How to Choose a Great Business Name

Picture this: You have a fantastic business idea, conducted adequate market research, tested market feasibility and almost set to go. Unfortunately, you come up with a business like ”God is Good Limited” or “Chukwuemeka Car Shop”. This will impact how people identify your venture, your credibility and in the long run reduce the chances of marketing your product on a global scale. Many Nigerian businesses have rather strange company names; not enough effort or thought-process has been put into choosing a sound business name that resonates. Here is how to choose a great business name:

Be Clear

Whatever name you have in mind, ensure that it’s simple to spell and easy to remember. You must remember that you are not trying to impress anyone with your business name, but simply giving your company an identity. In the words of Gary Backaus the chief creative officer of Archer Malmo, “You don’t need a big idea for your name. You need a name for your big idea”. Your company name must be easy to read, concise and straightforward to give your business an intriguing first impression.

Be Unique

Your company name must always stand out. As it happens, many Nigerian businesses try to imitate the name of another company just because it’s successful or popular. Unfortunately, this tactic will emerge your business as a counterfeit brand, rather than a strategic competitor to another similar venture. In selecting a unique and catchy company name, you must understand the vision and goals for your business. Take some time to write down the names you come up with. Make a list of adjectives and synonyms that describe your business and write down the qualities you want your company to be identified with.

Make it Personal

Good business names like Philips Consulting and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) stand out because they have a personal touch. You may consider having a personal, but highly marketable global brand name, because your business represents who you are and the ideas you stand for.

Caroline Fielding came up with Dryven for her iPhone app, which she coined from the names of three grandsons in her family – Dean, Bryan and Steven. Using a personal touch in naming your start-up is always easier to remember and relatable. It is also important for the growth and success of your venture.

Let It Represent your Brand

Many Nigerian start-ups in the past have named their businesses based on its functions. For example, I’ve been to a grocery store named ”Supermarket”. This is wrong and a highly uncreative approach for naming your venture. Rather than stating the obvious, let your name represent the brand and have a personal touch to it.

Let It Resonate

‘You’re going to be saying your company’s name a lot: on the phone, at face-to-face meetings, in presentations…’ says Billy Cripe, the CEO of BloomThink. If you have no passion, love and admiration for your company name, it will defeat the purpose of your business. Be sure to pick a name that you absolutely love and you can easily identify with. Don’t come up with a business name simply because you think it will generate traffic on search engines, or appeal more to prospective customers. If you love it, it will resonate with you.

Once you can identify yourself with your business, you’ll become more passionate about it, your commitment will increase and you’ll find yourself accomplishing your business goals with ease.