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Tips on how to think of a business name from real organisations

6 minute read

Thinking of a name for your organisation is as hard as choosing a name for a newborn baby or new pet. Parents and new pet owners deliberate extensively about what the perfect name is, and the same goes for entrepreneurs and founders of new businesses and charities. Choosing a name which captures the essence of what your organisation aims to achieve, the ethos, character, beliefs and what you’re going to offer customers is no easy feat, after all, that’s a lot to ask of what’s usually only a couple of words.

We’ve shared before some tips on how to choose a perfect name for your business, but for this article we’ve enlisted the help of a few of our UK Domain Leaders, fantastic small businesses and charities who have shared their top tips on how you can think of a great business name from their own real-life experiences.

Chris at Katharine House Hospice – “think about the future”

Communications Officer at Katharine House Hospice, Chris, shares some top tips from his experience of working in a charity and also personally naming other businesses:

Provide some information on your business or charity

“Your business name is the first contact people will have with your business or charity. It’ll be the first impression someone has of your business, and it’s important it says the right things about you as a person and a business. Try to pick a business name that provides some information on what your business or charity does.”

Make it easy to remember and find your business

“Make it as easy as possible for people to find and remember you! Think about spelling and pronunciation, and avoid unusual spellings, they can cause difficulty when people try to Google you.”

Check the name is available

“Check registered companies on the Companies House website. Also, search domain names and social media to see if it already exists. If you’re using a foreign name, make sure it translates to what you think it translates to!”

Think about the future

“Brands like Ford, Coca-Cola, and Virgin have been around for tens if not hundreds of years. Will the name you pick go out of fashion quickly, or will it stand the test of time? Also, remember to pick a name that doesn’t box you in or restrict you too much.”

Oak Tree Animals’ Charity – “the new name was one of our biggest decisions and one of the most interesting to develop…”

Founded back in 1909, Oak Tree Animals’ Charity is a charity which offers unwanted animals a second chance through rehabilitation, rehoming, education, and support. Oak Tree rebranded in 2016 which included changing the name of the organisation. General Manager Caroline shared some top tips with us when it comes to thinking of a name for a charity:

Think about your character, work, and objectives

“Select a name that reflects the character of your organisation, your work, and charitable objectives. Using ‘Oak Tree’ in our title reflects our long-established heritage providing shelter and protection with roots in a firm foundation and continual growth.”

Supporters and clients will need to identify with your name

“Choose a name that your supporters and clients can identify with and understand. Including charity in the name itself states positively that we have clear charitable objectives and are there to help animals in many ways. It also positively reinforces that we rely solely on the help of others’ generosity to survive.”

Think about location

“Consider where your supporters are located, is your new name too limiting to attract new support from different target areas? Oak Trees are not just one of our country’s most loved indigenous species, it is also our address, Oak Tree Farm.”

Engage with any current supporters right from the start

“Engage your supporters with the process right from the very beginning, with regular communication and opportunities for constructive feedback. The new name was one of our biggest decisions and one of the most interesting to develop as people have a huge emotional attachment and investment in the name of a charity they have supported for years.”

Karen Jones Reflexology – “choose a name that represents your business”

Karen Jones, a qualified reflexologist, offers a range of face and foot reflexology treatments in Oxfordshire. Here are some top tips from Karen from her experience on choosing Karen Jones Reflexology as her business name:

Think of what represents your business

“Choose a name that represents your business. My name was my brand hence why I chose it to be my business name.”

Consider your industry

“I decided to use my name for my business as in my industry people buy from people. It also makes it very clear exactly what I do and is good for my SEO

Honeypot Cottages – “we couldn’t imagine ourselves being called anything different”

Run by Andy and Sarah Smith, Honeypot Cottages offers holiday cottages in and around Chipping Campden, Broadway and the surrounding villages. Here’s what you can learn from Andy’s experience of naming their business:

It takes time

“We started Honeypot Cottages after much deliberation over what to call ourselves. We bought The Honeypot in 2007 and didn’t start a company for over a year.

