The complexity of business name ideas reflects a central truth: one of the marks of a successful person is their ability to make the difficult seem easy. Some people believe that choosing a name for your business to be one of the easier parts of starting an enterprise. People who believe that are part of the reason many businesses fail within their first few years. Business names require more than just something trendy that sounds cute on a business card. There are laws, and social psychology that come into play to choosing business name ideas.
Business Name Ideas- State Laws
In the United States, individual states have the right to make laws about business names. Many states require you to formally file a business name. If you are the sole proprietor of a company, they expect you to use your name for the business unless you file a form with an official trade name, or alternate owner.
Most people who begin a company or small business turn to trades groups that specialize in names and know the laws that have to be employed to ensure that the name catchy business names should meet the criteria and should be filed accordingly. A business name must also comply with community standards for language use and any other state statutes reflecting on the nature of the names.
Business Name Ideas- Copyrights
Another thing to consider is when generating business name ideas is whether your company violates any major copyright laws or infringes on the property of another. Never assume a local business is too small to come under scrutiny of larger and more legalistic companies.
A large corporate coffee shop sued a small local coffee house in El Paso, Texas named Jamocha because the name infringed on one of their “signature creations”. The small shop did not have the money or power to take on the corporation and instead changed their name. This cost the small company profits in reissuing everything from menu’s to state paperwork.
Be sure your business name ideas could in no way involve the name of a corporation that has copyright or trade regulations in its favor.
Business Name Ideas- Catchy Doesn’t Cut It
After all the laws are met, there is still human psychology to consider. Some thing a catchy or cute name will be enough to get the customer interested, however that only goes so far. Many people can remember and even comment on a cute name, but will never go into the store or business. Business name ideas have to do more than just roll off the tongue. They must also tell the potential customer what the business is about.
Consider the case of a book and coffee shop named Miss Muffet’s Tuffet. Thinking they were capitalizing on the well known nursery rhyme, they picked a cute name for their store where they wanted people to sit down and read. However, the number one comment the owner began to hear around town was, “what is that place?” The name was changed to Miss Muffet’s Coffee Emporium and business began to accrue.
Business Name Ideas- It’s All About Meaning
One of the most important things a business needs to look at while choosing business name ideas is how it is going to be perceived in the mind of the target customer. By studying the psychological effects of words and their abilities to motivate human behavior, business image professionals are able to help make sure the name means the same thing to the audience as it does to the owner. A good name should both be memorable, and clear about the intent or product of the business.
Business Name Ideas- Layers of Motivation
While a good name adds meaning, a great name also involves layers of understanding that people can relate with. In other words, not only does the name encourage people to know what the business does, but also helps people attach values like safety, longevity and prosperity to its name. In the above example, Miss Muffet’s Coffee Emporium uses the word “Emporium” to give the business credibility. Emporium is an older word that associates stability, class and culture with its meaning. All those ideas work together the give the customer a visual and emotional mindset that helps them anticipate the store.
Picking a name may seem like a small part of starting your businesses. However, you want to pursue your business name ideas with care, because if your first step is a bad one you’ll pay for it later on.