What's in a Name? - Tips for Company Naming
AAA Services – Zenspirational (but we hope you might prefer a more engaging name)
Company Naming can be really important in setting the right tone for your business or product. There are also several practical considerations to be made, to ensure it can be used legally and you are able to exploit it fully, to build your company’s unique identity.
Does your Business Sector Influence Company Name Choice?
For example, a solicitor needs to be perceived as a reliable, trustworthy company. Many choose traditional founder names, to choose more retail names such as ‘Wills R Us’* may feel dodgy, but if wanting to portray a more forward thinking company, could have a more product led name such as ‘The Wills Practice’*. Yet an events company may get away with a less conventional name such as ‘Snap, Crackle & Pop Events Company’* (though you would probably get in trouble with Kelloggs if you used this).
Do you Need to Describe your Company?
When thinking of your company name think if it will be just a name, or will it include a descriptor or strapline to explain your company personality or activity? For example at GAS we have just used ‘GAS’ alone in our logo, but we refer to ourselves as ‘GAS Brand Studio’ in all accompanying contact details. Will you include your business sector alongside your name, so would you be ‘Snap, Crackle & Pop Events Company’* or plain ‘Snap, Crackle & Pop’*, will the visual elements in your logo convey what you do sufficiently, or will you need to add a strapline? Big brand name Nike has the accompanying strapline ‘Just Do It’ to echo their go get it attitude, but they don’t include that they are sportswear.
Does it Look and Sound Right?
Think how your name will turn into a logo. Too long as one word or several very different length words and it will be awkward and difficult to use in different platforms.
SAY IT OUT LOUD AGAIN & AGAIN
Think how the name will sound, use your telephone voice
and imagine you are answering as the company name;
does it flow?
Is the name memorable? Is it easily spelt? Try not to be super trendy, and don’t follow the crowd, if you want your business to still have relevance in five years time. Check out what reliable friends, family and business colleagues think, how do they react? (Do the Nan test). See if you are still happy with the name a few days later, this needs to be right as it will be the first impression the outside world has of your business.
Company Naming – Check it out
Is the name available? Check no one else is already in your business sector in your country using that name or something very similar. In the UK you can check out limited companies by doing a business search at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Be wary of any similar names as they may have a poor reputation that may become unwittingly associated with.
Check out your potential name on the web, even if you are not thinking about a website straight away – (but don’t wait too long to get even a simple page to support your company). Companies House only checks limited companies, sole trader companies won’t be registered, so carrying out a Google search will show up other companies possibly not registered. Domain names are often not available even if the company name is free, this could be as a company has been dissolved or alternatives have been bought up. Make sure you check it out with a reputable domain name provider, you don’t have to buy from them, but you can use them to search.
Keep it Short
Your domain name should be as short as possible to avoid mistyping and aid memorability. Consider the extension to your domain dependent on how you are operating. For example it is worth checking if .com is available if you are likely to sell products or services overseas. If you are operating in the UK only then .co.uk is the most appropriate for a private company, though you may wish to buy the .com domain too to secure it as yours. (.com tends to be slightly more expensive as it is global). If you are a charitable or not for profit organisation you may wish to use the .org extension.
Do I Need to Trademark?
Trademark covers words, sounds, logos, colours, a combination of any of these, below is a useful UK link for how to register your name as trademark https://www.gov.uk/how-to-register-a-trade-mark. When you register your trade mark, you’ll be able to:
- take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission, including counterfeiters
- put the ® symbol next to your brand – to show that it’s yours and warn others against using it
- sell and license your brand
You may use a trademark attorney to check the trademark database, but this may be an expensive process and depends on the ambitions of your company.
Need Help Naming Your Company?
If you still need help with company naming we are happy to talk through your aims and start outlining the direction, giving alternative name solutions and the marketing strategy that may evolve. (We promise to surprise you). firstname.lastname@example.org
Standout designers helping set your company apart from your competitors.
P.S. Our Company Name
There are as many names for design agencies as there are for hairdressers, many names are just as cheesy, or trying wayyy too hard. We stripped it back to personal, (definitely not too serious) Essex stylie initials – Gail And Steve – GAS. As with our designs, we liked that there are extra interpretations. GAS – meaning to chat, GAS – the form of energy and GAS the scientific term, all of which could be used to explain ideas within our business.
*Company names used are just for example and no reflection of real companies or their reputation.