Naming Your Business For Profit (And fun)

The idea for this post came from this very funny entry by Paprika Furstenburg about how to pronounce L’Occitane En Provence.  Want the answer? View the very funny video that goes with the post!

So, how do you name your business ?

Actually naming a business is so sophisticated that there is an entire industry that does just that.  They charge hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to come up with a name that is guaranteed to perform; well sort of  guaranteed!  If you are one of those that have millions just waiting to be doled out, keep clicking.

 And if you are not one of those,  lets take a crack at it together, shall we?

I’ll try to categorize how we can approach naming a business. This will give you an outline for how to come up with a list of possibilities for a name.

Before we begin, lets list the attributes we’d like our business name to have. Of course , any name you choose will almost never have all the following attributes. The best name therefore, will have most of these attributes.

  1. It may be catchy eg.rapidfire.com.
  2. It may be memorable eg. InsuranceCompaniesAreStupid.com.
  3. It may be repeatable eg.amazon.com, buy.com, geiko.com; (but not blekko.com )
  4. It refers to the solution to the problem your service solves eg. FixThatPainForever.com
  5. It must evoke a kindly emotion, nostalgia, longing etc. eg. belindasdownhomecooking.com
  6. It may describe what your business does for your customer. eg. GordonsJewelers.com
  7. It must invoke visions of excellence. eg. greatClips.com
  8. It must create a feeling of satisfaction/happiness eg. Ilovecandystore.com
  9. It must be easy to spell. This one’s a doozy. Many websites lose business just because they picked a very lengthy name difficult to spell.  eg. Encyclopaedia.com
  10. It may point to your service being a luxury. eg. hoteldeluxeportland.com
  11.  It must have only positive connotations for all your customer groups.
  12. It may have geographical connotations. eg. richmondMarketing.com
  13. It may have timely or seasonal meanings. allthingschristmas.com
  14. It may evoke images of exotic places. eg. L’occitane
  15. It may refer to a price limit eg. under10grandautos.com.
  16. It may refer to a relative price factor eg. bargain, cheap, thrifty etc.
  17. It may use slang/jargon known only to your niche market. eg. asp.net
  18. It may form a complete word using the domain as well as subdomains. eg. delic.io.us
  19. It may refer to your industry Eg. automobilemag.com
  20. It may refer to a hobby/craft or art. Eg. enthusiastsauto.com
  21. It may be just plain funny sounding. Eg. Google, newegg
  22. It may use irreverence; hence likeable. Eg. Unruly, Maverick.
  23. It may use celebrity references. eg. CatsThatLookLikeHitler.com
  24. It may use adjectives such as great, lovely, amazing,mastery,ultimate etc.
  25. It may use verbs such as buy, cometo, goto , go, see, own etc.
  26. It may use suffixes or prefixes such as -matic , -ability etc.
  27. It must be available as a .com/.net/.biz/.co  domain name.

If you see some others that I’ve missed, please comment below. I’ll add them to the list. This list  can be used as a checklist for the next time you need to come up with a business name.

About the author:

Deep Janardhanan is an accomplished writer, marketer and copywriter in the Richmond,Va area. He specializes in working with small businesses and professionals to strategically market your business for maximum coverage using a limited budget. You can reach him at deep@nobleriver.com

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