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Choose a business name

Keep it meaningful and snappy - and don't try to be too smart

People remember a good business name. That's why three times World Memory Champion Andi Bell devised these tips to help you think of one for your company:

Make it meaningful
A concrete or visual noun (however relevant to the nature of the business) can make a more memorable company name than using something like the owner's name or initials. For example, Orange is a memorable name for a mobile phone company. A & B Smith wouldn't work so well. Especially forgettable is the inclusion of business terms like Limited, Associates - and maybe even 'and son'.

Don't create
Avoid 'created' words like Tesco and Asda. They suit large companies looking to build an individual identity, but don't help achieve memorability.

Colourful connections
If you want the name to reflect the nature of your business, it is highly memorable to connect a concrete noun to a simple business description; for example, Crown Windscreens.

Keep it short
Too many words or letters can be too much to remember. Which would be better: Crown Windscreens, or Crown Windscreens and Exhausts? The advantages of indicating your entire area of speciality can be outweighed by the advantages of having a simple name to remember.

Does the name trip off the tongue easily? Apple Exhausts is easier to say than Apple Windscreens. Alliteration can work well. This becomes more important if the name is spread by word of mouth or by radio advertising.

A sense of place is usually extremely memorable if chosen carefully. It's particularly good if most of your business is from local customers. As long as your potential customers have heard of Watford, Watford Windscreens is a good start.

Companies sometimes decide to capitalise off another's name. Happy Windscreens is probably a bad choice if there is already a Happy Windows in town. However it can provide a memorable name. The similarity between Hamleys and Gamleys is a well known example.

Don't share too much
The Happy Windscreen Company is less distinctive than Happy Windscreens. This is because the latter avoids unnecessary words that will be shared by lots of other businesses.

Don't dwell on it
You should consider the name carefully. But if you chew it over for too long, it will start to seem more memorable than when you first came up with it. Try it out on other people to see if they find it memorable.

Don't mess around
Backwards letters, snazzy graphics and radio jingles are not as easy to remember as you might think. The simple written or spoken word is quite established as a memorable form of communication, so it pays to keep things simple.

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