Choosing the right Business Name

This can be the most exciting or excruciating task but still the most important because once you have it, then you must stick with it.  We all want to have the best and memorable business name. One that is timeless, evergreen and irreplaceable. Some business names are so good, they invent a new language.

Granted, we won’t all be the next Tusker or Sony, a weak business name is like going to a match with boots that have no studs. It won’t stop you from playing but you won’t be able to compete on the same footing as the rest.

There are examples of companies falling flat just on the name front. Reebok once developed a sneaker for women and called it Incubus. Horrifying because  according to wikipedia “An incubus is a demon that may pursue sexual relations with a woman in her sleep in order to father a child” . The mighty Ford had a faux pas of their own when they tried to sell the Pinto in Brazil. There were no buyers because Pinto is slang for small male genitalia.

Closer home, there’s a town in the highlands of Kenya where businesses are almost exclusively after the owners or their family members. You have names like Patrick’s Shop or Wa-Kevin Distributors. The creative ones combine parts of their names and come with JAMEKA enterprises (owned by James Kaka).

Your business name should  have a big impact on people .

What do you need to avoid when creating a business name:

  1. Trend Related Names – Because trends do not last
  2. Clever Names – Names that try too hard to make an impression.
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Geographic Names – Unless you are trying to create a strong geographic allegiance
  5. Your Name / Family
  6. Cryptic Names – Names that confuse the customers or are hard to figure out

What is in a good name you may ask. Here are some points to look out for;

  1. Short – The shorter the name the better so try and keep it around 8 characters. Whereas this rule is not cast in stone. Start listing the top global and national brands and see.
  2. Specific – The name should be aligned to your business, or the nature of it. Com in Safaricom is for communications.
  3. Unique – It must not be a copy, modification or spinoff of an existing name.
  4. Memorable – Easy to remember, like google. If it becomes part of the language, even better.
  5. Creative – You must earn the creative points especially now that we’re talking creative enterprise.

To develop a name you might need a dictionary, thesaurus and an open mind. It might require more than one person to sift through the name ideas. Some approaches in getting a list of names include alliteration, idioms, wordplay, expressions, quotes. Have fun while at it.

Once you find the name you like, head on to the nearest Huduma Centre and start the process of business name registration. In  addition, google is your friend in ensuring that your name does not exist anywhere else including on the social media platforms. Also ensure that the name is available as a domain because online presence is everything these days.



  • kiama
    1 year ago

    This is good.

  • Dennis
    1 year ago

    Ideation stage is important in branding

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