In the world of marketing, PR, patents, domains, social media and other important intellectual property and stuff, there lies a very important, often mismanaged piece of defining your brand. Yup, your business name.

A friend and member of Ambitious Diva asked what she should name her business and within minutes I jokingly chimed in and she came up with a cute name that would work well for her crochet business. Is it always so easy? Likely not.

Your business name will identify you in the marketplace, just as your personal name sets you apart. Unlike your personal name, your business name shouldn’t be a copycat or named after another business because of this thing called IP law and trademarks. Additionally, your business name should be unique and encompass what your brand stands for.

It could be simple or it could be a made up term like Google (I don’t think it was a word before it became a search engine giant). It could take on your name as in the case of J Powers Marketing & Publicity but you could try working with something catchy like Syfy (formerly Sci Fi Channel) or ResQ, a pet product.

It really is all in identifying what name really reflects your company’s mark and also creating name and putting a unique product and service behind it, giving the name meaning.

Following that, legal steps should be taken to make sure no one else owns it and so that you can claim ownership. You can start at LegalZoom or go to TESS on the USPTO.gov website and search the existing trademarks before registering yours. On the city and state level you may need to register it so do your homework.

When that’s done, be sure to search domains, Facebook and Twitter to make sure you can grab all accounts to be associated with your business. You’ll want to have these as part of your online marketing arsenal.

Naming your baby might actually be easier because you look in a book, ask your parents and in-laws and you slap a name on the kid and hope they turn out okay. With your business, so much hangs on it and can make the different between being memorable and attractive to forgettable in your industry. Don’t end up that way. Do your research, do a focus group (get those NDA’s ahead of time) and find out what will work for you.

Don’t rush the process and if you need some help, give me a ring!

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