The Business Name
The name of your business will, of course, be the first thing that potential customers notice. It’s your brand identity, and it needs to be good. After all, it’s very difficult to change your business’s name once it’s established. Think of the confusion and chaos it could cause if Apple suddenly changed their name to Mango!
So, what actually goes into a great business name?
Keep Your Business Name Short and Simple
The longer the name of your business, the less likely it is to grab somebody’s attention. Sure, it might be exact: anyone coming across your business will know exactly what to expect from you. But what you gain in exactness, you lose in draw. A short, snappy name draws in customers.
The problem is that it’s a challenge to dream up a name that, in one swoop, encapsulates everything your business is about. That’s why most startup names aren’t even relevant: think Uber. But if you can come up with something relevant and simple like JustEat or RightMove, then you’ve hit gold.
Make Your New Business Memorable
As a point, this really ties in with the previous one. It has to be short and simple, but it also has to be memorable. The name of your business takes on a life of its own: we talk about Apple, Microsoft and Ford as if they’re people. ‘Apple made this!’, and ‘Ford did that!’
There’s a reason you never hear ‘Enterprise DigiSolutions did this!’, and that’s because nobody is going to remember your name. Words like enterprise and aperture and solutions might sound good. But ultimately, they’re just more business-y words tied together. Pick something that people remember instead.
Uniqueness in Business Is Important
You heard it here first: business names are even more important than baby names! There might be hundreds of John Smiths and Mary Bakers in the UK, but there can’t be dozens of Toyotas and Homebases. Your name has to be unique, not just to be memorable, but to avoid potential legal action.
If you actually plan to register as a limited company, your name legally has to be different to everybody else’s. Even if it’s not the exact same- like the store in North Tyneside called ‘Singhsbury’s’ – you can still be asked to change it. If or when that happens, you’ll have to start from square one with all of your marketing, branding, website and more. Not good for business!
Create the Right Impression With Your Business Name
Last, your name has to strike the exact right tone. If your business sells software like CRMs that help businesses grow, something that suggests growth would be a good idea: Rocket Fuel CRM, for example. If you sell holidays, Shady Palms Tours might work. If that’s too long, and you’re building an app, what about Shadee?
By contrast, you want to avoid anything that doesn’t fit well with your business. You wouldn’t call your daycare Ace of Spades Nursery, but you might want to run the Ace of Spades Casino & Bar. Keeping your name relevant helps encourage the right kind of customer through your door or to your site.
Your Business Slogan
The first thing you should know is that your business doesn’t need a slogan. Back in the day, Apple’s ‘Think Different’ slogan was a great success. But these days, they hardly use it. It’s not a part of their iPhone or iPad branding, and it hasn’t needed to be. In fact, Apple don’t even use their brand name in their adverts- just the outline of their famous logo.
Unfortunately, not every business can get away with a similar confident attitude. Apple, BMW or Budweiser are instantly recognisable brands to most people. Your business won’t be, so a slogan can help you stand out. It’s possible to take a few different approaches to writing a slogan. Think of the following points:
- Is it snappy? In other words, is it short, sharp and to the point? Think of Nike’s ‘Just Do It’.
- Is it witty? Think of Dollar Shave Club’s slogan: ‘Shave Time. Shave Money.’
- Does it appeal to customers? Think L’Oréal’s ‘Because You’re Worth It’.
- Does it make you sound authoritative? Think the NY Times’ ‘All the news that’s fit to print.’
No matter which angle you choose to take, your slogan has to do something, whatever that something is. Whether it makes your business look better, describes how you deliver value, or grabs a customer’s attention, a slogan is a useful tool. But just like brand names, vague business word-y slogans aren’t going to win anyone over: ‘Delivering exceptional value’, for example, is a bland slogan that doesn’t tell you anything about the business behind it. So avoid ideas like that like the plague!
So, there you go. The quick and easy guide to business name and slogan ideas. All you have to do now is actually come up with some!