I´ve always had a problem giving a title to a piece of my writing.
I can sit down and write and edit a 1,000-word article on a subject that I knew nothing about hours before completing the research, and yet I stumble when I try to condense the gist of the article into a 5-word title.
So you can see the problems I´ve had with naming my business.
I´ve turned a lot of ideas around in my mind. I considered cutesy names that I thought might be catchy along with one practical name that, though it definitely described the products, didn´t create any inner sparks.
I´ve jotted down forms of my name and my daughter´s name combined, and I´ve also considered naming the company after one of my daughter´s nickname. But Sweet, Sweet Baby was too long and Monkey Butt didn´t seem appropriate.
At first I thought I wanted something that described the company, so that when people saw the name they knew exactly what we were selling. But then I realized that most fashion companies are named after the designer.
I considered a few names that, when looked up on the trademark website, had already been taken numerous times. To avoid confusion and a possible lawsuit, I didn´t want to go with a popular name.
Others did not have a matching domain available. When searching for a company online, I always start with the company´s name followed by .com, so I want to name the company something that will be easily searchable by possible consumers.
I looked up the origin of some famous company names, to determine how they had come about:
Pepsi was named for the treatment of dyspepsia. Dyspepsia is an intestinal ailment.
Starbucks was named after the character Starbuck in Moby Dick.
Volkswagen translates into the phrase "people´s car."
7-11 was named for the hours it kept, 7 AM-11 PM.
I can understand why Pepsi named their company this, since soda does wonders on a bellyache. But while I hope that my designs will make mom´s happy, I can´t begin to fathom how they might soothe an aching body.
I couldn´t think of a character in a book that I really liked except for Holden Caulfield, and for some reason I just don´t think his name would do much to sell a line of diaper bags and accessories.
I didn´t have this much of a problem when coming up with the title of the newsletter. It is a magazine for mommies. So it is named The Mommy Magazine. Straight and simple.
Let´s apply this theory to the line of diaper bags and accessories: Diaper Bags and Accessories. Um, just doesn´t sound as great.
I then asked myself what this line of products was for, and the answer? Busy, active mothers who want functional, fashionable products at an affordable price.
But that´s quite a mouthful for the name of a business.
So I lay awake each night considering the possibilities and then writing them down in my notebook as they came to me.
Last night it hit: a combination of my middle name and my daughter´s middle name. It sounds classy yet funky and it hasn´t been gobbled up by too many trademark purchasers. I can even purchase it as a domain name at this point.
At first it struck me as funny that this much time could be taken up thinking of a company name.
But then I realized that from now on, when I think of my company and its products, I will have something to call it by. And when I do go into business, the name will become a signature that is used when people talk about or purchase the bags or products. "Oh, that´s a ______, right?" They might say. Or, "I just bought a ________ ."
I read an article on entrepreneur.com about naming your business (http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/0,4621,265010,00.html). In it the author stated that coming up with the name of your business should be taken as seriously as developing your product and writing a business plan because the name should convey to consumers the uniqueness, value, and expertise of your product.
There are even naming companies that develop a name for you. Of course, they can be quite costly, but if you are completely stuck and can´t think of one yourself, perhaps this might be worth investigating further.
The article cautions against choosing a name that is too narrow. For instance, someone suggested I name the company Mommy´s Purse. For me, this name didn´t work on various levels. I wanted the name to be more sophisticated, for one, but I also knew that the company was not selling purses only. Had I named the company Mommy’s Purse, those searching for, say, a monogrammed blanket, might skip over the website altogether.
Specific names are great if you are going to sell one type of product or service. Take Dee´s Mobile Dog Grooming. Everyone who sees this name knows what Dee´s company does: They come to your house for dog grooming. Chances are this is Dee´s business and she will not stray far from that. She may sell products, such as shampoo or dog brushes, but she would probably do so from the confines of her mobile van.
Developing the name for your company is a big step. For me, design ideas keep coming, but the names? It was like pulling a watermelon through a straw. Now that I have it, I am excited, but as I hunted around, I felt as stressed out as I did when I sat down to write my business plan.
A rose by any other name might still be a rose, but wouldn´t it be just awful if the rose had been named something like, say, clam?
This links to the United States Patent & Trademark home page. Click under trademark search to see if the name you want has been taken.