Finding the Right Name for Your Business

Finding the right name for your business

It's a very important part of your business - maybe THE most important part: Your business name. 

Your business name is your first impression in most cases, and it's a great way for you to single yourself out from the competition. 

To pick a great name, you need to understand the 3 categories most business names fall into:

1: Literal

2: Metaphoric

3: Fanciful

The first, Literal names, is pretty obvious. It's a literal description of your business. In our case "Jane Doe Semi Permanent Makeup" would be a good example. 

Metaphoric names are loosely tied to Literal, but add in a slightly off the wall quality. A good example of this would be TGI Fridays. It doesn't tell you anything much about the business, but it's kind of related - "Thank God It's Friday" contours up a visit to the vibrant bar for a treat at the end of a busy week. 

Fanciful names don't describe the brand OR what it does. They're normally made-up words which allow a business to develop a brand around that name. Dermace might be considered an example of that. It's actually two words in one, and an acronym thrown in for good measure. Derm- referring to dermal, or dermis. The Ace at the end actually stands for Advanced Cosmetic Enhancement. 

Fanciful and Metaphoric names are great for new businesses as they help to create their own identity and feel. The downside is, that can take a while to stick. It will take longer for your brand to be recognised and understood with the fanciful or metaphoric styles, than with a literal name. 

As you can imagine, in my line of work I've seen hundreds of Semi Permanent Makeup names on databases and mailing lists. Most are literal. Usually adding in the word "flawless" "perfection" "definition" etc is what most people feel they should do. It's pretty obvious that these names are quite descriptive, but they don't allow you to stand out from the crowd very easily. 

A quick Google search of your geographical area will help you to understand how easy it will be to build your brand. 

There isn't really a right or wrong way to find a great name for your business, but there are mothers you can follow to give you a fighting chance. Unfortunately, this may well involve the dreaded "brainstorming session",  or worse still; creating a "mood board". Gather some friends and family and discuss the services you offer and the tone you want to set. Playful? Serious? Professional? Relaxed? High-fashion? Have them write down some names (around 5 each) and ask them to be strict about what they are choosing and why. Have a quick chat about each other's choices. Now you have the list together, it's time to start the pruning process. Whittle to list down, checking Google regularly to see what the name may mean in other circles. See if it's already in use. See if the web domain is available. Basics like that should see you choices diminish even more. 

By now you'll have a few firm favourites. How do they brand? How do they look written down? Are they easy to say? Is it obvious how they are pronounced? Is there a great logo that would really make stand out?

You're well on the way. Once you have your name selected, check with your website designer and they'll tell you what options you have for a web address (Feel free to get in touch with me if you're stuck. I can check in a couple of minutes). 

Pick a great logo with just a few colours. Something that goes with your name. No point having a prancing horse or a Hammer and Sickle if you're trying to invoke feelings of competency, safety, consideration etc

Maybe consider a symbol. Easier to create than you think. There are free/cheap services on the web that will be able to help you with a logo. Popular website, Fiverr, allows you to commission a logo from a real designer, for about £5. 

Whatever you decide on, write down your reasons. You may well experience some doubt further on down the processes and it always helpful to remember why you thought it was such a great name in the first place. Commit to your name and start mentioning it to a wider section of your social circle. See what the reaction is. 

Once you're FINALLY settled, commit. Don't look back. Push forward and build your brand! 


Rich :-)