Choosing a memorable business name

Key points in this article

  • Brainstorming your name
  • Taking your competitive advantage into account
  • Testing your name

Naming your business

Short answer – a lot. The name of your business is the first contact you will make with your customers. So it needs to be:

  • unique
  • effective
  • descriptive
  • memorable.

The name of your business will have a major impact on how you are viewed in the business world, by customers and competitors alike.

Deciding what to name your business is one of the most important decisions you will make. So it’s important not to rush it. Take your time to select a name that suits your business best.

Brainstorming a great name

If you haven’t thought of any names yet or feel the names you’ve come up with aren’t suitable, the first step is to relax – hardly anyone comes up with a perfect name straightaway.

Take some time to try out concepts, ideas, and words. Even better, sit down with those closely involved with your business and have a brainstorming session.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Keep it simple – if it’s too long or complicated, it’s harder to remember.
  • Descriptive – a business name should offer a clear and succinct description of your products and/or services. But keep the above in mind as well – it should still be simple.
  • Puns and jokes – it might be cute and funny to you and your close acquaintance, but you risk alienating customers if no-one else gets it.
  • Slogans/taglines - notwithstanding the above point on puns, a good slogan will help to reinforce your business name, ensuring it imprints itself on customer memory.

Simplicity often wins when brainstorming for a great name

Competitive advantage

Take some time to consider what your business does. What is its first and principle function? What does it do better than the competition?

If you haven’t already, sit down and clearly work out and define your competitive advantage. Take into account your unique selling points and what sets you apart from your competitors. Then try and work that into the business name.

Can you relate your name to your business’s competitive advantage?

Intellectual property (IP)

Once you’ve decided on a name, it’s a good idea to protect it legally.

Testing & ABN

Once you’ve thought of a name, you need to go to the ABN Lookup section of the Australian Government Business Register website. Check to make sure the name isn’t being used by anyone else – or that it’s too similar to another business’s name.

While you’re there, you can also register for an Australian Business Number, a must before launching your business.

Testing your name is crucial – you don’t want to have legal trouble in the future

Trademark your business name

If you’ve thought of a name, and you’re satisfied no-one else is using it, protect it by trademarking it. You can do this on the Trademarks section of the IP Australia website.

Consider asking customers, or a sample of your target market, for feedback. For example, if you’re opening a bicycle retail store, you could ask members of an online cycling forum to comment on your name.

This is also a valuable marketing exercise – it helps generate your business’s profile, which could result in future sales.Top of Form

Next steps

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