely when it comes to worth, but additionally time)? Why ought to I consider you? What’s in it for me?

To house in on what the identify and tagline needs to be, ask your self these questions set forth by Cheryl Isen, CMO and proprietor of Isen and Co., which hires out on-call chief advertising officers:

  1. What are the attributes and persona of the corporate? Are you a critical thought chief? Quirky and enjoyable? Arduous-driving and impactful?
  2. What’s your goal demographic? 
  3. Examine the competitors. What are you able to do higher? How are you going to set your self aside? Watch out not to decide on a reputation that’s too just like an current enterprise.

Contemplate the kind of identify you’re after. Large companies with advertising {dollars} to blow can afford summary names (suppose Amazon or Bluetooth—visible phrases that say nothing in regards to the product). “It’s far cheaper to call an organization with a descriptive title and tagline,” Isen says.

Just a few instruments to brainstorm your identify:

  • On-line business-naming instruments comparable to may also help generate concepts.
  • Get out the dictionary and thesaurus to jump-start the brainstorm.
  • Listing qualities, companies or guarantees you wish to convey to the client.

All through the method it’s vital that you just examine potential names towards a web site comparable to, which might inform you—totally free—if a URL is offered. Isen says it’s vital for the way forward for your organization to decide on a enterprise identify for which an online tackle is offered, and simply recognized with and linked to your organization.

For instance, somebody fascinated with utilizing the phrase “synergy” to call their well being consulting firm should rethink. A fast Google search nets high outcomes together with,,,, and on and on. How would a possible shopper ever discover you on-line?

When brainstorming for unique, web-hip names, think about repurposed actual phrases (Amazon), misspelled phrases (Flickr, Digg), compounds (Fb), blends (Pinterest), quick phrases (MySpace), suffixes or prefixes (Mashable) or made-up phrases (Meebo).

Isen affords this check for any potential monikers:

  1. Is it quick and easy? “You don’t need an 11-letter identify,” she says. “The market will mechanically shorten it or misspell it—you then lose management of your model.”
  2. Is it memorable and distinctive? 
  3. Is it straightforward to say? Play with rhymes and alliteration (Dunkin’ Donuts). It ought to roll off the tongue.
  4. Is it legally accessible? Along with discovering an accessible URL, search the U.S. Trademark Database at to see if the identify is legally trademarked. Contemplate hiring a lawyer to verify the identify is offered.

Mercedita Roxas-Murray

Former Government Vice President
Enterprise: RedPeg Advertising and marketing, Washington, D.C.
Why this identify? Referencing the traditional board sport Battleship, the identify symbolizes the corporate’s mission to execute technique, affect and outcomes. It’s meant to be understood intuitively and immediate inquiry.
Outcomes: One of many few impartial advertising businesses to outlive and develop since its founding 27 years in the past.

We had been based in 1995 as Momentum Advertising and marketing, however there was a a lot bigger, extra established advertising firm that had the identical identify. For a very long time we benefited from “Massive Mo” (as we known as them). Once we talked to blue-chip corporations, they usually stated, “Oh, we all know you guys and your work,” however they had been actually pondering of our competitors.

After some time the confusion began to harm us. We had been in a time of progress, transitioning from a transaction execution firm to a full-service advertising agency. We would have liked to succeed and fail on our personal id.

Discovering a brand new identify was a significant endeavor that took 5 years of true work. An inside group was assigned to satisfy as soon as a month to brainstorm and look at potential names. We requested our workers to drill right down to the essence of who we’re, what makes us completely different and the way we might visualize these qualities. We thought-about a whole bunch of concepts, and purchased 20 domains and quite a few emblems within the course of. We requested prospects, shoppers and companions what they considered the varied names, and at last narrowed it down to a few. We had our inventive division design logos for these three names and current them to our govt committee.

Ultimately we agreed on RedPeg, referencing the board sport Battleship. The staffer who recommended the identify defined: “You might be focused, you make a direct hit, you’re impactful, and also you insert a purple peg for instance the strike and success.” That’s the core of our model. We rolled it out to the general public in 2004.

About half of the individuals who hear the identify instantly get it. The opposite half get it proper after we clarify. It provides us an excellent mixture of being instantly recognizable and opening a line of dialogue once we make shows. There may be an “aha” second, and the nostalgia of the identify makes it memorable.

This new identify helped us get out of the shadow of “Massive Mo,” and to outline ourselves and construct our personal model fairness.

William Lau

Digital Advertising and marketing Supervisor
Enterprise:, Brooklyn, New York
Why this identify? The search engine marketing energy is very large, and it illustrates precisely what the corporate does.

Outcomes: 20% of net visitors comes from the key phrases within the firm’s identify: “Canvas” and “Work.” Gross sales rose by 23% in 2012.

We’re an internet retailer, so search engine marketing was vital to picking our identify. Once we launched in 2007, we instantly regarded on the key phrases prospects had been utilizing to seek for what we provide—reasonably priced wall artwork, completed by hand and offered solely on-line. We rapidly homed in on the phrases canvas and work. was excellent—the search engine marketing worth was excessive, and the identify defined precisely what we do—together with the “.com,” which is a part of the corporate identify.

An express, acquainted time period labored greatest for us, as a result of we had been on a funds. We didn’t have some huge cash to construct the model round a unusual identify and brand. On the time, a small retail artwork retailer owned, and we had been in a position to purchase it simply for a five-figure sum.

Our identify alternative has been vital to our success: One-fifth of the visitors to our web site—which can also be our storefront—comes from individuals Googling our high two key phrases, that are our identify.

Having such an simply comprehensible identify has different advertising advantages. We get plenty of engagement with Fb campaigns and click-throughs on Google AdWords in addition to e-mail promotions. Potential prospects perceive instantly what we do. Once they click on by way of to our web site, they don’t need to guess what they’ll discover and usually tend to be taken with our product after they get there. This will increase our gross sales and reduces our bounce fee. If we had an summary identify, that wouldn’t be true.

This text was revealed in Might 2013 and has been up to date. Photograph by Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a enterprise journalist, gender-equality activist, and founding father of the world’s largest neighborhood of single mothers, Emma and her best-selling e-book, The Kickass Single Mother, and her group, Mothers for Shared Parenting, have been featured in a whole bunch of nationwide and worldwide media shops.

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