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5 Characteristics Of A Company Name

Insights into five things to consider when picking a name for your service or your business. It's no longer enough to simply go by the name of your trade because it's possible there are many companies doing the same or similar things. What distinguishes you? How can you set yourself apart?

A company name does more than just identify your organization. It is how you communicate identity as well as function and maybe even the means by which you deliver your services. So, we can’t really say that choosing a name is a simple process. When you do it well, it sets you apart and intrigues the market to follow up and find out more about you.

Everyone wants a name that will convey without another word what you intend to do and also promise wonderful success for potential customers. You want the kind of name that entices the potential customers to pick up the phone to eagerly hire you right away. Unfortunately, the ability to invent that kind of name doesn’t come naturally to many of us. As such, some fall short of their grand ideas to easily inform future customers of essential information about themselves and the services they are keen to offer. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope.

We know firsthand how hard it is to come up with a catchy and original sounding name when it seems like all the great ones have already been taken. Kintsu Consulting Group submitted a list of five company names to the registrar’s office a few times before our name was approved; so when we speak of the process involved, we’re not talking hypothetically.

"Some company names fall short of grand ideas to inform future customers of essential information about the services they offer. But that doesn't mean there's no hope."

We have put together some pointers which can assist any team in those first weeks or months of strategy and planning- or even a team that is desperately considering re-branding for their firm. Here is a list of five things that an effective company name does that should be considered in the naming process. We have tried to give some examples of existing companies to show you what it looks like when done well.

Identifies You/Reflects Identity.

Your name should tell who you are. The words you will choose are how you will promote yourself. How do you want the public to think of you? You may want to consider incorporating your personal name, particularly in professions such as the legal, medical or accounting ones.

You can also consider descriptions. What does everyone know you in the market as? The T-shirt Guy? The Numbers Whiz? The IT Legend? Think for a moment about the way you save people in your phone. Do you put a name and then their trade? Do you have your own way of categorizing people? Could that come in handy during the naming process for your company?

Often when people ask us about the name Kintsu, they correctly detect the Japanese influence in the word. The phrase “consulting group” was chosen to indicate that we are a team of professionals; individual consultants with unique skills sets who can be found in one place. It is relatively easy to put together a company name in this manner.

"When you deliberately select what words you use, you can tell us a lot of about your image."

Indicates What You Do.

Some company names give nothing away but your clients and those in related industry need to know what type of work you actually do. Unless you already have a large following, you can’t rely on people already knowing what you do or looking you up in the classifieds or yellow pages. Try to make it clear.

Of course, every business hopes that one day they will be a household name and they won’t have to explain themselves, but if you choose this approach, your strategy will have to include ways of making that a reality quickly. An example of a name that indicates what the company does is The Medicine Chest, a local pharmacy. Another example is Tusilago Kitchens. Without the word ‘Kitchens”, would you have any idea that they are into kitchens and fitted counter tops? These examples just prove that it’s okay not to be too mysterious or vague when choosing a name. Not everyone can get away with it like clothing and accessories retailer The Gap Inc., which incidentally was reference to a generation gap as they were targeting a young generation when they first began.

Tells How You Do It.

When you deliberately select what words you use, you can tell us a lot of about your image. There are specific adjectives you can use that will enhance the markets understanding of the approach you take. For example, Swift Transport; the name tells us what they do and how they claim to do it. If you were a confectionery store and you wanted to be obvious, you could go with something Fresh and Sticky Sweets to let us know how everything in your shop is prepared.

Again, using our name as an example, kintsukuroi is an art form- it’s an ancient philosophy using precious metal! We want our clients to know that we aren’t careless with what we offer, there is value in the services provided and we want it to result in an evident change. Furthermore, we believe the processes we engage clients in should both reflect the creativity and the precision or care of the consultants. With a bit of consideration, you can find words that encompass your process, too.

Sets Yourselves Apart.

You may need to emphasize what differentiates you from your competition. What makes you unique; pinpoint what can’t be found at any other company or what you do better than the rest of them. Your focus may vary from the rest of the organizations that say they do what you do and your approach may also be very different, let your company name tell us what that is. Choosing an exotic word to extract our name from offered us that opportunity but an easier way to do that would be a choice adjective or phrase. Two great examples of this would be the New York brand aNYthing, which came out of the owner wanting “a New York thing” and Undefeated which, in case it hasn’t registered yet, began as a sneakers brand. The creators of Supreme, the clothing brand, chose an adjective as well. While it sets them apart and defines a level of quality, they faced some trouble with trademarking the word itself.

There are experts who will argue a case for avoiding the arbitrary or descriptive company name, for an array of reasons (which could become their very own blog post), but if you take time to consider (and research) you can come up with something quite distinct and catchy.

Gets Your Target Market Intrigued.

It’s no simple feat to make customers interested in you. Think about your target audience and what you think might be most important to them, when seeking services such as yours. What would appeal to them? Emphasize those important words in your name. For example, elderly woman looking for knitting supplies would be drawn by “Grandma’s Knitting Warehouse”. Every time we think of or read the She Leads Africa abbreviation (SLA) I think of the word “slay” and I highly doubt that it’s a coincidence, particularly since they serve a young, female audience. You may be delivering the exact same services as another company but what you call yourselves may attract a completely different crowd than your competition. Remember that what might draw in one group of people is exactly what might put off another, so be sure about who you’re trying to communicate with.

If the name you choose for your company can achieve at least one of the above, you will have done a good job. As we said before, we know that it is becoming harder and harder to find unique names for things that people use or want everyday and if you really struggle on a creative level, you can hire someone to help you with the process. Professionals who offer business strategy and creative consultancy services are aware of what the name of a business can do. Asking for help only means you really do want to succeed and it will be worth the investment.

It is easy to make mistakes when taking on the task of naming your business. Often enough people don’t actually consider what message the name conveys to other people. You may have a grand idea of what you are there to deliver, but if the name doesn’t evoke that image in other people, you may have to change your mind about name choices.

Are you thinking of starting a company or defining your personal brand? Have you been having difficulties getting your business ideas off the ground? Kintsu Consulting would love to help you. Book a free consultation with our enterprise development consultant today!

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