Branding Your Company: How To Choose The Right Business Name

Wharton Business Foundation asked:

It’s surprising that a lot of business owners have never had proper branding done for their businesses. Starting with their company name. Many simply name their companies after themselves (ex. John’s Accounting Service, THM Enterprises, etc.) or just a name that they pull out of the air. What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. Right?…Wrong! Not if we called it a stinkweed!

Your company name is everything. It’s a crucial part of your marketing and your brand. At the mere mention of your business’s name, clients and prospective clients should experience an emotional reaction. Your business name serves as an emotional anchor for your brand. So it should not be taken lightly. It’s ideal if your company name tells people what you do. Unlike the home improvement company that we came across named XRM Technologies. They actually install gutters, windows and vinyl siding believe it or not.

So how do you come up with the right name for your company? For our clients, we use an exercise that we call the ‘name game’. Here’s how you “play it”. On a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle of the page, dividing the page into two columns. On the left side of the page, write down all of the problems or “pain points” that your prospect feels. I mean everything (ex. They have bad credit, can’t get credit cards, can’t get loans, have to pay higher interest rates, can’t get a mortgage or car loan, have to pay cash for everything, are embarrassed by their bad credit, etc.). Be very thorough and leave nothing out.

Next, on the right side of the page, write all of the solutions to the problems and “pain points”. For example: problem – they have bad credit; solution– raise their credit score to a good score; problem – they are embarrassed by their bad credit; solution – instill in them a sense of pride from having an improved credit score. After you finish listing all of the solutions to the problems, look at all of your solution words and phrases and then piece them together to come up different names for your business.

So, a real estate management company could be ‘Worry Free Property Management”. A florist could be ‘Last Minute Florists’. A dentist could be ‘Your Beautiful Smile Dental’. An insurance agency could be ‘Peace Of Mind Financial Services’. A fitness center could be “New You Fitness’. A green janitorial company could be ‘Clean, Quick & Green Janitorial’. A home improvement company could be ‘24 Hour Windows & Doors’. You get the idea. From your list, choose 6 – 10 of your best choices. Write them down on a piece of paper in column formation.

Lastly, you want to do some surveys. Go to the local mall, bookstore or whatever place your industry prospects gather (the business district at lunchtime, supermarkets, seminars, hardware stores, hospitals, etc.) and get their input on your name selections. Perform at least 10 – 20 surveys. Tell them what you want your prospective customers to feel and think when they hear your company name (ex. trust your company, be relaxed, be excited, laugh, want to make money, become hungry, want to eat healthily, etc.). Ask them to listen to your choices and rank them each from 1 to 10 (1 being the worst and 10 being the best). Lastly, ask them if they didn’t like your name selections, are there any names that they’d recommend. This is powerful because your actual market tells you the name that appeals to them the most.

The outcome of the ‘name game’ is a business name that appeals directly to your market. You effectively eliminate the possibility of having a non-compelling name that simply sounds catchy or flashy. Instead, you get a name that when your prospective and existing clients speak it, it instantly solves their problems.

You may also like...