A great business name sticks in the minds of consumers, and this is more important today than it’s ever been with all the brands on the market. 

The best thing you can do to set yourself apart from the competition is to come up with a memorable and catchy name. Good branding starts with a great name, so choose one that stands out and stays in the customer’s mind. 

That being said, it’s essential to understand your options for help coming up with a great business name. Most entrepreneurs either spend a lot of time brainstorming, use a reputable brand name generator, or hire a trusted consultant. 

Regardless of which of these paths you choose, there are some common mistakes that you need to avoid when naming your business. 

1. Avoid words with negative connotations

Consumers worldwide are drawn to businesses that share their values and beliefs on environmental, political, and social issues. To attract customers, you need a name that reflects your values and provides positive encouragement, especially concerning social and political matters. 

Just stop and think a moment about all of the sports teams and other companies that have had to rebrand their product. For example, the Washington Redskins are now the Commanders, and Uncle Ben’s Rice is now just Ben’s Original. 

Buyers will no longer support products or companies with names that have a negative connotation. So, avoid names such as “Uranus Fudge Factory – where we pack it tight” or “Passmore Gas and Propane,” as they may make some customers uncomfortable.

Another common mistake occurs when the founder or CEO gets too involved in politics. Consumers have a hard time distinguishing a product from the activities of its leadership, so don’t follow in the footsteps of MyPillow, Jimmy John’s, or Papa John’s Pizza. 

2. Steer clear of business names that are complicated

Most experts agree that another common disaster is when a business name is too complicated, as no one wants to invest the energy in trying to say it correctly. 

Generally, people like domain names that are memorable, straightforward, and simple. When you choose a name that’s too technical, you risk losing customers to competitors with more exciting names. 

Did you know that over 80% of consumers forget a company’s branding within three days? Therefore, it’s imperative that you choose a name that’s short and rolls off the tongue easily. Avoid names such as Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès, and Balenciaga, as they may be too difficult to pronounce.

3. Remain aware of foreign interpretations

Advertisements have an immediate and broad impact on people worldwide since it’s so easy to find brands on the internet. And if you choose a name that’s unpleasant in their language, they may decide not to buy from you. 

Before settling on a name, conduct research to verify that your chosen name isn’t insulting to customers in international markets. 

Unfortunately, certain companies have learned this the hard way. Some examples include Anal Jewelry Center in China, BlueBalls Boutique in Canada, and Cock Polishing Services in the UK. 

4. Don’t choose a name that’s emotionally charged

When people are involved in the creation of a product, service, or idea, they tend to get emotionally connected. And just as parents take care to choose a special name for their child, you should do the same for your business.

But don’t be so readily driven by emotion that you choose something based on your preferences over what the customers want or need. The truth is that choosing a name because you have feelings for it can ultimately limit your business’ growth. 

One common example of this is Google. When Larry Page and Sergey Brin started the company, they were going to call it Backrub. The name Google actually came from a customer who misspelled the word, but it works much better with the context of their business. 

Inappropriate names can derail your company

Branding is about reaching your target audience, and the consequences can be fatal when you choose the wrong business name. Here are some negative consequences that can occur:

  • Boycotts
  • Forced rebranding
  • Scandals
  • Legal action
  • Protests
  • Withdrawal of investors or partners
  • Poor market performance
  • Hiring difficulties

Put your clients first

The bottom line is that entrepreneurs who do not put their clients first when naming their business usually end up with underachieving branding. 

Choosing a name that doesn’t represent your company irritates clients and tells them that you’re not ready for the market. So be sure to create a distinct identity for your brand that you and your potential clients can appreciate. 

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