It’s natural to feel like you’ve hit the jackpot when you’ve created a new product the world can’t do without, and when your business offers something so incredible, few things will feel as important. However, a great product is nothing without a brilliant brand name to match. It’s no coincidence that some of the most successful businesses in the world also have the most unique, memorable and revealing names too.
You probably already have an identity in mind, but you’d really be at a loose end if it was already taken. That’s why you first need to check it’s available to use so you can register it with Companies House, something all businesses need to do to become official.
Both of these processes can be completed fairly quickly online through an all-in-one platform. One such platform, Online Filings, explains the three-step company name registration process on its website—all you need to do is type in your desired name, check that it’s available, fill out a couple of short forms and the rest is taken care of. But before you commit to something, you need to understand the true value of a company name so you can be certain you’ve chosen the best one for your business.
It’s your introduction to the market
First impressions are crucial in the business world, and your company name represents your initial introduction to the market. This will be what customers judge before deciding whether to do business with you, so you have to make it count. Don’t fall at the first hurdle by choosing a name that isn’t enticing. You need to think carefully about the message it conveys about your company.
Research from Premierline business insurance broker revealed that over 6,500 UK businesses include Oxford or Cambridge in their name. According to Rebecca Battman, Head of Brand at RBL Brand Agency; “Naming can be a quick way to increase the brand capital of your own business, as it allows you to borrow some capital from a name/term that already has its own clear brand values.” Therefore, these companies probably named themselves as such to associate themselves with the status and heritage of these cities. Battman cites Wendy’s as another example of an effective brand name. A nod to the founder’s daughter, this familiarity “hints at homely, good food”. Think about what you want your business to represent, and ensure the name matches that ethos.
It determines whether customers remember your business
Your name plays an important role in attracting customers, and it’s also key to retaining them. Even if somebody has a wonderful experience with your business, they’ll only return if they remember it, and your company name plays a big part in this. Therefore, you need to choose something that both attracts them in the first place and sticks in their mind long after a sale.
Branding expert Derrick Daye notes that successful brand names are “memorable, hint to function, shift thinking and sometimes invent a language”. Ideally, you should make your name as short as possible. The aforementioned Premierline study found that the average company name is 22 characters long, but when you look at world-renowned brands like Adidas, Apple and McDonald’s, it appears that less is more. These examples are also snappy and easy to pronounce, making them more memorable than more complex company names. Tactics like this improve the likelihood of customers seeing your name, remembering how pleased they were using your business, and feeling encouraged to return.
It can become much more than a name
Coca Cola is perhaps the best example of a brand that went from being a business to a global phenomenon—the company website notes over 1.9 billion of its products are consumed every day. Similarly, brands like Google, Facebook and WhatsApp are so frequently used in daily conversation that they’ve become verbs in their own right. Though your own business probably isn’t aiming quite so high just yet, these success stories demonstrate just how valuable a strong brand name can be in the long run.
Writing for Entrepreneur.com, business owner Arun Bhati points out that recognisability alone is not enough: “Good names […] evoke a strong passion for your brand, while bad names elicit distaste or worse still, indifference.” A name demonstrating creativity and vision are the ones that will make the biggest impact, which is crucial when your company needs to “capture mind share” in a saturated market. Hence, you need a brand name that tells a story and shows customers what’s on offer. For example, Amazon got its name when founder Jeff Bezos came across the word in the dictionary and believed that the world’s largest river was the “perfect name for what would become earth’s largest bookstore”. If you want a brand that’s destined for greatness, you need a name that backs this up.
Simon Davies is a freelance journalist interested in marketing, tech and small business. Follow him at @SimonTheoDavies.
Photo courtesy: Cuba Gallery