Name a Business

Naming your business can be a very difficult part of its establishment. The names of businesses vary. Some businesses have names that directly describe their products or services. Other businesses have names that are made-up, but encapsulate the tone of their service. How do you decide which style of business name to use? There are numerous factors to consider when naming a business.

Types of business names

Naming a business is not a trivial task. The name of your business carries weight with the consumer and can sometimes influence their decision about your product. This is a strange statement given that many times there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the names of many successful businesses. Despite this, the name of a business can be more reflective of its product than you give it credit for.

Made-up business names, or coined names for short, are names using words that are not formally defined in the business’ language of operation. An example of a coined business name is Microsoft. Coined names are often the product of practical psychology concepts, namely the use of morphemes. Morphemes are small pieces of real words that are used in coined names. By utilizing segments of one or many words in a business name, you are effectively telling customers what your business strives to accomplish in its products and services without explicitly saying it. The name Microsoft is comprised of two morphemes. “Micro” is used to stress small and “soft” is used to stress software. By putting these two word segments together, customers think that Microsoft produces miniaturized computers and software. In a world where miniaturization is at a premium, this name inspires technological confidence in the company before customers even look at the product.

Other business names are descriptive and directly tell you what the business aims to do. These names are easy to understand, but are not as easy to use as you may think. There are many strategies to achieve a good descriptive business name.

Advantages and disadvantages of descriptive business names

Descriptive business names describe the products or services you sell. An example of a descriptive business name is Captain George’s Fish and Chips. The name explicitly tells you what the restaurant is selling. These names are efficient ways to inform your clientele about your business, but sometimes run into legal trouble. Given that nearly every business trademarks their name, sometimes a simple descriptive name will infringe on trademarks. For this reason, it’s important to consult a trademark lawyer to check that your name is usable before opening your business. Other naming strategies can certainly be used to achieve a good descriptive business name without trademark infringement. Metaphorical names are increasingly popular. These names capitalize on the concept of metaphors to find an original business name. An example of a metaphorical business name is Twitter. In addition, by misspelling words in your business name, you can avoid trademark infringement of other companies with the same name. This can often be achieved in a way that is aesthetically pleasing by using a pun for a word in your business name if it’s fitting to your company.

Advantages and disadvantages of coined business names

Coined business names can be equally valued amongst consumers. This is because many businesses choose morphemes from buzzwords that tell you what the business does without directly stating it. This is an effective way to avoid the complications of descriptive business names in terms of trademark infringement but can sometimes raise additional complications. A disadvantage of coined names for businesses is that they are often difficult to create. Any coined name will not suffice. It’s often necessary to enlist the help of a professional to create a business name for you. Professionals know how to create a name that will market well to prospective clients and also doesn’t sound ridiculous. The tradeoff of hiring someone to create a business name is the fact that this costs time and money. This isn’t a practical approach to a new business with no revenues.

Which naming strategy should I use?

Different types of business names have different advantages. The law that binds all good business names with their customers is that good business names tell the customer what the company strives to accomplish. There are many different approaches to name a business, and different levels of success can be achieved through different naming strategies, but the name must register with the customer in a way that informs them of the qualities or brand of your business.


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