top of page
  • Writer's pictureKerryDawes

The Art and Impact of Business Naming - Marketing tips for small businesses

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Choosing a business name is more than just a formality; it’s a strategic decision that can significantly influence the success and marketing trajectory of your venture. Equally, people can often spend too much time on their name, assuming it means a lot, but in reality it is just the first step of a more complex marketing plan.

In this guide, we’ll explore the different approaches to business naming and dissect how a name can make or break your brand.

1. The Literal Approach:

Some businesses opt for a straightforward, literal name that clearly describes what they do. This approach can be advantageous for conveying your offerings immediately, making it easier for potential customers to understand your business at a glance. However, it may lack the intrigue or memorability of more abstract names. It can also often be reduced to an acronym to make it more easy to remember. For example: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

2. The Descriptive Approach:

A descriptive name provides a bit more detail about your business without being overly explicit. It can capture the essence of your offerings while allowing for a touch of creativity. Striking a balance between clarity and intrigue, this approach can be effective in attracting customers seeking specific products or services. For example: The Royal Bank of Scotland

3. The Abstract Approach:

Choosing a name that is more abstract allows for creativity and uniqueness. It allows you to adapt existing words or make something entirely new! Abstract names often evoke a certain feeling or image, giving your business a distinct personality. While this approach can be memorable, it may require more effort in branding to convey the nature of your business. For Example: Ocado

4. The Experiential Approach:

An experiential name focuses on the customer’s experience with your product or service. It aims to create an emotional connection, emphasizing the benefits or outcomes customers can expect. This approach can be powerful in shaping a positive perception of your brand. For Example: We Work

5. Founder / Owner Name:

If all else fails you can leverage your name or initials. This works well when building a personal brand and reputation but through smart marketing can become synonymous with the services or products you offer. For Example: Walt Disney

Names for small businesses UK

Additional things to take into account when selecting the name for your new business:

Considerations for Success:

  • Memorability: A memorable name is a marketing asset. It makes it easier for customers to recall and recommend your business.

  • Pronunciation: Ensure your name is easy to pronounce to facilitate word-of-mouth marketing. Complicated names may lead to confusion.

  • Domain Availability: In today’s digital age, securing a matching domain and social media handles is crucial. Check the availability of your desired domain and social handles on all potential channels before finalizing the name. Remember if one isn't available look for adaptations like 'UK' or add your services at the end.

  • Cultural Sensitivity: Be mindful of cultural nuances and potential interpretations of your business name, especially if you plan to operate internationally.

Branding and Marketing Impact:

  • First Impressions: Your business name is often the first interaction customers have with your brand. Make it count by creating a positive and lasting impression.

  • Differentiation: A unique and well-crafted name helps your business stand out in a crowded market. It can be a competitive advantage, aiding in brand differentiation.

  • Marketing Versatility: A versatile name provides room for creative marketing strategies. It should adapt seamlessly to various channels, from social media to traditional advertising.

  • Storytelling: A compelling name can serve as a starting point for your brand story. Use your business name to communicate the values and vision that set you apart.

What Not to Do:

  • Avoid Trends: Trendy names may quickly become outdated. Opt for a timeless choice that will age well.

  • Overly Complicated: Long or complicated names can be challenging for customers to remember and can lead to misspellings.

  • Assume you'll be top of Google: Just because you own a domain with a certain keyword in it, it doesn't mean you will be top of Google for that, or variations of that keyword. Often services keywords are dominated by governing bodies, industry leaders or long standing businesses which can be hard to compete against. The right name can influence your Google ranking but is by no means the silver bullet so don't pick a name for that purposes.

In conclusion, choosing a business name is a critical step that requires careful consideration but also the first step for a much wider marketing strategy. Whether you opt for a literal, descriptive, abstract, or experiential approach, prioritize memorability, and ensure your name aligns with your branding and marketing goals. A well-chosen business name can be a catalyst for success, leaving a lasting imprint on your customers’ minds and setting the stage for effective marketing initiatives.

If you're still stuck or want ongoing marketing mentoring to help bring to life your overall marketing strategy, get in touch for an obligation free to chat to see how we can help launch your new business. Alternatively follow us for more tips, advice and tools designed for small businesses.


bottom of page