Five Things to Think About Before Naming Your Company


The days of naming your company after the generic term for the product or service you offer are long gone. While names like Tasty Bakery or A1 Painting might seem like logical choices, there are a number of considerations that need to be dealt with. Finding the right name means achieving both marketing and technical objectives. Here are five key points to consider when coming up with your company’s name.

  1. Is it taken? A quick online search will let you know if another company is using the name. Even if they are, you may still be able to use it if the industry is different or the company is based in another country. Modifying the spelling may also be a option. For example changing 360 Photography to Three60 Photography. This could also make it easier to grab a unique Twitter handle or YouTube channel name. You may also want to consult a copyright lawyer for any potential trademark issues.
  2. Fad terms and cliché’s. Today’s “Pokistop” and “selfie” will be tomorrow’s trivia questions. Also, words like innovate, synergy, and quality don’t belong in a name. If you have to use your company name to state the obvious, then you’re trying too hard. That’s why it’s called a name, not a description.
  3. How does it sound? A New York University study found that people with names that sound pleasing and are easy to say had higher status positions. The same could be said for companies. That’s why your company name should be easy to understand and repeat – especially if you’re depending on word of mouth.
  4. Spelling doesn’t count. Contrary to what you learned in school, your company name does not need to be spelled correctly. For example, Sonic can become Sonik. These subtle changes can make your name more memorable and may help with trademark or website domain issues. But keep in mind that the more changes you make, the more challenging it may be to read your marketing material or search for your company online.
  5. There are no rules. While these tips will help guide you in the right direction, the fact is there is no formula. Thirty years ago, companies with names like Yahoo, Amazon or Alibaba would never be taken seriously. And yet today these are household names. What’s important to understand is that your name should be able to grow and reflect the values of both your company and your customers.

Marc Gordon is a recognized marketing expert. He regularly appears on TV and radio. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit or his online show at for more business tips.