How to name a new company?
I am literally in the epitome of the "seed" stage with my company. I am the only person, and have no customers, but want to start my branding in the right way. I am looking for some feedback on naming my "company". I am a recruiter that would like to launch a resume review/ interview coaching company that strives to help people throughout the entire process. I currently have "The Review Board" as my generic title, because I dont want to have to teach people what my name means. Do you think this title is sufficient? Does it come off as too stuffy or intimidating? Some people say to use my name, Jacqueline Resume Consulting, or my initials, but I dont know how I feel about that! Any thoughts/ opinions would be greatly appreciated!
Don't rush it. A bad company name is tougher to dump than a bad spouse!
After you do the things others have suggested, run these names by people who might be your clients. If you get blank stares, scratch that one. Listen for the one that clicks. I bought my company, and retained the (so-so) name. But my slogan, which is my top selling tool, just popped out of my mouth when I was explaining to someone what I do. (It's "Grow Your Business without Driving Yourself Crazy.")
Try to find a name for which the URL is available. If not exactly, then very close. I failed at this, because my company name is too generic. (Your url must be something you don't have to spell for people. No hyphens, abbreviations, cutesy made up words.)
If you need to launch and don't yet have a name that clicks, operate under your own name. Then when the right name pops out, register that as a DBA.
If you decide to use your name, use your last name, not first. "Jacqueline's Resume Service" sounds small; "Gowin Executive Job Placement" sounds corporate.
Client of mine just sold her company for $1 million, even though it had her last name. The buyer plans to retain the name.
A few thoughts:
All businesses need to have a web address, so, although it may seem a bit like the cart before the horse, take a look at URLs that are available before selecting a name. Ideally you want a name that maps easily to a URL. Secure the URL before annoucning your name.
Do a trademark search at the USPTO (and internationally as appropriate.) Don't make the mistake of picking a name to which someone else has rights because you'll just have to change it which is a hassle, expensive, and confusing to your customers and others.
Avoid misspellings or letter substitutions of names, so nothing like JaquelineGroop or JaquelyneGroup, etc. I would also avoid appending such things as "My" "Inc" etc. as it makes your web address harder to find. Get a .com if you can; the other TLDs are still less desirable real estate.
Solicit your friends broadly for ideas and to vet whatever you come up with (you're asking here so I assume you're already doing that.)
I would also avoid longer names. People hate typing in things like JaquelineResumeConsulting.com.
Consider embodying your value proposition in the name as it helps people identify your brand value to them more readily. Of course, many of these will be taken, but it is possible still to find available names if you are creative and diligent. For example, I recently had a company (now defunct) that we named ArchSkills, a provider of skills training for personal and professional success. I was surprised to find something like that, but it toook a lot of ideation and searching.
Check out some of the name searching tools on the web. You might start here: http://mashable.com/2010/08/17/reserve-social-media-names/
Personally I don’t think the name of a company is as important as the USP (unique selling position) you use with the company name. A name like “The Gowin Group” would work but in the USP you need to state what the company is all about, and that can change with time. A quick thought on a USP; Ensuring your first impression is the best impression.
Your USP is the force that drives your business and success. It can also be used as a "branding" tool that deploys strategy with every marketing effort you use such as an ad, a postcard, or web site. This allows you to build a lasting reputation while you're making sales. The ultimate goal of your USP and marketing is to have people say to you... "Oh, yes I've heard of you. You're the company who..." - And then respond by requesting more information or purchasing.
Federal Express (FedEx) dominated the package shipping market with the following USP: "Federal Express: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." The deployment of this USP allowed Federal Express to emerge as the dominant leader in the industry, taking market share rapidly, and also increasing its sales and profits
But as their business changed over the years and I believe their newest USP; ‘helping you synchronizing your business.”
The point is the company’s name is still FedEx (Federal Express) but their USP changed to meet the current market conditions.
Also the others who have mentioned checking the URL are very important as well. It needs to read well as a combined word. I remember a client whose business was Nu-Design… so he had a URL WWW.Nudesign, it could be read a Nude-sign, so look at the name to see if there are any ‘hidden words.”
