Companies choose their brand name as early in the process as possible. So it’s crucial to be smart about choosing a good one. What are the most common mistakes people make when choosing a company name?
Mistake #1: Going for a name too unoriginal and bland
This is one of the most common mistakes that many small businesses make when choosing a name for their company. It’s important to pick a name that reflects the company’s personality and values.
A study by the University of Pennsylvania has shown that the more unique a company name is, the more likely it is to be successful. The study also found that companies with unusual names are more likely to have higher conversion rates, higher profits, and fewer competitors than companies with standard naming conventions.
Mistake #2: Choosing a similar name to an existing brand in the industry
The mistake of using a popular brand name for your product or service can be deadly for your brand. This can actually backfire on you because it can lead to your business being seen as an imitation of the original product.
The company needs to have an identity that stands out from those popular brands and create its own unique selling point. So don’t bother naming your coffeeshop “Starbox” for instance.
Mistake #3: Adding an acronym to your brand name
You should be careful when you are coming up with your own company name because you don’t want to confuse your audience. When you create an acronym, you are not only diluting the power of your brand name. But you are also limiting the potential opportunities for your brand name to grow in the future.
If you’re thinking of using an acronym, ask yourself if the acronym is already used by another company or if it will cause confusion for your audience. Opposite is also true, make sure that your brand name doesn’t come across as the acronym of a common phrase or expression. A popular example would be the clothing brand “GAP“. Many people think that it stands for the acronym “Gay and Proud”. While it sounds factual, it isn’t true.
Mistake #4: Choosing a weird or even offensive name
Choosing a weird or offensive name for your brand can have a negative impact on your business. It is important to know that the name of your company will be the first thing people see when they are looking for you, so it is essential to make sure that it is professional and desirable.
For example, poor name choices put Nestle in the middle of a big controversy. The company had to rebrand some of its candies like “Beso de Negra” (meaning “kiss from a Black woman” in Spanish) in order to eliminate racial stereotyping.
Mistake #5: Not considering trademark infringement
Trademarks are the legal rights to use a company name, logo, and slogan. A lot of businesses make this mistake when they choose their company names. In order to avoid any trademark infringement, it is important to check if the trademark is registered in all countries that you want your business to operate in.
Apropos, McDonald’s has a long track record of questionable trademark suits. They have sued a motel called “McSleep” and a dental practice called “McDental”.
Mistake #6: Spelling the brand name incorrectly in order to “appeal” to a particular audience
This is a common mistake that many brands make. They spell the brand name incorrectly on purpose because they believe that it will help them reach a wider audience. However, this can lead to confusion among consumers and may cause negative reactions from their followers.
Brands that spell their name incorrectly are more likely to get penalized by search engines and will be less visible on social media.
Mistake #7: Choosing a generic or meaningless name
A generic name is a name that has no meaning. This is the type of name you might see on a company website or social media account. These names are typically chosen because they are easier to pronounce and spell, but they often lack any kind of personality or meaning.
On the other hand, meaningless names are typically chosen because they sound cool, unique, or trendy. They may also be chosen for their potential for SEO purposes. However, these names often don’t have any meaning at all and can be difficult to remember and spell.
Mistake #8: Thinking there is only one “right” type of company name
When you’re trying to find a name for your company, it’s easy to get caught up thinking that there is only one right type of company name. But the reality is that you should make sure you choose an appropriate name for your business based on the audience and industry.
We should not think of these names as fixed entities. But rather as flexible entities that we can use to create a certain type of brand. While some companies might want to be very specific in their branding, others might want to be more general and wide reaching. Names are very personal, so it is best to choose a company name that you feel comfortable with.
Tips for choosing the best business name
- You want your business name to reflect what you do, what you sell and your target audience.
- It should be catchy and memorable yet easy to pronounce.
- Names should be trademarked in order for them not to get stolen by someone else.
- You want it easy to remember and memorable so other people can find you on the internet.
- Consider if there are any negative connotations or associations with the words you’re using.
- Make sure it’s spelled correctly; Google spellcheck can help make sure this is 100% accurate.