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What's in a name, you may ask, but this question is quite loaded when it comes to choosing the perfect name for your business.

The right name can roll off your tongue effortlessly and have people saying it just because they love the sound of it, but the wrong name can bring up feelings of fear or dread, which is no way to start off on your brilliant business path.

Think of the value invested in the name Apple and how Google has become part of our language, as in “Google it”. But then think about the luggage store named Carrion. This is a funny play on words until you look up the meaning of “carrion” to find the definition: “The decaying flesh of dead animals”. Not such a great choice is it?

So how do you find the right business name that conveys what you want to say about your business, but is also memorable and catchy? Here are some tips to help you choose the right name:

 

  • Think of a word or phrase that grabs attention and, preferably,has a story behind it because you will get asked how you came up with the name
  • Choose names that explain what your business does
  • Make it easy to understand, pronounce and remember
  • Keep it short to eliminate confusion
  • Think about how the name will sound when you, and others, say it aloud, plus how it will look on your business cards, billboards, advertising and online
  • Pick something unique to separate your business from competitors and avoid being the subject of legal claims if too similar
  • Equally, choose a name that can’t be copied easily
  • Think about how the name can be shortened and what it might mean in its short form, ie Fit and Trim Gym can be shortened to FAT Gym
  • One the subject of meanings, check what your business name means in other languages, ie the German word "gift" means "poison" in English
  • Don’t choose a geographic location if you’re planning to expand into other areas
  • Trendy names can date your business
  • Avoid using your own name if the business is potentially risky, or you are considering selling the business down the track.

Once you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, research which names are available on the Australian Business Register website, and keep these tips in mind when settling on your final choice:

  • Make sure it is easy to spell for keyword searches and websites
  • Think about how your name will be expressed visually
  • Try your preferred list out on friends and family to see which ones they like and why.

Then sit with your favourites for a while and see which one comes out on top.

Which business names have stuck on your mind?

Johanna Baker-Dowdell owns and runs Strawberry Communications, a writing and public relations service that generates amazing publicity. Strawberry Communications was launched in 2007 and is based Launceston, Tasmania, but services clients nationally and internationally.


For more information visit www.strawberrycommunications.com.au

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