Finding the perfect business name

Welcome to the debut of my ongoing blog series featuring biz-ladies who will be sharing their insightful tips around branding, nurturing your business and biz-Mum life. To kick off this monthly series, allow me to introduce you to Phillippa Farah from Word Winnow, giving her secret tips to success in finding the perfect business name.

Enjoy! Rachel x

Finding the perfect business name. Insights, tips, do’s and don’ts for naming your business and ways to align your business name with your ideal client.

The ultimate goal is to find a memorable, unique business name that connects. Everyone wants a stand out business name right?

For some, this comes easily…. Some have ‘the’ name from the moment they dream up their biz idea…. But for most, the ultimate business name can feel somewhat elusive so here’s my best tips for naming your business and ways to align your business name with your ideal client.

First things first….

A business name on its own is just a name. If your business is to go the distance and achieve a lasting legacy you will need ‘reinforcements’. And by reinforcements, I mean the characteristics that shape a business into a brand.

The perfect business name is just the beginning (never lose sight of this). The brand on the other hand is the ‘personality’. And your business will become more than a name when injected with qualities that make it a brand.

What makes a brand?

You’ll find more about that here, but the key brand considerations are:

  • Brand Purpose
  • Brand Voice
  • Logo
  • Website Design
  • Colour Palette
  • Graphics/ Images
  • Tagline (A few words that provide more information about your business name or reinforce what the name already suggests)

 Aligning brand elements with your business name creates cohesion and reinforces your business identity.

So, based on this thought every business founder needs to know the answers to 5 fundamental business questions.

  1. What is your unique offering?
    Do you sell Products or Services?
  2. Why? What’s your why?
    What problem are you solving?
  3. Who are you offering your solution to?
    Who is your target market?
  4. How will you offer it to them?
    Bricks and Mortar store or Website?
  5. Where will people find out about your offering?
    Social Media, Local Markets, Industry Showcases or Online Directories?

When you answer these questions, something happens. You are forced to step away from your dreamy thoughts, replacing what ifs and question marks with articulated answers that serve as the foundation to your business.

If the answers to these questions remain at the forefront of your mind throughout your business name quest you are already kicking goals in biz.

Shall we dive into the naming stuff now……

If you have no idea what you want your business name to sound like, I’ve covered off seven of the most common business name styles.

  1. Personal
    This style incorporates your name or a family member’s name ie Phillippa’s Facts, K&R Family Support, Sally Makes Sweets.
  2. Professional
    Usually defined by no fuss words- less emotive and very no nonsense i.e. The Couch Cleaner
  3. Keyword
    Choose a key word that is industry or product specific i.e. Hair by Design.Hair’ being the keyword. You can also use your target market as a key word. If your target market is mums then you might want to consider using the word ‘mum’ in your business name.
  4. Play on Words
    Adapting common phrases by placing a new twist or using alternate spelling i.e. Meant to Bee
  5. Designer
    As the name suggests think designer brand names. They are vibrant, statement worthy, unique and original. No further explanation needed.
  6. Ampersand
    i.e. Finch & Co, Moss & Mavi, Bose & Pax
  7. Amalgamation
    Think Hollywood celeb nicknames like BrAngelina and Kimye or words like Bromance, Fri-yay (Thai restaurants are the best for this too… like my local, ‘Thai-Riffic’)

Make your way through the seven styles, writing down the names that come to mind and see where it leads.

Securing a Business Name

You may find yourself falling in love with a one-word business name. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it is highly unlikely you will find an available one-word business name….The digital age has made launching a business super appealing, making it near impossible to find an original one-word business name (unless of course you brainstorm an amazing ‘Amalgamation style’ name). The one-word business name market is crowded… Just a heads up.

So how will you know if your desired name is available?

The business name is all yours if there is no sign of an existing business, brand or personality with your dream name. To secure a business name you must check the availability for each of the following categories:

  • Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). If you are not located in Australia search the governing body for business names in your country.
  • URL (domain host)
  • Trademark (ipaustralia.gov.au)
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest

If you intend to use other social media platforms make sure you check those out too.

Hot Tip: Do a quick Google search to see if your dream name shows up in Google. I also like to check the name is available across multiple URLs such as

.com
.com.au
.co.uk
.org.au

Now for the Dos and the Don’ts for Naming a Business

Don’ts

Don’t ask everyone’s opinion of your potential business name (it can cause major confusion and stress). Choose a few friends or family members whom you trust but ultimately go with your gut.

Don’t choose a name if you know there’s a grey area with availability. If there is the slightest indication that someone else is using your desired name they might have reason to contest your business name down the track so it’s really not worth the risk. Abandon the name and find another.

Don’t choose a business name with too many words. The sweet spot is 2-3 words. Any more and it becomes hard to remember.

Do’s

Do check for trademarks and patents before securing a business name. This means you will avoid infringements and big headaches down the track. If there is any doubt surrounding the availability of your business name consult a lawyer.

Do fall in love with your business name (After all you have to promote your biz all day every day). You need to believe in your name as much as your product and changing your name would be a headache.

Do Remember naming a business is like naming a baby. It’s exceptionally personal.

Now go create an unforgettable name that becomes an unforgettable brand. I’m cheering you on.

Happy Business Naming.

xx Phillippa

Copywriting Mumma, Business Namer and Founder of Word Winnow
Find her here https://www.wordwinnow.com

 

More about Phillippa:

When a radio career was superseded for the love of motherhood, Phillippa’s wildest dreams were realised as she uncovered new-found joy writing strategy-driven, creative copy and cohesive content.

In a former life Phillippa executed campaigns for the biggest radio networks in Australia working alongside on-air talent, international artists and TV networks. She sat at the table with the big brands and moved in their inner circles to deliver multifaceted, national campaigns even winning an Australian Commercial Radio Award aka an ACRA (the Grammy of the radio industry). All of this was extraordinary BUT…

Phillippa’s heart has always been for words, storytelling, moving people and stirring hearts to cause action.

A natural progression turned her love for crafting cohesive content into a business, Word Winnow, launched in December 2017.

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