12 top tips for entrepreneurs to find the perfect business name – dos and don’ts

So, you have a great product, you have a great idea, you have a business plan and a Social Media and PR strategy and you are almost ready to launch!  But you still have a great conundrum: to name your business and create a logo for it. I know for a fact that it can be a very stressful situation: you want it to be perfect and encompass all you want for your business, display your core ideology, be direct and memorable but not too generic, be an alluring piece of artwork that everyone can replicate from memory but not simple, and would love to wear on hats, and t-shirts and merchandise and become a part of the social zeitgeist.

Naming and logo creations are incredibly complex tasks, sometimes the name just comes to you in a dream and other times it might take weeks of trial and error, asking friends and family, strangers in the street and then wishing it doesn’t mean a curse word in another language. However I believe that we take logo design and branding the wrong way. I think a brand is built by the quality of its product, it’s interaction with the customers, the way it reacts and adapts, logos like a checkmark, three stripes and an apple don’t convey excellence, high performance or great product design, but if you know which brand I’m talking about is because you associate those values with those brands and they ring true to you. The logo is just the graphic representation of the brand’s construction.

There are brands who have become famous because they have great logos despite what they are selling, however other than if your primary business is selling shirts, great logos shouldn’t come before a great idea or a great customer service. It’s like a beautiful cake that tastes awful: cool to look at but missing it’s main purpose.

So, is an impactful name and logo a necessity? I believe that it is a head start. If you have a  beautiful logo your communication will be more enticing, if your name is easily remembered, customers will have a better chance to reach back after seeing an advert, so yes, logo design and naming is important but your brand must have a great product first and foremost. Logos can be changed and adapted with time, graphic images can be tweaked to better fit your brand, even the name! It’s way more difficult but it’s possible.

So don’t be afraid to launch and get feedback to modify every aspect of your business, even logos and names, your clients will tell you what works best.

Here’s 12 top tips from entrepreneur.com to help you name your business

  1. Pick a name that’s simple and short. The simpler it is, the easier it will be to remember
  2. Don’t include place names unless your business is gonna be location specific, otherwise “Long Island Cleaners” will be out of place in Tokyo
  3. Find a story behind your name. A story brings your brand character to life.
  4. Don’t pick a name that gives the wrong intention (a.k.a innuendo or bad puns)
  5. Don’t get obsessed with SEO
  6. Do Consider the meaning of your brand name in other languages (http://wordsafety.com/) is a great asset that will help you avoid branding your van Laputa and try to sell it to the Spanish speaking market like Mazda did)
  7. Don’t use your first or last name. If your business ever fails you don’t want to associate yourself with it forever.
  8. Test it on other people. It’s important to make sure the name that sounds great in your head sounds as good on potential customers.
  9. Don’t rule out abstract names. What the hell is google anyway?
  10. How does your company name look alongside other business names from the same industry. It should feel at home but stand out from the competition.
  11. Don’t choose a name you don’t like. A name is like a tattoo, you don’t want to put something on you that you don’t love, even if you modify it after.
  12. Is your company name available? Check for url, social media handles and make sure nobody owns it.

Written by serial entrepreneur Rodrigo Alvarez

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