06 Mar 2012

How important is your business name?

What’s in a name? If you’re a business, probably quite a lot.

What do you think? How effective has your business name proved? Would you keep the same name if you were starting your business again?

A first impression

Whether you’re Google, Bill’s Camping Supplies or Acme Capital, your name is integral to how customers perceive you – and, while a name alone can never make a company, it can probably help to sink one.

At no point does your name have to work harder however, than on a first impression. Nine times from ten, it’s the very first thing a new customer will hear about your business.

The impression it makes is therefore critical – it needs to convey what’s essential about your business, start building trust and be memorable.

Your name is also a chance to begin telling customers how you differ from your competition.


As your business progresses, it’s your name that carries your business’ identity. It becomes inextricably linked to your reputation, history and characteristics.

It will also speak for your successes (and failures), and the longer you’ve existed, the more it will represent experience and trust in the mind of the market.

What’s most important is what others make of it. For the marketplace, a company is its name and vice-versa.

A lead

Of course, when your name works best is when customers think of it automatically when starting down the path on their buying decision.

This is where names come into their own, but building a name with this level of traction takes time and effort (one of the reasons that re-branding is something that’s usually a dramatic move).

So the question is, would you keep the same name if you were starting your business again? Or if it’s not your company, would you suggest a name change?