How to choose the ideal name for my company
What to do?
Many times we ask ourselves what to do to choose a good name for our company or business. What techniques we should use when choosing a name and if there’s still time to change the one we chose, when we think of those that already have your business running.
Choosing a good name is no easy feat. Let's try to visualize how many times we have seen couples who are expecting a baby and can't agree on what to name their offspring. Many think of making the name rhyme with the last name, others that it be inspired by some mythical figure or a star (television, movies or sports) or just come up with a true original by combining the grandparents’ names.
The same way that it is very important to choose a good name for our children because it the one they will have for the rest of their lives, choosing the name of the business is vital for the future because the name becomes a calling card; it will speak on its own, it will let people know who it is, what it does, how hard it works and it may even be a key indicator of whether sales will be good or not.
Practical cases in Cuba
Businesses in the food industry almost always indicate in their name the product they sell and who the business owner is.
Churros rellenos Diego [Diego's Filled Churros]
Photography businesses or photography studios.
The tendency in Cuba is to use the photographer’s name and to always specify what type of business it is by means of visual components that hint at the activity carried out.
For a clear vision of the future, names of fast food cafeterias appear with elements characteristic of the search for business chains with that name.
Tío Tito, Los Pepes, etc.
These are the names of various cafeterias that already exist in different places in our city.
However, other types of cafeterias, with a much greater initial capital, almost always choose a proper name preceded by the word café.
Technique: Consult with the Cuban Office of Industrial Property and have at least five name options ready.
• The ideal name is available. Before finally choosing a name, make sure it’s available, that no other company is already using it; that way you will avoid future legal problems and, especially, losing a lot of money.
Technique: Choose words that have positive connotations so that people associate them with the business; make sure that these connotations combine strength and trust.
• The ideal name conveys a positive image. All concepts associated with the name and the image must be positive.
Technique: Write down on a piece of paper all the names that come to mind. Don’t worry if they are not the best-suited, what’s important is to write down everything you think of.
• The ideal name must be original to avoid being confused with another brand that has a similar name.
3. A modern or creative term that becomes especially meaningful over time and the establishment of the brand.
2. Direct reference to the product or service the business offers.
1. Last name, name of the company founders or partners.
• The ideal name is informative. Including in the name information about the activity of the business makes it easier for potential customers to find it in phonebooks, commercial guides and/or the Internet.
Technique: Write down the type of business, how it is different, its strong points and how you want customers to remember it.
• The ideal name is in keeping with the company’s strategy and vision. It’s important to be very clear about the market segment we are targeting.
Tips for choosing the ideal name for your business.
In general, small businesses look for catchy names full of visual components and color.
Café Brown, Café Francisca´s, Café Song
Factors to be taken into account.
• The ideal name is easy to remember. It must be catchy, easy to pronounce and understood by the public. Potential clients must be capable of remembering the name of the business to find it easily. It is preferable that it be short, simple, easy to spell and understood in several languages.
• The ideal name is accepted in various cultures. Something to take into consideration is the meaning the name may have in other cultures and other languages.
• It is advisable that it start with A or one of the first letters of the alphabet. We should choose a data organization system that will allow us to always be on top, such as, for example, the Yellow Pages.
• Take selecting the name seriously. The name you choose can play a major role in the company's marketing. The name projects its image, brand and position in the market.
• Think beyond location. Customers in a natural market know the origin of the company. Think about when the time comes to expand.
• Avoid acronyms: It’s tempting to want to use a name in acronym form, like major corporations do (IBM, International Business Machine). However, this is not advisable for small businesses; besides, it’s doubtful customers will know what the acronym stands for. Moreover, they're hard to remember.
Matrix for deciding on a business name.
After applying the foregoing techniques, choose at least five names.
Draw a table and a column and in each row of said column write down these criteria:
Write the five words in columns and rate them from 1-5 (five being the highest score) according to the above criteria. Finally, add up the numbers and you will get the result that will help you choose the right name more precisely.
A name is perhaps the most powerful tool you have to create a good impression on customers. The goal should be customer-business engagement; ultimately, you want the customer to say with pride: I SHOP AT...
1- Form groups of 2-5 persons who will be handed blank sheets of paper where they will write down the business’s general concept or its characteristics. On the top of the page, they will write the ideas that come to mind (for example, laundry: fast, cleaning, cheap, etc.)
Time: 5 to 10 minutes.
2- Once this time is up, they will read their lists of words out loud. After reading them, they will start saying new words, but this time out loud, while one of the team members takes notes.
3- Then we will proceed to eliminate all the words we don’t like or are not appealing.
4- Next, the groups will be instructed to begin playing with the new list of words to create combinations of words, short phrases, etc. They will be asked to narrow it down to two or three names.
They will be advised that the name should be 3 to 5 characters long, maximum 8.
Verifying pronunciation and language.
1- RATATOVILLE. This word will be written on the board and the participants will be asked to say what type of business comes to mind. The objective is to stimulate the sense of hearing and the sense of sight. They will be told that it is advisable to use names in Spanish, since words are pronounced exactly the way they are written. Finally, the name that is the easiest to read, write and pronounce is the one that should be chosen.