Lately, some of my biz-friends have been struggling with naming their biz, so I decided to write out my top tips to name your business. One of the most exciting and nerve-wracking things about being an entrepreneur is choosing the right name for your business. It’s like naming a baby! It feels so permanent and you want to get it right.
I myself have struggled a lot with naming things, it could be because I’m a Libra and super indecisive by nature, either way, I have gone through some struggle naming things. My first business ever, I called it Hello Design Sugar, and I honestly have no idea why. I think at the time it sounded ~cool~, but there was no real thought behind it. Then I had We Are Kemy, which is a combination of both me and my husbands names (Keal + Emmy). We chose to add the “we are” because the domain Kemy.com is taken, which wasn’t a very good reason tbh. Then we changed our URL to Kemy.Studio which meant we had to change all our branding to reflect that. Ultimately we decided that Kemystry was a better name because it reflected who we are and had a strong concept for us. As you can see, it’s a mess choosing a name you’re happy with.
Choosing the perfect name that you can stick to for a long time is… difficult. I actually struggled with the name Emmygination for a while. I didn’t know where I wanted to take it or what I wanted it to reflect. I went through a lot of different variations until I ended up with what I have and actually ended up creating a system to make it easier to come up with business names!
While you’re figuring it out, below are my top tips to name your business. Things to keep in mind when choosing a name, things I wish I had known when I started naming my studio. Basically all the things I think will help make the naming process a bit easier on you ;).
Tip #1: Make Sure it Has a Strong Concept and Meaning For You
Ultimately, it is better to have a name that has a meaning behind it than one that was just thought of on a whim. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes those work, but more often than not, if your name has a concept behind it, your audience will respond more. For example, Ban.do is actually a play on the french word bandeaux, which means headband. Jen Gotch, the owner, started the company by selling headbands. She thought the play on words would be good and she added the period in the middle to give it a bit of personality. Her company grew to more then headbands and the name still stands since it’s quirky enough.
Tip #2: See if You Can Trademark that Name
Let’s get real, you are going to want to trademark your name. You are going to be so successful that you want to make sure that you’re name is available. Ditto if you want to open up an LLC!
Tip #3: Keep it Simple Stupid
While having a strong concept is important, it’s twice as important to keep it simple. No one will take the trouble of figuring out your name. So if you have something that people can’t pronounce right away it may turn them off.
Tip #4: Think About What You Want Your Name to Represent
Do you want it to represent what you do? What market you are in? Or do you want your audience to respond to it and identify with it? There’s many ways to go about this, just just have to really think about what you want your name to represent. The first thing that pops into your head when you first read or see it.
Tip #5: Make it Relatable to Your Audience
Know your audience! Think about the type of people you want to attract, and what appeals to them. Names really can put people off, so while its important for you to love it, be aware that whatever name you pick should not repel your ideal customers.
Tip #6: URL + Social Media Availability
It is so much easier on you if your business name is available EVERYWHERE. I mean everywhere! From the URL to any social media handle. It’s easier on your audience to find you. Take Awwsam for example, I love her name and she is, well , awwsam! But her social media handles are all different, and that put me off a tiny bit because it was confusing to find her organically. She uses @aww.sam for Instagram, @awwsamm for Pinterest, @awww.sam for Snapchat, and @awwsamblog for Twitter. So they are all different and very complicated to follow.
Tip #7: Google it! Is it Offensive in Another Culture?
Seriously, you never know! Do a quick Google, make sure its ok and that you are not unintentionally saying some sort of curse word in another language. For example, this woman decided to create a coffee for dogs and decided to name it Rooffee. You may know that at least in America, that word is… not good for a dog treat. There was actually this whole deal on social media where people quickly chimed in that she should probably consider changing the name.
Tip #8: Don’t Be Afraid to Make it Weird
Remember that it doesn’t always have to be obvious. Your name can be made up, just look at Google, Apple, Facebook, Nike. All random but simple! In my opinion, it’s who you are and the content you put out there, so do not be afraid to be yourself. It you are quirky and want to use something weird as your name GO. FOR. IT! If it makes sense with your branding of course 😉
Tip #9: Give Yourself Room to Grow!
If your plans are to grow out of your initial business venture then do not put yourself in a box. What I mean is, if you start by selling headbands, like Ban.do, then use a name thats obscure enough or inclusive enough that later on you can offer more things. Now they have other accessories, apparel, tech, interior decor and more. Now imagine they kept a name like Headbands, it would have been weird and hard to sell a phone case through that biz right?
Tip #10: Make Sure You Absolutely Love it
All of the tips above do not count if you don’t absolutely LOVE IT. It has to scream you and represent who you are and what you do. If you are comfortable with it for years to come and will love it as much today and 5 years from now, then your biz will thrive. You will work so much harder on it if you love everything about it, so do not settle!
Are you happy with your business name? How did you choose your name? I want to know! Let me know in the comments below 🙂