Business naming: Six reasons why you shouldn’t be descriptive

Business naming: Six reasons why you shouldn’t be descriptive

When you're naming your new business, it’s tempting to be descriptive. After all, it makes sense to have a name that describes what you do, doesn’t it?

We think you should avoid the temptation. Here’s six reasons why:

1. Don’t be anonymous

If you describe your business, you’ll inevitably use words that are used by everyone else in your field. For example, you might have developed some fantastic project planning software for creatives, but if you choose Project Planning Solutions as your software business name, you’re just going to blend into the background.

2. Get found

Even if you get some good word-of-mouth coverage, people are going to look for you online. If your name is made up of keywords that are commonly used by your industry or sector, Google won’t put you on the first page of search results. If you’re called Project Planning Solutions, you’ll never get found.

3. Be remembered

When potential customers come across you, you’ll want them to remember you. But even if your business name is a concise, highly accurate combination of very familiar words, they’ll never remember what you’re called. Are you Planning Project Systems? Project Software Systems? Planning Software Solutions?

4. Don’t fall into the abbreviation trap

Descriptive names tend to comprise two or three words. They’re a bit of a mouthful. Take our Project Planning Solutions example - it would be very tempting to abbreviate this to PPS. But efficient as that might be, it’s even more anonymous now. 

5. Make connections

If your name has character and personality, it will be more engaging. This is branding-speak for ‘likeable'. It will help you to connect with your customers, tell them that you’re the right kind of business for them, and let them know you’re a bit different from your competitors. Don’t forget; a business name is a valuable opportunity to deliver a bit of personality.

6. Own a great domain name

A short, no-compromise domain is not only easy to remember and easy to spell. It says a lot about the business and adds a bit of credibility and authority. It also looks better. And don’t forget, your domain isn’t only a web address, it will be part of your email address, too. Who wants a 24-letter, hyphenated email address on their business card? Nobody does. What you DO want is a brandable business name.

So when you’re trying to name your business, don’t play safe, however tempting it might be. A seemingly sensible company name that describes what you do isn’t the answer - and won’t give your business the head start that a memorable, engaging brand name can offer.


Further reading: Roger Cauvin's blog about descriptive names is also worth checking out - he points out the irony that in choosing a descriptive name to help customers to remember it, you actually make it less likely to happen.

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