What’s In a Name? A Whole Lot!
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What’s In a Name? A Whole Lot!

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What’s In a Name? A Whole Lot!

We recently had the opportunity to help a client name their company, a process we really enjoy because it’s always a fun, collaborative effort.

One of the most challenging parts of the process can be finding a name that isn’t already in use in your industry. This can be much harder than you might think, mainly because, with more and more companies crowding into an already competitive space, every name seems to be already claimed. It’s essential that you hang in there, mix it up, and spend the time it takes to get it right. Your company name is that important, as it signals what you are all about.

First impressions are everything, and your company name does a lot of the heavy lifting right out of the gate. Conveying the right image to your target customer can be a make-or-break, and your name should be designed to deliver the intended impact. What feelings, what attitude are you trying to convey? What response would you like your chosen name to evoke with your potential clients?

The type of business you’re in will help point you in the right direction. A law firm’s name is going to differ in tone and attitude from, say, a Mexican restaurant or a daycare center. Seemingly random words like Google and Apple have made powerful impressions, but that approach may not work at all for your fledgling enterprise.

This process is custom made for a brainstorming session with your staff, and getting the team involved can be a good way to get the wheels turning. But you really should consider seeking out objective professional help. An experienced agency can be a real asset in gauging the market and zeroing in on that perfect moniker. And when it comes time to research and register your trademark, it’s a very good idea to seek out an intellectual property attorney.

It’s not uncommon for a startup to be well into the brand building process with their newly minted name when they receive a “cease and desist” letter from a close competitor they failed to notice. Yes, it happens all the time. So, do your homework and don’t be in a hurry. It can take weeks or even months to hit the target, but it’s well worth the time and effort.

“Memorable but not too unique,” is the most common advice when it comes to naming a business, but don’t feel you have to limit yourself to someone else’s vision of what does or does not work for you. If you can stick to your guns and enjoy the game, you’re much more likely to find that perfect name.

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