According to the experts, a business name is more than part of its brand, it's a major key in the business's success. From the meaning of words to how they make people feel, the name of your business is as important as what it sells.
What's in a name? Details? Sure. Storytelling? Maybe. Success? According to these three reasons, the naming of your business is as important as what your business sells. As the first installment of our 6-month series Business Launch 101, we're diving deep into the psychology of names and how to best prepare for naming a business.
Words. Have. Meaning.
While this may seem pretty obvious, words typically have meaning. And by meaning, we're referring specific definitions. For example, we're called CLT Black Owned, those three things, together, have a pretty specific function. They express the location of our work and what we focus on: the city of Charlotte and black-owned (businesses).
Pretty straightforward, yes, but not every business will (and isn't required to) have a straightforward name. Some brands have less obvious names that can still (and hopefully do) make sense with their use of words. For example, take "The Honey Pot" company, a feminine care brand. The use of words in this case is more symbolic than literal. It works because "honeypot" can be defined as something enticing or desirable and is also a less common nickname for vaginas. In this case, while the name doesn't necessarily directly convey what's being sold, it makes sense for the business. When naming your business, it's important that the message is clear and works.
Words Can Make Us Feel/Think a Certain Way
Certain words have different connotations, feeling or ideas that are associated in addition to it's literal definition. The associations can be positive, negative, or neutral that can really make a difference for a brand. The name The Honey Pot, for example, likely has pretty positive associations because of it's use the word honey.
People think of honey as something sweet, smooth, or as even as something pure. These are all good feelings for a brand that creates products for intimate, feminine care. What could have been a little confusing- or even bad for sells- is if they'd decided to name it The Fiery Pot. Most people with vaginas likely wouldn't want their- ahem- "pot" to be filled with fire, but honey? That sounds a little more desirable. When deciding on a business name, be sure to think about how the words used might help tell your brand story and not harm it.
Words Can Help Brands Stand Out
While it's important that the name works for the brand and doesn't confuse or startle potential customers, it's also important to consider how the name might stand out. Is it memorable? It is unique? Is it easy to pronounce or "roll off the tongue"? Does it exist elsewhere? The original example The Honey Pot is a pretty simple company name. It's easy to say, not hard to remember, and stands out. Instead of being called Feminine Care Company, the creator opted to go for a name with symbolism that didn't exist elsewhere.
When thinking about the name of your business, consider what will help the name be easy to understand, memorable, and work for your brand.