This one seems to trip up more entrepreneurs than any other aspect of branding and business. What do I call my business?
I will say, I was a bit hung up on this myself once I formed a business plan and wanted to get going on creating my business. Luckily, I have very creative and resourceful children that were more than willing to help out.
I asked them all at the same time what my new business should be called, and that I wanted it to make people feel positive. My 9-year-old wanted “Happy”. Just…Happy. I said it should have something to do with my services also, graphic design… he suggested Happy Graphics. I shuddered visibly at the idea of such a rudimentary title, and told him perhaps that would be an option, but let’s try other avenues of creativity first, maybe combining it to make a new word, like FedEx did.
My 7-year-old daughter suggested “Graphy”. I seriously entertained this idea for roughly 9 seconds. Before I could break her heart, my 12-year-old stated simply, “Happ-ichs.”
But I am a hip, down to earth, techy woman, I can’t NOT put an X in the place of the boring old ‘ichs.’ And Happix Design was born!
Since I understand not everyone has been blessed with an elite marketing team of the future, let’s go with the basic strategies that may help get your ideas on paper, those creative wheels turning and a new business up and runnin’!
Name That Biz
Of course, why didn’t YOU think of that?! *eye-roll* I know you did, and for whatever reason you’re still stuck on why that can’t happen.
Names are ideal due to their offering of personability, human connectivity, and dedication. A certain amount of transparency comes with a company that uses their own name, and helps make it seem more relatable and trustworthy. And trustworthiness is a staple to any successful brand.
If your name is very difficult to spell, pronounce, is already a common household brand, associated with something you do not want your brand associated with, or looks weird on a screen, or worse yet, sounds awful when you practice saying it out loud, let’s work on some other options.
Use Your Initials
- First Initial + Middle Name + a service/product of yours “KRochelleChocolates”; “M. Lynn Data Research”
- First & Last Initial + Inc., Enterprise, Corp., Assoc., “LM Enterprises”; “KJ Inc.”
- First & Last Initial + your service or product “A&S Designs”; “D&B Oils”
Write down a few variations and combinations of your initials/middle/last/first names along with the terms I suggested above. (If you have a partner, or a team in your business, brainstorm these options with them, combine their initials with your own and create something unique that way) Write them down, say them out loud, type them out with nice typefaces on Word, walk away, come back, look again, say it some more, have someone else say it, walk away, come back, wash, rinse, repeat.
Call it What it Is
Sometimes simple is the best way to go. Sell candy? Named Joe Smith? Smith’s Candy Shop it is. No wondering about what the company is, what the product is, or who is selling it, it’s a Smith and they are selling candy.
A random name might seem like an ideal option when you’ve been thinking of a name for weeks or months, and you just want to move on. Turn on the TV, go to a random channel, and the first words the person says is your company name. A bit trickier, and might end up taking more time, but you could find some creative names for a business this way.
Grab the nearest book, go to a random page, point your finger in any place, grab that word, make it a business name. A possible downfall, does it speak to your brand, does it describe your business, probably not, so there is a trade off, but who knew what Tide was? Or Apple? Steve jobs chose Apple because he was at an apple farm and it sounded “fun.” Spotify? Guess what, totally random.
A name isn’t everything… per se, and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything.
From the Mouths of Babes
Still at a standstill? Ask a child. Ask three children. Children are naturally creative, uninhibited with thought, and have a built-up arsenal of names for any situation. Happix design is the result of me asking 3 kids to name my company. It came easy to them, like falling down the stairs.
No explanation needed here, use a name generator, I provided some in the Name That Biz Resource Sheet.
Name it Like You Mean It
Reflect on words in the Brand Discovery Sheet (here is the fillable Google Doc) from the former Brand Creation Guide. Look through them, take a couple of your highest values or best qualities and try to turn it into a creative twist on a brand name. Having something relating to your brand is a perfect way to state your value quickly, and help establish that brand image and reputation with no immediate work.
Write down a few plays on words, mix a couple of them together, (some name generators will take one or two words and mix them up for you) and walk away, come back, draw it out, doodle here and there, put it in Word and play around, see what sounds good, what you like typing out, and don’t think too hard on it. Simple ideas can often be made into hard work with our fancy brains over-thinking everything.
Cool, so you have your name, or a “working name”, you can always change it, but the sooner you nail it down, the better. Now do some research. Look up your name. I recommend going first to see if it is a website already. You can go to www.whois.net, or simply type them in yourself. You want to check all of the domains, .org, .biz, .net, and see who has what. If it’s taken on one, do more digging, check their website and subsequent social media. Are they active; what kind of online presence do they have? If they’re pretty established, even in another country, maybe look to altering your name a bit.
You probably would not get this far if your biz name was already taken, but it is a good practice if you have passed the other tests, to make sure you can even legally have the name you want.IN the United States, search the USPT (The United States Patent & Trademark Office) to check for trademarks or patents in the USA.
Social Media Check
You are going to want matching social media handles if you can swing it. I recommend you opt for all matching handles throughout every possible social media outlet, to avoid any confusion. Check ‘em all, and even check ones you might not think you will use, you’d be surprised what you need to get things done online, sometimes services only allow a Twitter login, or having a LinkedIn might help dramatically. You never know what will be useful down the road, so just check them all out, and secure all of them with the same username.
Good luck on getting the perfect name for your new business or blog! Comment here and let us know of any resources, tips or tricks you know of that can help bloggers and biz owners get a great name!
Want all new free stock photos? Subscribe to The Happix Hookup and get exclusive access to the Free Resource Library! Patterns, templates, stock photos, and other totally free blogging, design, and DIY Branding freebies!