What NOT to Do When Naming A Business

Continuing with the subject of names, in this piece we are listing some of the major ‘don’ts’ of naming your brand/product.

These are the things you should watch out for.



1. Decide the name together with a huge number of people

It is always good to take suggestions because the probability of someone besides the founder coming up with a decent name is not actually too slim. So give your team a chance as they may genuinely bring something great to the table.


However, the final call should be one person’s or a few people. So if there is more than one founder of a company they could reserve that right for themselves only. The reason for this is that one thing never appeals to everyone and if you start listening to everything everyone around you is saying then you will have a very hard time.

This actually goes beyond just naming things. Throughout your career as a businessman you will need to make some decisions and call the shots. Make sure that everyone knows whose word is the ultimate one.

Since new business owners are often starting from very little, they can feel immense pressure to bring as many people on their team as possible and keep them all happy. You have to fight against that pressure and trust yourself.

Of course this is not to say that no one should be allowed to make suggestions, but the brains behind the business should ultimately consider, analyze and decide what to do about any suggestion.

2. Try to blend in

You are entering a new industry;  Setting yourself apart from your competition is not a bad thing.

When you are offering additional or a you want people to notice you. different kind of value through your product or service then you want to create that distinction.

Also, following in the footsteps of others in the business or trying to be like them will reduce the new company to a ‘dupe’ status. In order to create your own identity and place in the market, you should be trying to stand out.

3. Incorporate geography if you are not planning on staying local

If you don’t plan to sell cosmetics in Virginia alone, don’t name your brand Virginia Cosmetics. It can be seen as giving your brand a clear identity and where it came from and so the appeal is understandable, but that benefit will be reaped ten years down the line.

You need a name that will help you grow in the beginning and then also hold a torch to your brand in the long run. So consider what impact limiting your product to geographical region will have on the growth of your business.

4. Use common terms if you are going to use a metaphor

If you are going to use a metaphors for ideas such as purity (for green products) or being at the top of your game (concept befitting names such as Top, Pinnacle and the like), don’t make them too general.


For example, don’t use names such as Bio Green Foods for an organic food company. You can use the name of a plant or an important ingredient that is part of your cuisine and go from there.

Using a name that is too common strangely makes your brand name more forgettable.
Being specific shows that you put thought into it and people are also more prone to recall such names.

5. Use unusual spellings for common words

It will also make it difficult to find you. You don’t want to create or encourage any confusion regarding your identity or existence.

You don’t want people to ask ‘Is this the company my friend was talking about?’ They should be able to recognize you.

Also, do not employ homonyms.

6. Force a name or a part of it

If something doesn’t fit, let it go. Don’t restrict yourself by focusing on just one pun or interesting word you come upon. It is hard to let go of ideas you think are really good, but sometime we need to especially, when they are clashing with other more important things.

Catchy names roll off the tongue and have a nice ring to them. So coming up with a great pun that is a mouthful and complicated is not better than coming up with a succinct, functional, aesthetically pleasing name.

If you can think of any other don’ts, feel free to share them with us. We would love to read them!

Continuing with the subject of names, in this piece we are listing some of the major ‘don’ts’ of naming your …

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