These are good ideas. One last thing, once you have a few possible names or variations: go to your Secretary of State website and check DBA and LLC names to ensure no one is using the one you like. When you're ready, register your name so someone else can't (it usually costs about $20). You can then use the name when establishing an LLC or whatever. It will also help when you do your taxes.
You first need to determine what domain names are available to then determine the name of your company - as an example jrcconsultingllc.com is available at the moment and then you need to reserve the name with the State of DE (JRC Consulting LLC) for $75.00. Having a web presence that you can use to gain visibility to your target market (people on the web looking at job boards and Linked In) is probably the most important first step in starting a company. You can use your web site as a destination for all your social media and blogging activities. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to pick my brain on any other issues you have at the moment or would like to be pointed in the right direction.
I recommend outlining your thoughts with a creative input brief 1st......it will give you some "stakes in the ground" to consider any naming options you develop. the creative input brief outline should include some of the following:
1. A Position Statement for your company - the primary benefit to your customer for what you do and why it is different than your competition....and why they should believe it
2. Who is your specific target audience(s) and what benefits to you provide each audience?
3. What is your brand personality? Characteristics you want attributed to your brand name...... example such as carefree, youthful, influencial, accomplished, successful, trustworthy, rugged, hip, bold, fast...etc...on and on .........as you consider your target audiences, consider the traits that they will best relate to and want to buy from
4....Advertising Promise ... after exposure to any of your communications to a prospect/customer, what is the take away promise to the recipient?
5....Inlight of your responses to the outline/ "numbers" above, what colors for your communications will best reflect who you are to your prospects and customers
As you finalize your strategy with above answers, you will have a good foundation to choose a name and tag line (if you plan to have one) .....too often people create a name without the right communication strategy behind it.
All food for thought.... I hope you find helpful!
Great advice, Pat. Too many people think name and logo is the place to start (and some people even think their brand is simply their logo!). Doing what you suggest will help ensure the brand is well defined first, and choosing the company name should follow.
Give it more thought! Take out a piece of paper and write whatever comes to mind about the business, what you want to accomplish with it, how you want to be known, etc....Then, try to combine some of or parts of these words that mean nothing now, creating a "new" word or term. It will be more memorable and chances are everything else is probably taken anyway. I have done this successfully many times and believe me it really works. It is fantastic when people refer to your "homemade name'. Thiink of Xerox, IBM, Netflix, EXXON. You could add a descriptive tag line as part of or just below, the logo. Hope this stimulates more thought!
There will be people who'll answer this with "clear-cut" responses, but in all honesty Jacqueline, it all depends on how you want the name of the company to represent you and your services.
Be creative, it could be anything, right? Who knew that an internet search engine could be called something like Google?
You can be straight to the point, or you can add some personality and character to it. The name of the company will help differentiate your business from others. It should represent what you're trying to in order to offer a better answer to the questions your waiting customers are going to have.
One thing is clear: it's got to be a name you love. Because the biggest advocate for your company and what it stands for is always going to be you.
I wouldn't stress out too much about your name at this stage. Every rule people tell you about choosing a name, some successful company has broken it. The review board is fine, move on to finding a customer. By the time the dust settles once you start working with real customers you might find your business is entirely different to what you originally thought.
I'd write down a bunch of names and then cross out any that have 'negative' connotations.
As some others have pointed out, The Review Board in almost every instance is not a good thing. I'd cross that one out immediately.
I'm not a fan of using personal names, but some businesses thrive because the owner is the face of the company and they put their name on it. However, if you ever want to sell it's a little more complicated.
The other thing you want to do is be a little more generic. That way you can add on additional services in the future (probably things you're not even currently thinking about) without them being too obscure. By that I mean if you named yourself 'Resume Writer Professionals' but later switch to a mining recruitment specialist company, you're name isn't that suitable.
If your name can convey some kind of advantage or benefit, it would be great. So here's a couple of names i can think of that might help to kickstart a few other ideas;
Best Foot Forward
The HR Coach
The Interview Coach
Land That Job