It’s not easy naming a business. Recently I’ve been trying to help some clients come up with the right business name. I remember struggling with this myself and going for Seed Mentoring as I focus on helping develop ideas (plant a seed) and could create the acroynm Supporting Enterprise and Economic Development. But getting a good name is more difficult now as we can be affected by availability of url and social media handles. I had a look at a few sports brands to think about the origin of names and whether great names mean great businesses.
• Nike, Greek goddess of victory
• Asics, an acroynmn for a Latin expression (you should pray for a healthy mind and body)
• Under Armor (this was meant to be Body Armor but the founders brother mistook the name and Under Armor stuck!)
• Adidas l, abbreviation of the name of the founder Adi Dassler
• Sweaty Betty, an insult for a woman suffering bad body odour!
So if a client was creating a sportswear brand and suggested that last one I’d probably advise to rethink!!
But it’s a successful brand: £80 for a pair of leggings!
So maybe the name is not so significant. As long as you get your marketing right or have a good marketing budget!
Has your name worked for you?

Ideas for Naming your Business:

  • The most common approach is to use your first or second name and then to add what you do e. g Cunning Financial Solutions, Eimear Gildernew Photography, Olivia’s Haven.
  • Initials of your name and other family members or your surname e.g McDonalds, LKBennett
  • Use a nickname or your 2 grannys names or your kids names or dogs e.g Melissa and Doug (toys), Estee Lauder (originated from founder’s nickname Esty)
  • Use acronyms e.g SEED mentoring (supporting Enterprise and Economic Development)
  • Say what it is in the name (great for getting found online!) e.g Digital 24, Pure Running, Spectra Sensory Clothing, The Transfer Tutor, Bakehouse, The Art and Design Factory, Corporate and Creative Image, Dress My Bump,  Good Food Nutrition, HR Made Easy
  • Use the place you live or holiday e.g Seaforde Interiors, Mourne Seafood, Convent Garden soup.
  • Think of an emotion or progress your product provides, you can also add your name g Evolve by Samara (image consultancy), Generally Speaking (voice coach), Breathe NI (helping people with trauma), Evolution Graphic Design, Fresh Minds Education
  • Be creative with words or consider Greek mythology e.g Eatology (nutrition and health coaching), Nike (the goddess of Victory), Hydro-ease (Health and wellbeing, floating in magnesium)
  • Create imagery you like e.g An Orange Dragonfly (aromatherapy treatments and supplies), Dancing Leopards (Executive coaching), Happy Raspberry HR
  • Use foreign words e.g BelleBee Organics (skincare), El Gelato (icecream chain), IKEA (Chinese for Suitable for your home), Argento (jewellery shop which started with silver items)

Business help

Things to Consider:

  • See what is free for your url or social media handles. Go on to one of the website domain providers like 123 reg or Big Daddy and that will show you what is available. You can add in “ni” if you need, but that’s not ideal if you are targeting a global market. Try to avoid hyphens or underscores.
  • It is ideal to get the same name for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts if you can, so have a look at them too.
  • Run a Google search to see if the name you want comes up or who is using it, and whether you can adapt it to make it work for you. Be careful that you are not copying someone else’s name.
  • Make sure the word/s you use can be used in other languages and do not have negative connotations (if you plan to work/sell beyond the UK)
  • Avoid using a name that is spelt different to how it sounds
  • If you are setting up as a Limited company you need to check the name is not already used
  • If you think you may switch from sole trader to Limited in the future then you may wish to check if the name is available, or it could result in you have to change your name at a later stage
  • If your name/brand is very important to you (e.g a hair product you hope to sell internationally) then you may wish to consider trademarking the name.
  • Think about how the name will lend itself to visual design for your website and other media.
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