As promised, Iâ€™m setting down criteria for naming companies and brands in a sub-series within the Naming Tips Series.
This time Iâ€™m displaying the criteria for naming small businesses as proposed by Bill Gallagher, writing for Guerrilla Marketing.
Here are his â€œSeven Secrets to Great Business Namesâ€.
1. Make sure the name tells what you do
2. Make your name expandable (timeless)
3. Avoid name trends
4. Make it an easy name (to pronounce, to spell, to remember)
5. Make it clear (see 1.)
6. Make it define or pre-empt you market niche
7. Make it easy to find in directories (if appropriate)
Now remember Mr. Gallagher is writing for small businesses that are looking to minimize their marketing expenses and still get a good ROI for their dollar.
Because of that, I can excuse his first and his sixth criteria.
Generally, I would look beyond a name that describes what you do or defines your market niche. Not only is that limiting, it really makes it difficult to differentiate your business if you confine yourself to business/niche descriptors. Youâ€™ll run into conflicts and names that sound very much like the one you select. Customers wonâ€™t make the subtle distinctions. And as we all know, confused prospects wonâ€™t become customers.
But I will make an exception for small businesses with limited markets, both geographic and functional markets. If your targets are small enough (and will only be those markets in the future) you can probably get away with it.
I would, however, be more comfortable replacing number 1) with â€œMake sure the name conveys your business personalityâ€, and number 6) with â€œMake it reflect the major differentiator for your businessâ€.
Now I have criteria that will enable my company to grow larger and prosper without having a restrictive or banal name.
The other criteria I can embrace without reservation.