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Are you about to start the business of your dreams and feeling adventurous? Do you already have capital and have a well laid-out plan for your business? If so, you are on the right path and you are hopefully on your journey to success. However, there is one tiny bit of detail you may not have scrutinized well enough; the name of your business. Names are given to things to identify them and make them stand out. Hence, the name of your business is important. In fact, a name is the first quality that is noticed when a business is being marketed. The goal is not just to name your business, but to give it a name that will make heads turn. Coming up with a good business name from day one is much easier than having to change it later. Here are five (5) tips that can come in handy when naming a business:

Name after a need

This is one brilliant way to name a business because the name will be tied to the emotions of your potential customers. It involves naming your business according to the services your customers’ desire. When you name your business in this manner, you give your customers the impression that their needs will be met if they choose to engage with your business. This is because; the business name represents the answer to what they are looking for. It is a of telling your potential customers what you do without even marketing. There are several names you can coin from the desires of your customers. For example; ConnectNigeria – Nigerians connecting; DieHard Batteries – batteries that last long; Shoprite meaning – shopping the right way; Fast-Roofing Enterprise – roofing that doesn’t take a long time. This is a good way to name your business because customers will be very clear on what you do and have to offer.

Name after a problem

This is very similar to “name after a need”. However, you name your business based on the challenges your potential customers face with your competitors. Naming your business like this helps to build reassurance in your potential customers that your business service is more reliable. This method of naming usually works well with proper research. It involves you inquiring from your customers the problems they face with your competitors. This makes you stand out among your competitors and gives you an aura of reliability. For example, a name like Swift Networks tells your customers that the network you offer provides fast access to the internet; a name like Tidy Plumbers tells your customers hope that you offer well-cultured plumbers who know and appreciate what customer service is.

Adopt a word and make it yours

This involves adopting a common word in the English Language or forming an acronym that figuratively or symbolically represents your business. For example, a computer manufacturing company is named after a fruit, Apple, in order for it to sound “fun-spirited and not intimidating”. People usually don’t associate a fruit to a company. This is what makes this method unique. The name gives the business a symbolic meaning. This method has a great advantage because such names are catchy and people tend to remember it. Another business named in this fashion is Amazon, which is the name of the largest river in the world but also happens to be the name of the largest internet retail company in the world. The word Yahoo stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle” (come again?) and is the name of a web service provider. Shell could mean the covering or outside part of a nut but happens to be the name of an oil company. At first glance, this names look like they have nothing to do with the businesses but, to the owner they have a symbolic meaning. However, naming like this has its downsides. It will often take you a while to trade mark a general name like this.

Invent your own word

You read that right. This, unlike the previous method, involves you creating a business name from scratch. This method of naming can give you a high sense of confidence and dominance over your business. Inventing your own word can also make your business stand out because it may be the only business in the world bearing that name. These kind of names involve strategic thinking, but they can be derived from anywhere: your name, a household name or just two random words that click. For example, the name LEGO was derived from two Danish words leg godt meaning play well (source: Wikepedia). The Lego Group is the name of a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark (source: wikepedia). Other businesses named like this include: CloseUp, Gala and Indomie. However, one must take extra caution because these names have no obvious meaning and it may take sometimes before people get accustomed to them. One appeal these names have, once they have gained ground, is that they are usually used to name other products in their category. For instance, this happens when someone refers to all other toothpaste products (like Macleans, Dabur Herbal) as CloseUp.

Give it your own name

If you are the kind of person who is not interested in the jumbles of creating a name for your business, then you can take the easy lane by giving it your own name. This is by far the easiest way to name a business. Moreover, it helps to market the owner of the business as an individual. Businesses which are named in this manner include our favourite Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). This method of naming suits semi-formal businesses like blogs, modeling agencies, transport stations, and restaurants. On the other hand, this method of naming would look awkward with more formal businesses like oil/energy companies, technology companies and manufacturing companies.


If you used any of the above methods, you could come up with a fantastic name for your company that will make your business stand out among others. Remember, your business name is the medium through which people will come to know your business, so choose wisely.

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This article was first published on 27th February 2018

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