This post is written as a partnership with Name.Kitchen discussing the creative process to creating a name for your business.
As a 2 time mom (soon to be third), and small business owner to 3 businesses (one now closed), naming things is difficult. My very first business was a partnership right after I got married – to create Swarovski covered Crystal Cake Toppers. There were two of us, and we came up with our name in 2 seconds – possibly over lemon drop martinis – Bling Divas. A few months into the business, she relocated and we parted ways and I needed to rename our business since it was now just run by me (and still is, by the way!) That task took me about a day to come up with Bling Diva Designs – just in case I ever expanded into something beyond cake toppers (which, it has).
My next business venture started about 3 years later – a cloth diaper company (which I wrote about why I ended it here) – that my husband and I started. We had talks about what to name it, and we knew about all the businesses whose names now come as second nature. But initially – the name was mysterious, different, and somewhat awkward. We wanted something unique but with meaning. After some thought, I tossed out Bubbalooch – a nickname my mom called my sister and I growing up. He loved it and that was the end.
With both of these stories, little thought was put into the names. In the end, it worked out for us. Bling Diva Designs is almost self-explanatory and Bubbalooch caused the reaction we wanted it to – What do you do? But within the past year (2 additional years after Bubbalooch was created), the planning was a lot lengthier of a process.
It all started when Carolyn and I decided to join forces and start a social media consulting company. We wanted our focus on local businesses in Santa Clarita Valley (where we both live) that could either take over the online representation of the companies, or help start them on their own journey to maintain. We had a clear path of what we wanted and only one hurdle. This hurdle was actually a substantial one – What do we name our business?
We both spent a lot of time brainstorming and tossing out names via email. We would send each other instant messages through Google and Facebook. Neither of us was really in love with any of the ideas. We then decided to meet up in person and go over ideas. She and her husband came over and Jon joined us as we went through ideas. We started with brainstorming what our business would be about, what we were about, and what our goals were.
Our major companion through this journey was the online Thesaurus. We used is as a launching pad to try to play off similar words until we could figure out what we liked best. This is a wonderful tool for creatives. So often we’re surrounded by the same words describing things and we need to take a step back and look for other options.
One last requirement was that our name needed to be catchy, but not kitschy. One cool thing would also be the possibility of incorporating the name into a not-com domain. With Name.Kitchen, you can pull up hundreds of options to stand out from the rest of the pack. Donuts also offers a lengthy list of not-com words to to choose for your business. (fun fact! did you know that it’s taken over 30 years for the availability of these not-com options? The availability of some names started in 2013!)
You want to always make a first impression and a name that stands out, and is relevant, will help to accomplish that. After many sessions like this, we finally came up with a name – Social Elements Media.
Social – because the primary focus was regarding the online world of social media.
Elements – because we were teaching them the basics of the social platforms.
Media – because it anchored our name and most social companies have some sort of variation to encompass many aspects of their business life.
And always bounce your name off someone you trust to see their initial reaction, as well as to understand if it truly is a good fit for your business!