Your business name is the first impression you get to leave on your customers. It’s no surprise that people spend a lot of time and money on selecting the right business name. A bad name can make you the butt of people’s jokes (e.g. iPad), or worse, it can scare customers away. Make sure you choose the best name possible by following some of these rules:

1. Choose positive words. The first rule of creating an appealing business name is to choose words that have a positive connotation and make people feel happy inside. When brainstorming, you’ll notice the difference between warm and fuzzy words and words that fall flat. For instance, there’s a self-service dog wash called Mud Puppies that is rather popular. Consider the difference between Mud Puppies and Mud Dogs. The place services dogs of all ages, but the word “puppies” is infinitely way cuter than “dogs.” The denotation is the same, but the connotation is different. Mud Dogs has a dirty connotation, while Mud Puppies has a cute, playful connotation.

2. Appeal to what people already know/like. This is in the same vein as choosing words with a positive connotation. There are plenty of trends out there for you to draw inspiration from, such as the Do-It-Yourself movement, eco-friendly/green trend or health conscious trends. Again, you’ll have to sit down and brainstorm ideas that appeal to consumer, but you (hopefully) won’t be reinventing the wheel. In addition to trends, music, movies, popular websites and even celebrities offer a source of inspiration. An exercise you could to would be to list your own favorites/likes and see if you can find a gold nugget somewhere.

3. Think local….or think global. If you’re a local business, try getting inspired by landmarks, popular spots and familiar locations around town. For instance, the company 360 Partners here in Austin was named after Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway), which runs right by their office. However, beware of picking something ubiquitous or cheesy. (In Texas, you’ll see Lonestar [Something] anywhere you go.) You want to sound familiar, but you also want to stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you’re not a local business. Maybe you have an e-commerce business that serves customers around the country and/or the world. You can still use a locale-inspired name, but you may want to try broader terms that have more universal appeal.

Amazon is a great example of a brand that references a specific location but also has universal appeal. JetBlue is an example of a company that bucks the trend and doesn’t incorporate a location (such as competitors American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, etc.). Their name works, largely because it paints a lovely, serene picture. Think about what you want your business to say. Is it important for you to emphasize something local and familiar or to have widespread appeal? You decide.

4. Be memorable. This might be the hardest thing to do when thinking up your business name. A lot of companies struggle with the balance between uniqueness and accessibility. Google is now a household name, but virtually nobody knew what a google was until the company made the word famous. A very special or esoteric name may be great for trademark purposes and online search purposes (less competition), but you’ll probably have to do a bit more work educating people about what your company actually does when you start out.

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the greater Treasure Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.5 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime Boise and Meridian locations. More information is available at or 208.322.7300.


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