The Psychology of Naming Your Business

For a new business, a name is everything. A good business name is the first step in attracting clients and growing brand awareness. A name serves as the foundation for branding, so one that’s simple and memorable that creates a strong impression is effective. A name should link to a core principle or idea and clearly define your brand. Unsuccessful names are often difficult to spell or pronounce, generic, too long for social media handles, or limit business scope and expansion.

The repercussions of poorly chosen business names can force companies to rebrand. Subway was known as Pete’s Super Submarines until 1968 when they had to change their name because it was often misheard as “pizza submarine”. WW, formally known as Weight Watchers, chose to rebrand their company name in 2018 to reflect a trend towards body positivity and wellness.

Poor business names can demonstrate a few things about a company. It shows a lack of self-awareness by assuming they made a good choice rather than gathering feedback. It illustrates poor attention to detail; a name that requires a rebrand shows the business rushed through the naming process without being careful. Lastly, it shows a business was not motivated or skilled enough to navigate the naming process.

Not only does rebranding affect company perception, but it also has costs associated with it. Rebranding requires attorney fees to file with the IRS, state, and local government. Updating other legal documents and changing trademarks, patents, and copyrights are also required. New advertising, promotional materials, logos, and updating the company website can also get very pricey.

The steps to creating a strong business name are only five steps away. First, listing keywords and phrases that match your brand. Next, create a long list of name ideas, making sure to ask for feedback from those around you. Stick to words that make sense rather than names that will get a laugh. Third, search the Trademark Electronic Search System and state databases for businesses with the same name or similar names. Avoid using names and trademarks that are already in use. Consider how you will brand your business name. Asking yourself the following questions can help. How does the business name fit within my brand? How will it be represented in a logo design and brand colors? Finally, check for website and social media availability.

the psychology of naming your business (infographic)