What’s in a name?

I suppose this is a post for people who are just thinking about or embarking on setting up their own business. Thinking of a name is the ultimate head scratcher.
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20th January 2008 at 7:58 pm

I suppose this is a post for people who are just thinking about or embarking on setting up their own business. Thinking of a name is the ultimate head scratcher.

You want your business name to speak volumes about who you are or what you do (or both!!!).

If you’ve done your marketing homework, you want your name and your logo to be reflective of the personality (or values) at the heart of your business and brand.

The more you think about it the harder it gets. Share your ideas with people and you’ll find everyone has an opinion and before you know it, you’re drowning in a sea of subjectivity.

Having just gone through this process myself, I want to give you just three pieces of very practical advice when choosing your business’ name.

1 – Check that the url is available – there are thousands of domain name checkers on line, just google the topic and find a site where the search set up makes sense to you. I’m not a great fan of .net names, or convoluted spellings that use numbers for words, so be creative and patient in equal measure and you will eventually get a name that gives you that elusive .co.uk or .com

2 – Say the name out loud. Will people be able to spell it – or are you going to spend your life repeating the letters to people over the phone and receiving ill addressed post?? If you are the kind of person that gets up tight about this kind of stuff, steer clear of names that are tricky to spell.

3 – Go with you gut instinct. If the name feels right to you, and is something you feel you can talk about with confidence to your customers, it’s probably a good name. After all a name is just a word or group of words – it only truly becomes imbued with meaning when it becomes an integral part of what your business is and does. It’s then that you begin to build a brand. . .

Sara Scott

Sara is a marketing specialist with a wealth of on-line and traditional experience. With award winning credentials as an advertising writer, her career also spans the disciplines of planning and strategy for both B2B and consumer clients. Having worked for one of the the UK's biggest non-London agencies, Sara now works on a consultancy basis for clients large and small. http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk/blog

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  1. The mind likes to makes associations and memory can be boosted by things that are unique, creative and outstanding. Picking a distinctive name for the business can help jog the memory and help your company stand out from the crowd.

  2. Dont use just any online checker for available domain names. Sorry to blatantly post the link to my own blog, but I strongly believe small business entrepreneurs must be educated about this: http://www.istudioweb.com/network-solutions-plays-it-dirty-2008-01-09/

    In brief – Network Solutions registrar reserves checked names so you can only order them from their web site.

  3. Vlad, as far as I understand it, they’re only reserving them for 4 hours and then they’re released again. That’s not such a bad idea, is it? Isn’t it designed to slow down domain squatters?

  4. Jim Lee says:

    If you plan on optimizing your website for the search engines, you may want to check out a piece of software called Nemeas (created by James Brausch) that scores your domain name and URL for how well Google “likes” that domain (in terms of how well statistically-speaking it will rank)… According to Brausch, this could account for as much as 20% of the Search Engine Ranking Factors (SERFs).

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