How To Name Your Business

How To Name Your Business

When you have already developed an idea and a business plan, it is important to decide on the name you are going to give to your business. It is actually the next step you need to do once you have decided to set up your own business.  You will have to register your business with this name. You will do all marketing and advertising related to your business with this name.

Now the important question is how to come up with the best possible name for your company. It is possible that you are overflowing with suggestions from your friends and family. But it is necessary to make the best selection of name.  If your name is not acceptable by the market, your business may never be successful.

Identifying your target consumers will give you the first lead towards naming your business.  You can ask yourself the following questions or do a market survey.

·         What is the average age group of the consumers?

·         What is the language preference of the consumers?

·         What are the tastes of the consumers?

Your name should also be URL ready.  That means the domain name you wish to have is not already taken up by another business. You can easily create your own website with your company name without facing any legal issues.

A.       Let us look at the various ways successful companies have named their business and have been able to stand out:

1.       Use of two Different Languages:

When you are thinking of a name you must be thinking of only English names. But have you ever thought of coming up with a Hinglish name? Taking an English and a hindi word and putting them together can form a meaningful word. The local target customers will have a special fondness of such names. These names will be unique and hence less chances of someone else already using it.



SodaBottleOpenerWala is an Irani café which has used this trick to the best.  We all relate to a Chaiwala- a person selling tea. Hence we will all can relate to this restaurant as a cafe which also has a bar and serves drinks.

Radio Manpasand is an interactive radio program.  The public will have a ready acceptability of the name because of the presence of the word “Manpasand”, which means favorite.  One look at the name will immediately suggest that is a very popular radio show.


2.       Name on the basis of a Region of operation:

When you first set up a business, you know which locality you will be performing your activities in the initial few years. You will concentrate on a particular area, or a city or a country and then expand your business to other regions. So, you can name your business according to the name of that region you choose to start in. That way, when your business expands globally, people would know where your business originated from.


The entrepreneur, Harland Sanders began selling the fried chicken in a roadside restaurant in Kentucky.  Hence the name Kentucky Fried chicken.

The origin of the bank lies mainly in Hong Kong.  The first branch was opened In Shanghai.  From these two regions comes the name Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation.


3.       Misspelled English Words:

The deliberate use of incorrect spelling while branding products is also known as Sensational Spelling. One disadvantage of this method is that it might be difficult to locate your business or search your business on the internet. But on the other hand, it has that special effect to draw attention of consumers.  Some common means of doing so is:


·         Replacing “C” with ” K”

·         Replacing “Ph” with “F”

·         Replacing  “Z” with “X”




Kelloggs has changed the spelling of “Fruits” to “froots” and used two colored loops to represent the two “O”s. This kind of spelling and animation instantly catches the eyes of the children, the major target customers of the product.

This is a digital library consisting of e-books, audio books etc. The word “scribed” literally means “written”. Here the vowel “E” has been deliberately omitted but the pronunciation has remained the same.


4.       Use of someone’s name or the family name:

Irrespective of the type of activities or place of business, you can keep the name after your surname. This will ensure that customers will relate to your products and services with the goodwill of the family for generations to come.



 Both Jamshetji Tata and Jamnalal Bajaj chose their surnames as company names.

Customers have faith in the quality of its products because of the reputation of these names.


Instead of your surname you can use your own name in naming your business.


Yash Chopra used his own name in branding his film production company.



5.       Name that directly suggests the activities:

 You can come up with a name which directly explains the type of products that you are selling or the type of services you are providing.  Your name will give the customers a clear view of which activities you are involved in. This process is simple and effective as there is no uncertainty about the nature business among the consumers’ mind.


As it is evident from the name itself, it is an online movie and events ticketing brand.


You can get a little more creative here.  Use the activities of the business in an intersecting manner.


This name was a result of brainstorming session. Jack Dorsey, one of the founders said that the definition of twitter was ‘short burst of inconsequential information’ and ‘chirps from birds’.  That’s exactly what the product was.


6.       Use of Initials:

Your company name can be the initials of your name or that of your partners. There are disadvantages of this type of naming. These names are repetitive and boring. It will fail to catch the curiosity of the public.


The initials of the principal founding members form the name of this accounting and auditing firm. 

K: Klynveld, Piet

P: Peat, William Barclay

M: Marwick, James

G: Dr. Goerdeler


It is not necessary that the initials have to be that of your name. You can use initials of a meaningful phrase.



The initials originally stood for “Lucky Goldstar”.  But now it is being promoted as “Life’s Good” in marketing campaigns.


7.       Alpha numeric names:

You can make your business name comprising of both letter and numbers.  These numbers can indicate different versions of your product  (Apple 5, 6) or product’s physical attributes ( V8 engine).


This is a film studio spelled as Twentieth Century Fox Film Co operation.