Big Ideas

Naming Your Business

Naming Your Business

23 March 2018

You need a great name and settling on something awesome will be motivating and can contribute to the success of your business.

The process can be exciting, frustrating and exhausting. And like the Wellington weather, it can be all of these at once!   

Our advice is to start with a blank sheet and a clear idea of what the name needs to say about your business. Think of some keywords, ideas and themes and set yourself a time limit. Come back to it a few times and see how you go. From there, test it out on friends or relatives – how do they feel about it and what are their ideas? 

We spoke to Richie Connell – consulting partner at Thrival Partners and Matthew Hayes - trademark and branding strategist at AJ Park, here’s what they had to say:

From a marketing, legal or IP perspective, what’s important in a business name?

Richie: There are a number of angles to approach this. It's best to first consider the market service you are offering and who you're aiming to connect with as a business. Does the name reflect this in a way that you think reflects the service offering? Then I'd ask myself 'is it memorable', 'does it flow in conversation?'. There's also around seven different 'types' of naming conventions for a business, which range from ideas like 'meaningful' and 'distinctive' through to 'ownable' and 'visual'. The trick is finding a place that you think works for the offering. Then there are taglines or descriptors to get's a process! 

Matthew: Be distinctive. Take your time to choose a name that’s distinctive and stands out from the crowd. Those can become the strongest brands.

 Be flexible. If your first choice is taken, go to your plan B. There’s no point buying a fight with someone who’s already using the same or similar name in your space when you’re starting out.

 Be proactive. Protect your name in the best way possible by filing a trade mark application. That will give you exclusive rights to the name throughout New Zealand, and then make sure you defend your patch if you need to.  

Why is naming a business so mind scattering and hard?

Richie: Because all the good ones are taken! Well, in reality, I'd think about it like this. Try to find a name that you are happy to share on a business card with a prospect. Remember you are tied to that brand by the way that you market it. So you have to like it and believe in what it stands for. So sometimes it can be a bit of a hard nut to crack. One bit of advice though - don't put a 'limited' or 'ltd' in the logo of the business. It's not a requirement and just adds noise.   

Final thoughts from Engeneo

You’ll want to ensure that a domain name is available and check that you are not treading on the intellectual property rights (IP) of others. A great tool to quickly check this is One Check, which will tell you if the company name and if domains are available. Whilst One Check will also give you an indication on whether a trade mark is available, you should not rely on this alone (we’ve seen this go wrong before). Get in touch with a reputable IP lawyer or call us and we will put you in touch with one.

We’re business curious and we’d love to hear what you have brewing. Contact us today to bat around some ideas or to talk through your business planning, accounting and taxation requirements.     

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