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Marketing / Business branding

My business name blooper

I have a confession to make. In my last business I made a fundamental business name mistake. Let me explain.

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What does the word ‘crecer’ mean to you? Probably not much unless you speak Spanish, where it means to grow. That was the name of my small business consultancy, and it was also my business name blooper.

When I chose that name I was looking for something original, a name with a background story and a name that I could get a domain name for. A student of Spanish, I thought it fit beautifully with my business objectives – to grow small business.

Instead of the name being an amplifier of my brand, I spent the next seven years explaining the name and correcting the pronunciation for absolutely everyone. The word is meaningless in the Australian market, did not say what the business offered and was not keyword friendly.

Choose your business name as carefully as you’d choose a tattoo

The chance to name a business is a big opportunity that can be the difference between survival and flourishing. Choosing a name that optimises your chances of success needs lots of time, research and discussion. If you need help with this, please get it, because it can impact your business forever. It’s like getting a tattoo – once it’s on it is very hard to get off, so you have to make the right choice.

"I spent the next seven years explaining the name and correcting the pronunciation for absolutely everyone. The word is meaningless in the Australian market. "

Your potential clients may only ever be in contact with your business when they see your name. Make those few seconds count – if they don’t connect in that time, you’ve lost an opportunity.

Another business name blooper

I worked with the business owner of Funkyds in its early days. Do you have any idea what Funkyds sold? After they changed their name to The Wall Sticker Company their world opened up. Their offerings were clear, their organic Google rankings soared and web traffic exploded. Say no more.

Business naming tips

Consider names that will identify your offerings

In micro business there is usually small (or no) budget to spend on building your brand. Turning obscure words like Nike, Samsung, Qantas, Toyota or Crecer into well-recognised brands takes time and money. So consider names that easily identify your offerings. These names will also bring in more business sooner because they are much more Google friendly.

Make sure your business name is available

So many new business owners spend hours perfecting the perfect name, only to find it’s already taken! Once you have a shortlist of names, check the business names registry and trade mark registry, and research domain names.

One of my clients had: a website created, business cards printed and van signage applied, only to be sent a trademark infringement notice. Checking the database would have saved my client thousands.

Include your brand value if you can

If you choose a business name that also expresses your brand values, that’s most beneficial. Here are some examples.

    • Arrive on Time Appliance Repairs

This name tells us what type of service the business offers while also explaining that their value proposition is to be prompt.

    • Pole Divas

This name tells us that the service they offer is glamourous and feminine.

    • Geeks Inc.

With a sense of nerdy pride, this name tells us where to go for technology developments.

Think about the visuals

Choose a business name that lends itself to an eye-catching logo.

Avoid buzzwords

Avoid buzzwords as much as you can. They are not original and become meaningless and dated. Everyone is offering ‘quality’, ‘success’ or ‘solutions’.

My new name

It goes without saying that you will get better results with a carefully chosen business name. My new name, The Business Plan Company, is easily understood, easily pronounced and ranks well.

What are your business naming tips? Or have you seen a business name blooper? Blurt it here.

 

Warren Harmer

is author of Business Planning for Small Business. As a business adviser and coach, Warren offers instructive ‘how to’ information to make business ownership easier, less stressful and more enjoyable.

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