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05 July 2018

How to Choose a Business Name

Posted By: AIB Business

Whether you’re in the busy process of creating a start-up, or contemplating a rebrand of an existing business, there’s one thing that’s absolutely key to consider: what you’re going to call it. Naming a business or company is a surprisingly tricky task – there are lots of factors to consider. You want the name to reflect your brand values, be memorable, searchable, yet not too complicated! Sound like a challenge? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re deciding on that all-important business name…

1. Consider Your Target Audience

First up, do some research on your target audience and the brands that they tend to engage with. What are their interests, and what kind of language appeals to them? Remember, they’re constantly inundated with information across an array of digital platforms, so you want a name that will instantly resonate with them on an emotional level. A good place to start is a team brainstorm in the office – listing out words and themes is a great way to spark creativity and get valuable conversation going.

2. Keep it Simple

A general rule of thumb when naming a business is to keep it (relatively) simple. You’ll complicate potential customers with unusual spellings of words, while puns – as fun as they are to come up with – may go over some users’ heads. If you’re going to play on words, be sure that it’s very easy to decipher at first glance – test this on lots of friends and family members to be sure! On the flip side, you don’t want to go too simple with your name. Again, users have lots of brands vying for their attention, and you want them to be able to find your site or social media channels within seconds of starting that search. A word in another language can work nicely, particularly if it translates to something related to your company or its ethos. When you have a name in mind, be sure to check that it’s not already taken.

3. Don’t Over-Personalise

You’ve put your heart and soul into this business, isn’t it only fair that it’s named after you? Well, not exactly. While law and architecture firms are often made up of partner surnames, if your business is more niche or creative, you’ll want to give it an equally interesting and compelling name, that hints at its offering. Your own name won’t do this, and it’ll take a long time to create an association between you and your brand. Another thing to consider – if ‘local’ is something your company’s passionate about, you might want to include your town or city in its name. But think of the bigger picture too – if you end up expanding internationally, will you end up feeling restricted by this decision?

4. Avoid Trends and Fads

While it might be tempting to give your business an ultra-modern, topical name that’s currently trending amongst millennials, remember, you’re ultimately seeking longevity. A strong name should be ‘evergreen’ – you don’t want it to feel dated in five years.

5. Consider Your Domain Name

Finally, be sure to consider your domain name, and check the availability of your short-listed choices. Lots of words are already claimed, whether they’ll ever be used or not, so if you have your heart set on a name, you may need to get creative with how it appears as a domain – adding words to make it into a phrase, hyphens and underscores are all ways around this. Again, be sure it’s not too complicated a jump, or users may inadvertently end up on your competitor’s site!


Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.

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