Names are important. More than just a word associated with a brand or person, names evoke specific emotions and reactions. They tell a story, if brief. So when it comes to your business, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your name.
Back when I switched from Kristen Goetz Creative (how un-creative, no?) to The MediaHaus, I crowd-sourced potential options. I knew I wanted the word “media” in it, but there were so many ways it could go. In the end, The MediaHaus won out because it gave the specific the feeling I was going for. My business was evolving into a one-stop shop; a media and marketing house. My German background is part of why I added “haus” to the name – a personal, if seemingly insignificant reason.
But sometimes the personal aspects of a name are important, too.
Here are a few things to think about when choosing your business name.
Length – When a business name is too long, it can be difficult to remember. And when it’s difficult to remember, it can make brand recognition that much harder. However, some long names can work when the acronym becomes catchy. Take GEICO, for example – the full name is actually Government Employees Insurance Company. And let’s not forget about social media – shorter names and abbreviations are best for twitter handles, as well as hashtags related to your brand.
Meaning – Words can have multiple meanings, so always be sure to do your research to ensure there’s nothing negative about the ones you’ve chosen. This is especially important when using words from other languages – the last thing you want is to learn that you’ve named your business after something offensive, accidentally.
Feeling – Words and phrases evoke certain feelings, so keep that in mind while coming up with business name options. If your goal is to make people excited about your brand, use words that can help bring that feeling across. If you have a serious business, use serious, to-the-point words that convey professionalism and reliability.
Uniqueness – Think of a few global brands – Google, Apple, Etsy. Some of these words seemingly have nothing to do with the brands they represent, yet they’re so familiar to us now that we don’t even think twice. But what’s a Google?! These prove that using a unique, if somewhat crazy-sounding name can sometimes pay off. Are you up for the risk?
Personal Touch – While I admit that I asked for opinions on my business name, it’s also important to make sure that you choose something that is right for you. Everyone will have an opinion; take them all with a grain of salt, and keep in mind what your vision is. In the end, your name needs to represent that.
Re-branding – It’s your prerogative to change your mind. If you start your business with a name you like and then down the road find that it just doesn’t work for you any longer – change it. It’s that simple. Re-branding is quite common these days. Businesses evolve; so can their names.