It's what shows up instantly on all of your social media platforms! It's what clients see and remember on your website! It's what you put on t-shirts, stickers, and mugs!
Picking a good name for your business is important for MANY reasons, but we've gotten quite a few questions from people on what a good name actually looks like and why we chose ours. If you're having a hard time choosing a name, or you're stuck between a couple options and just can't find the right one....you may be doing your business more harm than just picking a bad name.....
So, looking back at how we chose our business name, "Samara Table Company", we realized that it all boiled down to 5 main steps:
Determine your business identity.
We needed to figure out what our business was going to be about. What was our goal as a business? What did we want to be known for? What did we primarily want to build and produce? You may be wondering why this step is number 1. Isn't the point just to pick a catchy sounding name that people would easily remember?
Well, yes. That is true. You want your name to be memorable. BUT!! When you're introducing your business to somebody for the first time....you only get one shot at it. You only get one chance at a first impression. So you want that first impression to be as informative, productive, and memorable as possible.
You want that person to walk away knowing what your business does, what your specialty is, and how to find you. Honestly, I could write an entire blog post on business identity alone...maybe even 2...it's THAT important. So important that we created an entire Marketing Course where we dissect what your business identity is and why it's so critical. We highly recommend it:
We offer a 100% money back guarantee on the course, so you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain!! So go check it out!!
So what is ours?? As Samara Table Co., we want to build furniture that brings people together. Our main product that we would like to produce and sell to accomplish that goal is kitchen tables - where people go to gather. Hence why we specifically included "Table Co." in our name. We'll definitely make other products as well, but we want our main one to be tables.
2. Pick a name that is AVAILABLE.
Once you figure out a name that you feel portrays who you are and what you do as a business, you need to make sure the web domains, email addresses, social media handles, etc. are all available and not already taken! You don't want to spend days developing marketing around a website that you can't even have...
We ran into this problem pretty early on in our name-choosing process. Originally, we wanted our name to be "Kerf" or "Kerf designs".....idk. something like that. Anyways. We quickly found out that some other business in Oregon that did research for Air bnb already took that name and domains.
So we had to move on to something else. We didn't waste any more of our valuable time on it because we found out right away that we couldn't have it!
3. Test it out with friends!!
Once you have a name that portrays your business identity and has an available domain name, give it a test drive!! Run the name by friends, family, co-workers, whoever you think will give you an honest and unbiased opinion. You may find that the name doesn't resonate quite as well with other people as it does with just you.
ANNDDDD naturally...we had a run-in with this as well....
After we found out that Kerf was no longer an option....we moved on to "Sweet Sapwood". We thought it'd be cute because we were moving to the South and lots of other businesses had the word "sweet" in their names! And "sapwood" because we were a woodworking business and it provided alliteration....all that good stuff.
The domains and social media handles were ALL available, so we thought we had it in the bag! Surely this was the one. Until we ran the idea by a friend who always gave us unbiased, no-nonsense opinions....And he said:
"It sounds sticky. It makes me think of a sticky kitchen table that my kids smeared maple syrup all over. You don't want people to think that you're selling them a sticky product."
Oh. My. Goodness. We had never thought of it that way. We just thought it sounded cute and southern and somewhat related to woodworking. However, the more we stepped back (out of our own heads) and thought about it.....it did sound sticky.....
And you may think that sounds crazy!! But what pops into peoples' heads when you give them your business name is very important.
Goodbye Sweet Sapwood...
4. Think of a simple logo to go with the name.
The most important thing to keep in mind with a logo is that it has to be easily visible no matter where it is! On a billboard 100 miles away?? Needs to be visible. Sewn onto a polo shirt? Readable and visible. Engraved on a cutting board? High resolution and readable. You may be tempted to make it super intricate with lots of detail and fine lines, but often times those don't engrave well and can be difficult to see if the logo has to be really small.
Our logo is a single samara seed! They're the little "helicopter" seeds that fall off of maple trees and fly to the ground. We liked that logo and the name because we love aviation and we fly a lot for our other jobs in the Air Force! We're also on a pretty big "growth mindset" kick right now! We're big into constantly learning, growing, and improving ourselves. What portrays growth more than trees and plants?! So we wanted the name and logo to be tree-related. That's also why you see plants all over our recording studio!!
Okay....so we've told you how we developed our business name, but are you ready for the most important step in choosing YOURS??
5. Business names aren't THAT important!!!
Yes, choosing a business name is important, but not AS important as actually starting and operating your business. If a business name is what's standing in between you and starting your business and you can't seem to think of one that you like and is available....just pick a name and get started!! You can always change or tweak the name later! That's what lots of larger corporations have done for years. They rebrand. And a lot of times they end up taking off even after they do so!
So yes, taking time to pick a great name and logo is important...but making progress is MOST important! Don't sacrifice your productivity for something as small as "the perfect name".
This post may contain affiliate links for products we used to create this project! If you’d like to check them out, we do get a small percentage of the sale and they are of no extra cost to you! It all goes towards supporting the content creation of Jennie and Davis. BUT – we do not take tool sponsorships and there were no tool endorsements. Just our honest opinions!