What's In A Name?
Naming your New or Existing Business
If you are about to venture into launching your very own business - this is a very exciting time - and congratulations! If you are already in business but are perhaps struggling a little bit with your identity - you are not alone. Naming a business is one of the most important exercise of creating a business identity and brand, and yet can be the most stressful! Hopefully this article can give you a bit of guidance!
For another article on this subject you might find this one useful: "The Three Most Important Branding Foundations for your Business"
When you are starting out with a new business it can be such an exciting time. You have a dream! I love the energy involved in a new business. So now you have your idea, your product or service...what's next? One of the first steps at this point might be to create an identity for your business - or go through a BRANDING process. Branding in these terms would be to establish your business name, logo, tagline, colour scheme, font set, mission statement etc. By establishing a clear BRAND for your business all of the marketing steps will follow easily.
So how do you come up with a NAME?
Well first I think you should make a brainstorming list of all kinds of different possibilities. Ask friends, family and associates what they think of your name ideas. Then narrow your list down to five or ten names that you really like.
Now here comes my tips about deciding on naming your business from an INTERNET point of view. **I'm assuming digital marketing is going to be an incredibly important part of your marketing strategy***
1. CHECK FOR AVAILABLE DOMAINS
Once you have a few possible business names - please do yourself a favour and go to a name registrar website such as Godaddy.com and search to see if your business name is available - hopefully as a .com
I've worked with a few startups that choose a business name, and moved past this step to create a business and marketing plan, and even start creating labels for their product only to find out there was no suitable website address that matched their business name. Save yourself time, and money by doing this step early. In fact you might even use Godaddy as a way to generate ideas and brainstorm potential business names based on what domains are actually available.
If the .com is not available then look at the alternative domain extensions. Do they fit your business goals? For example if you are launching a local business in Canada and you have no intensions of doing business internationally then registering the .ca domain would be perfectly acceptable.
2. CHECK FOR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES
Next I highly suggest you do a search on each social media platform to see if anyone else is using your business name as a social media profile name. You can imagine this might cause some inconvenience moving forward if someone else out there is using your new company name for anything .... well unprofessional......
3. CHECK HASHTAGS
These might have come up when you searched the social media profiles, especially on Instagram but it might be one final safety check to see if #MyBusinessName has been used for anything, well again......unprofessional.
4. GOOGLE SEARCH
Do a google search of that business name, with a few variations. You are looking for anyone that might be currently using that name for something or any other red flags or potential issues that might cause search engine confusion if you do go with that name.
Once you are satisfied that you have selected a business name that has all available internet properties available you can move forward to the next steps. Fun!!!
Existing Business Name
Do you have an existing business and you feel like you are struggling with your identity? I have found especially with solo-preneurs such as Real Estate and Mortgage Agents, Freelancers, and Life Coaches there is often some confusion as to the actual name of their business. Its hard in these industries to decide if your business name is your name, or a company name, or a mixture of both.
If you can clearly identify your business name, and use it consistently on all that you do in your business, it will make everything so much easier. Your clients and potential clients will know how to find you. You will know exactly what to put on all of your marketing materials, from website to business cards, to signage. Whatever you decide on for your business name is fine - the key here is to be consistent on everything you do.
So if your website is www.mynamerealtor.com but your Facebook Page is @MyTownRealtor and your business cards just show your name, and your Twitter handle is something very different - well you can see where the confusion might come.
Being clear in your branding starting with your business name will give you clarity and set you up with a strong personal brand. Strong branding means people will remember you. If you are top of mind - you have a much higher chance of gaining new clients and growing your business.
IF YOU NEED ANY HELP IN ANY OF THESE AREAS PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO REACH OUT SARAH@DUFFERINMEDIA.CA