Over the past few months I've led several mastermind groups on the topic “what to name a business.” I've listened to small business owners and entrepreneurs give a 30-second explanation about how they chose their business name, and I've watched the reactions of other group members as they've talked. Here are 3 tips about picking a name for your business that will help you attract customers rather than confuse them.
1. Pick a name that tells what you offer. If you refuse to do that, at the least consistently use a tag line that makes what you offer very plain. Can you tell me what each of these businesses do?
- Little Fox Therapy
- The Mystic Scientist
- Fresh Frames
On the other hand, can you tell me what each of these businesses do?
- Business Negotiation Services
- Fredricka's Embroidery Shop
- Mt. Juliet Massage Therapy
2. If you brand to your name (and there are arguments both pro and con) make sure that you develop a kick-butt tag line that tells more about what you offer or the problem you solve. Here's a good example from one of my friends:
Your name alone (unless you are very famous) doesn't tell people what you offer. Be sure to pair it with a solution-based title (like Renee does) or an explanatory tag line (she uses one of these, too, on her website).
3. If you are geographically based (massage therapy, acupuncture – something you can't do except locally) think about adding in your location to the name. Mt. Juliet Massage Therapy tells me there is a massage therapist right here in Mt. Juliet, somewhere close to me. And here's a little tip. For a website, I would also buy Mount Juliet Massage Therapy and re-direct it to Mt. Juliet Massage Therapy.
Remember that most customers are going to find you by searching Google or YouTube (younger people tend to search YouTube rather than Google, by the way). So ask yourself, “If I were looking for a business that does what I do, what would I type into Google or YouTube's search?” This exercise can help you name your business right in the first place, or make a smart decision if you have decided to rebrand your business. Make it easy for potential customers to quickly grasp who you are and what you do. And that leads to my bonus tip for today!
4. Don't name your business about you. Name your business about them. Where I see entrepreneurs go wrong is picking a business name that is more about them than about their customer. Keeping your name customer-based is one way to ensure your success.