2: Choosing your company name

brandWhen choosing your company name, first you have to decide between something descriptive or unique or both.

An example of a descriptive name, would be something like Bob’s Chimney Service, a unique name might just be something like Zoopah. Both types of names have distinct advantages and disadvantages. A descriptive name allows people to immediately know what your company is about.

The downside to purely descriptive names is they got lost in a sea of other descriptive names in peoples minds. Was it Bob’s chimney service I call, or Joe’s or was it Tommas Chimney service?

With unique names, they are less likely to be confused with those of a competitor, however until people have seen them many times, they might not remember what they were at all: what is that “z-something” chimney company I always phone?

It’s no surprise that the worlds largest brands are unique or repurposed common words, and most smaller local companies are descriptive. Those are the best choices for both respectively. If you’re aiming to be a top brand, you want something unique. If you’re looking to have a local following for chimney repair a purely descriptive name is probably the best choice for your company.

A third option, often much harder is a name which is both descriptive and unique. Coca-Cola is the world’s leading soda. While Cola is the flavour of soda, by adding Coca they have helped to make it unique. Nescafe used the word cafe rather than coffee combined some letters to make a pleasant sounding unique word, which is both descriptive and unique for a coffee brand. SubWay is a nice balanced unique word combining Sub and way, a way to get a submarine sandwich. MTV simply added the letter M to help signify Music TV. Microsoft simply combined the words Micro and Software to get Microsoft. The Home Depot is probably the most boring brand in the top 100 brands, simply using the common words Home to identify as a suppler of home goods, and depot to show they are a store.

What I found really interesting is that out of 100 of the worlds top brands identified by Forbes Magazine, only 6 of them have anything descriptive in their names, the rest are simply unique relying on people to know about their brands and what they do.

So if you’ve got the time, money and long-term vision to cement your brand into the minds of the consumer. You should create a unique name for your business.