Choosing a business name

E-commerce 101

Nina Barango

Mar 1, 2022

Your business name is one of the most important ways to make a good first impression on a customer. For some people, choosing a business name is easy but others might find it complex or overwhelming. Here are 3 questions to answer before your choose a name for your business.

  1. What is the story behind your business? Why are you starting a business? What is the motivation behind your decision to become a business owner at this time? Take a popular fashion brand like ASOS, for example. The name ASOS stands for “as seen on screen.” They chose this name because the business was originally intended for people to shop what celebrities were wearing. The business was immediately abbreviated to “ASOS” by users. The same thing applies to why we chose the SoPlugged name. We wanted to connect (plug) people to Black-owned businesses in Canada and that influenced our business name. 

  2. What is your business brand? Before even thinking about a name, you need to consider your brand and how you want your business to be perceived. What will your brand be known for? What will consumers associate with your brand? Will your brand appeal to a particular demographic, embody a unique style, or represent a specific value system? It is important your business name aligns with this image because it will become the foundation of your branding. After answering these questions, you will likely spawn ideas and adjectives for your brand, and you might find a suitable business name.

  3. What is your competitive advantage? To answer this question, you need to build upon your value proposition. Consider your business offering and why consumers should choose you over a competitor. Highlight keywords that describe your product or brand. Can any of these be turned into a business name? Think about combining some of these words to create a compound word or deliberately misspelling some of them to create a new name.

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to do some brainstorming. Think of words that describe your brands and your products, with no idea being unworthy of being written down. When you’ve exhausted your ideas, go through everything you’ve written down. Try to identify the thoughts that are most representative of your brand and see if a business name emerges.

Conclusion

We recommend having a short, pronounceable, and intuitive name that represents your brand. If people are consistently misspelling your business name or mispronouncing it, you could run into issues in an online search. Try a few different names with friends and family, ask them either how they'd pronounce the word or what their suggestion would be. These names need to be catchy, memorable, and uncomplicated to make sure they stick.  

However, before you get too attached to a name, you need to make sure it’s unique and available. You can quickly search the complete list of registered business names and trademarks in Canada by carrying out a NUANS search.


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