Think of what images the name conjures up in your mind

“We thought the name should contain Cotswold or Cotswolds but we decided on Honeypot Cottages because it made sense. Not only because of the name of our cottage but it fits with the honey-coloured Cotswold stone we have locally and it also conjures up an image of cute, cosy, and warm cottages”

Trust your gut

“It also rolls off the tongue and we couldn’t imagine ourselves being called anything different.”

Halsey’s Deli & Eatery – “announce your specialism”

Mark and Kim Henry own Halsey’s Deli & Eatery, a deli dating back to the 1850’s in Hitchin stocking award-winning cheeses, pies, teas, and coffees. Here are some of Mark’s top tips when it comes to thinking of a business name:

Think industry, specialism, and personality

“I’ve long held that a company name should deliver against some or all of the following – it should relate to your chosen industry, it should help announce your specialism or make a connection to the service/products you offer and if possible reflect the nature of your business…a hint of it’s ‘personality’ if you like.”

Research

“It’s well worth researching all company names similar to those you are considering: you don’t want to be confused with a competitor in the same sector or (and possibly worse) a company in a completely different industry.”

Short and easy to remember

“I believe it should be short and easily remembered – this from a man who started his career working for Queensland And Northern Territories Aerial Services (or QANTAS as they are better known).”

Stopcocks Women Plumbers – “add to your unique brand”

Stopcocks Women Plumbers, the national plumbing company dedicated to supporting women in the industry has a truly unique name thought of by founder and “business name genius” Hattie Hasan. Here’s Mica’s, Development and Marketing Director at Stopcocks, top tip:

Be unique

“Our founder Hattie Hasan is a business name genius. She’s come up with several excellent business names but her first hand best is ours, Stopcocks Women Plumbers. It works brilliantly in the UK where people have a silly, punny sense of humour and adds to our unique brand by being easy to remember.”

Karakorum – “Good things can come out of a strong brew”

Artisan crafts business Karakorum specialises in showcasing and selling beautiful, fairly traded, and ethically sourced products from around the world. Founder, Natasha shares her top tips for choosing a business name:

Brainstorm

“Write down every name you can think of and let them all percolate for a while. Good things can come out of a strong brew. Don’t be too hasty.”

Check and then check again

“Is it available? Check domain names as well as social media. Has it already been used? I found a name that I loved only to realise someone was sitting on the website. Also, is it too commonplace that if someone tried to search for it you would be on the millionth page?

Ask for opinions

“When you have narrowed it down, ask people what they think. There are also websites where you can test names out.”

Flowers with Passion – “Everyone kept saying how passionate I came over…”

Flowers with Passion, run by husband and wife team, Sara and Carl, is an award-winning florist based in the beautiful Lancashire countryside offering flowers for all occasions, from bouquets, to weddings, events, and funerals. Sara shared with us her experience of choosing the business name:

Listen to what people tell you

“After qualifying for the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year final we needed a name that summed up the business and would be easy on the eye from a customer searching out a florist. The one thing that everyone kept saying was how passionate I came over. I believed this to be true and so Flowers with Passion was born.

Check your domain name is available

“flowerswithpassion.co.uk was available and through hard work and oodles of passion we are a thriving shop and online business.”

There’s lots to consider when thinking of a name for your new business, so don’t try to rush the process. Instead, enjoy the experience and take the opportunity to plan what you want your business to aspire to, your goals, personality, and brand. Don’t forget to speak to your friends, family, and if possible potential customers to get their opinions on any business names you have in the pipeline. If you’re ready to check whether your website and email address are available, you can head over to our free domain tool. You can also find lots more advice on getting online and growing your online presence in our ‘Get Online’ section.  

Zoe works as a Content Marketing Executive at the UK Domain. Previously working in advertising and the sporting industry, Zoe has over four years experience in marketing.

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