How to Pick a Winning Business Name


What's in a name?

Think of your business name as an external mask for your business. If it's something your target audience like, they would consider checking it, if they don't, in most cases you have lost a customer even before you could tell them what your product or service is. Your marketing campaign is usually like a beautiful outer covering for your business which attempts to portray it as the best business on earth for various reasons and the quality of your business name can have a great positive or negative impact on your marketing campaign. Many marketing campaigns are solely based on business names. Despite this many people, completely ignore spending time picking a good business name. This very often happens, when someone believes to have a winning business idea, and wants to kick it off as soon as possible.

Brainstorming for your name

Here are a few techniques which would help you brainstorm for ideal business names and come up with a wide variety of options to choose from.

Tools Needed:

Before you begin using the techniques below here are some tools you would need to make your brainstorming session successful

1. A Notepad and Pen

2. A thesaurus (online of offline) - Online ones save a lot of time

3. A computer with Internet access

4. A language conversion tool (Preferably online)


Before you begin your brainstorming process, remember that you are brainstorming for ideas and the goal is to generate as big a list as possible, therefore do not evaluate or criticise any ideas, and keep the flow going.

1. Make a list of all suitable keywords you can think of, which relate to your business, or help describe your product or service.

2. Think of companies selling similar products or your competitors and note down their names.

3. Use a Thesaurus to look for synonyms of all the words you have gathered. You should have a good list of words by now.

4. Use a language conversion tool such as the one at freetranslation. com and look for French, Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, etc. meanings of your words. Some of those words can be very trendy and especially suitable for businesses targeting the youth market, or in the hotel & entertainment industry.

5. Make combinations of partial words. You can even try combinations of English + Other Languages. Although these would be suitable only to certain creative business types.

Questions to help your Shortlist Your Selections

Now you have a huge list of potential business names. But you can have only one (unless you plan to open different companies for the same business), so its time to scale down and shorten your list. In this stage your aim should be to cut down your list to 10 names. Match each of your business names against this checklist and start weeding out the unsuitable ones.

? Is the name easy to remember and pronounce?

? Is it easy to spell?

? Will it appeal to your target audience?

? Does it tell you something about what your business does?

? What are the first thoughts that you want your readers to have as soon as they hear your business name?

? Is it somewhat unique?

? Is it already in use?

? Is there something in it, which would want to make the listener know more about the concept behind the name?

? Is it a geographical name? (This can affect expansion in future)? Is it broad enough, so that if you decide to expand your product line in the future, the name still represents them?

By now you should have eliminated many names, and shortened your list to 10 or less names, if you haven't go down the list again and weed out some more names.

Field Testing your Business Name

Now that you have the top ten names, which in your opinion best represent your business. It's time to find out what others think of them.

? Take the list to all your family members, relatives and friends and ask them to choose their top three

? Try to reach your target market in order to see which ones they like. If you are planning to open a gymnasium ask people who regularly visit the gym.

? A great way to reach your target audience in masses and without any expenses can be online message boards and forums. These days there are online forums on virtually every subject.

Picking up the winner

Now you have factored in everyone's opinion and its decision time. The course of action from here on depends on the sort of results you had out of your list of ten. If you see a clear winner or people liking two particular words, you can safely pick one. If you see three or four words getting somewhat similar preference, make a list of top three, and field test them again, using the above steps. This should hopefully give you a winner, is you still find somewhat similar preference, you can do two things, start from scratch (I wouldn't) or go with your heart and pick the one you think is the best.

Remember: Name is the first step of the Game, and while choosing one you don't want to be lame.

© Ashish Monga


Copyright 2005 by Business-students. com


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