The Low-Down on Business Naming

Published: 2nd November 2018

By Jingo Copywriting Business Name Graphic PanelDid you know that business naming is BY FAR the most difficult (and complex) service we offer? By the time the client comes to us, they have typically tried to come up with their own business name but haven’t found the right one. We approach it with fresh eyes, experience and a good understanding of the process of naming. But the challenge can’t be underestimated. Not only does the tone of the name have to be on-brief and resonate with you, the client (and more importantly – your audience) it also has to be available on the ASIC business registry, and domain checked for .com.au and .com.

For those unfamiliar with this space, there [almost] aren’t any business names, except for perhaps a string of consonants or an individual’s first name and surname that hasn’t been registered. If it’s imaginative, creative, original, industry-relevant, then you can bet it’s been registered by someone, somewhere. This doesn’t apply to extremely unusual names like ‘Little Creatures Brewing’ or ‘Strange Company.’ These types of names aren’t usually taken. But clients rarely want business names like these. So, for more readily received ‘brand’ names, what do you do? First of all, we suggest having an open mind. Think of a name like ‘Virgin’ (Or more accurately: the ‘Virgin Group.’) Without some context to surround and ground the name, it *could* conjure up a whole range of emotions/thoughts and reactions that might not make sense to the client, and they may even feel offended that an ‘absurd’ name like this was even put forward. But with some good graphic design, tagline/s, marketing content, etc., it is seated in a context that makes sense. A name like Virgin, which at first seems ridiculous, can ultimately end up being appropriate for anything from air travel to entertainment to galactic aerospace adventures.

Secondly, consider a modifier, or a describing word to facilitate the process of making the business name available. This is particularly useful if a name has been taken, but in a different industry from yours. For example, By Jingo at the time of registration wasn’t available (I know, right! Who woulda thunk it?) but by adding the word “copywriting” (a descriptive word), ASIC approved it. This can also work in your favour when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation efforts later.

Thirdly, and this is super tricky. Put your personal word associations aside. You must think of what your customer base will connect with, once the name has an established brand Identity. If you feel as though a name like Yahoo conjures up negatives like barbarian, philistine, vulgarian, savage, brute, etc., you’d be 100% right, but if you see it in light of its function and context, it becomes completely acceptable and even works. This is the power of adoption. Allowing time to flip a name’s “dictionary definition” to work to your advantage.