Maestro Strategic Marketing

The Maestro: Creating your Business Name

Joan A. Wackell
Maestro Strategic Marketing

naming-your-business-2-marketing-basicsSpeaking Out: The Maestro on Business Names provides several examples of right and wrong names for businesses and points out that a lot is riding on selecting the right name since a wrongly named business could spell disaster. How, then, can you create a business name that gives customers a sense of what the business does, the value it provides and that reflects your market niche?

Starting Point: The Naming Strategy

Develop a naming strategy statement that, once done, will guide you through the process include the following:

  1. A list of what should go into your business name; count on it to keep you on track as you work through the naming process
  2. Picking your Team
  3. Brainstorm Session
  4. Research your competitors
  5. Check for trademarks
  6. Domain name

Creating the Business Name: The Process

Your list should include basic naming elements that you want reflected in your name such as:

  1. Information about your business, what it does, your customer profile
  2. Your business values
  3. The quality of your products/services
  4. Consider the role that your business plays in your domain name, search engine rankings and positioning on the worldwide web
  5. Customer profile
  6. Your overall goal for what you want to communicate with your business name
  1. When you pick a team to help, keep it small and stay away from those who will be personally offended should you not use their ideas; they should be committed to a “team” effort
  2. Brainstorming
    1. During the initial session, no name is wrong; capture all ideas since one word may provide the seed to your name and/or a tagline
    2. Tape your basic elements list on the wall for handy reference during this session
    3. Think of keywords that relate the business and your products or services
    4. Don’t go too far off the reservation in creating a name if you are a small business with a limited marketing budget; stay away from abbreviations, cutesy names or too long names
    5. Choose names that appeal to customers. It is tempting to use a name you are partial to but, your customers are critical and should not be forgotten
    6. Think long-term and strive for a name that will serve your business for 5 or more years
    7. Made-up names might be a solution but be prepared to made a considerable investment in marketing to brand the business
    8. Whittle your list down to 3-4 names and “test” them with a few trusted business colleagues, family members, and customers to see how they react
    9. Check to see if domain names are available that closely match your business names; go to any web hosting company such as or and enter your selected name in the search block.
  3. Research
  • Research your competitors’ names and compare them to your ideas, you do not want to mimic their names because of the confusion it might cause with customers and the marketing challenge that a similar name will present
  1. Trademarks
  • Check for trademarks to avoid trademark infringement; The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a trademark search tool that you can use
  • Not every business name needs to be trademarked as long as your state government gives you the go-ahead to use the name you choose, as long as you are not infringing on another business’ name

Right Name Example:

Carrier Landscaping – the business name
We Speak Green – the tagline
“The grass is greener on our side” a value added statement (optional)

To take a look at more example of wrong and right business names click on Speaking Out: The Maestro on Business Names

Naming a business is complex and takes time; professional naming firms can take up to 6 weeks or longer to come up with a name so do not get discouraged if you do not get it on the first try. You might want to consult with a marketing coach to help you through the process and to help you back the business name up with a robust marketing strategy.