A company name sets the tone for your brand and also helps to communicate what type of industry you’re in and/or what kind of services you provide. At Merit, some of our clients come to us knowing they want to rename their businesses, and other times we end up discovering through brand research and strategy work that a name change is necessary.
Key questions to ask yourself:
- Does your name inform prospective customers in a helpful way?
- How much brand awareness do you currently have? Be objective and conduct surveys/research.
- Are there related or non-related companies that have similar names? If so, is this causing confusion?
- Is your name unique and easy to remember? Does it sound generic? Is it too long or difficult to spell or pronounce? Are there any negative connotations?
- Are you easy to find online or are you buried? (Note: This can be a fixable issue with a comprehensive content strategy and commitment to best SEO practices.)
Possible reasons to consider a new name:
- You’d like to be more relevant/memorable/unique/accessible
- You’re starting a new company/organization
- You’re modifying your service/product offerings
- You’re catering to a new/different consumer segment
- You’re merging with another company or acquiring another entity
- You’re restructuring your business or your staff
- You're moving your business to a new location
How to develop a strategic name:
- Define your company’s core values and think about how your brand voice plays into the feel of a name.
- Are you traditional or modern? Serious or light-hearted? Is it important to have a conceptual name or an explanatory name?
- Analyze your competitors.
- Think about how your name will translate to a URL. Research what domain names are available vs. taken and what variations you can explore.
- Consider hiring a trademark attorney to ensure there are no potential legal conflicts.
Just for fun, we've compiled a short list of a few companies we think did an exceptional job choosing strategic names.