Why Your Company Name Matters More Than You Think

The name you give to your business is the front line of your marketing effort. Get it right and clients will beat a path to your door. Get it wrong, though, and you could find it tough to establish trust and confidence with customers.

For example, a company selling CAD software and Learning CDs was called ViaGrafix. Their website was called viagrafix.com until they realised that it looked like they were selling a certain blue pill. The company is now called Learn2. A few years ago, we advised a company not to use the term Childrens Wear in their domain name because it would have looked like abcChildrenSwear.co.uk. Here are 3 top tips for choosing your company name without messing it up.

Creating Instant Rapport

Choosing a company name that is congruent with the desires and aspirations of your clients will create instant rapport. For example, which of these three plumbers would you choose to fix your central heating system: “ABC Plumbing”, “A Jones Plumbing” or “Cosy Home Plumbing”? One is designed for positioning in the telephone directory, the second is purely descriptive, but the last is designed to match your needs.

Linguistic Ease

Many people dream of having their own name on their letterheads. “Smith, Jones & Co” may sound great to you but how does it sound to others? It really doesn’t matter how proud you are of your surname, you shouldn’t necessarily use it in your business name. I’m incredibly proud of my surname but I know that some people have trouble pronouncing or spelling Mashhadi. That’s one reason why my business is called Design Inspiration and not Mashhadi Design. Be realistic and choose a name that means something to your clients and is easy say. Leave your ego at home when you create your business name.

Domain Matters

The Internet is going to be your company’s best friend so it pays to be domain friendly. When we set up Design Inspiration, and bought the url inspiration.co.uk, over 19 years ago, it was unusual to consider the domain name when deciding on a company name. Now it’s commonplace to hear business advisors telling start-ups to check that suitable domain names are available to match the company name before settling. That’s one reason why so many Web 2.0 company names are odd.

The Next Steps and a Bonus

These are just 3 of many things to consider. For example, it’s essential that your name fits within your industry. Maybe you need a name that suggests security and longevity, or youth and vibrancy. What’s your top tip for naming a company? Here’s one more bonus tip. Sit down with a coffee, pen and plenty of paper. Write as many potential names as you can. Then put it away for 24 hours. When you come back to it you’ll cross some out straight away. Test the remainder using the 3 tips above. You’ll end up with some strong contenders. Pick wisely though, because you want a name that you can be proud of for many years.

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