Naming your brand is one of the most important steps in starting your own business. Coming up with a good business name is crucial because this will play a huge role in introducing and establishing your brand in the market. To make the naming process easier and more productive, you have to learn and understand the different types of business names that you can explore for your own brand.
Business Name, Trade Name, Brand Name: What’s the Difference?
For sure, even before you’ve decided to start a business, you have already encountered the terms “business name,” “trade name,” and “brand name” multiple times in your daily life. And for sure, at one point, you were also curious about the difference between these three and when to properly use them.
Here’s a quick refresher:
- Business name: the legal name you use for official paperworks and legal documentation such as business registration, bank application, and tax filing.
- Trade name: the name that the public knows your business as, and also referred to as the nickname given by your clients and customers. For example, instead of using Smart Communications or Globe Telecom, people just usually say Smart or Globe.
- Brand name: the name you use to identify the family of products or services offered, or a single line of products or services offered.
A lot of people also confuse business names with brand names, and often think that these are just the same. Apple’s business name is Apple Inc. and it is a company with many known brands such as Mac, iPhone, iPad, among others.
In fact, even the concept of a business and brand is different. A business is the company that produces and offers the products and/or services, while a brand is the perceived image and identity that customers and the general public relate to the company.
So yes, a business and a brand are not the same, as well as the business name and brand name. However, of course, it is also important to note that a good business name is needed to be able to build your brand.
The Importance of Having a Good Business Name
Your customers will first know you through your business name. Your name must be good enough to catch their attention and make them interested in your products and services. Having a good business name can help build your identity, make name recognition and brand recall much easier for customers, and give you a higher chance to keep up with your competitors and succeed in the market.
Different Types of Business Names for Brand-Building
Here are the 8 types of business names that you can use in building your brand.
Descriptive names are perhaps the most common when it comes to the naming and branding process. From the word itself, descriptive names simply describe the company and the products and services it offers.
Here are some examples of descriptive business names:
- National Bookstore
- Pizza Hut
- Toys R Us
- Holiday Inn
- General Motors
Non-descriptive or Abstract
Opposite to descriptive business names are non-descriptive or abstract names. An abstract name is usually a word that doesn’t have an immediate connection to the company or the products and services it provides.
The following are examples of abstract business names:
Business owners often choose evocative names to convey a certain idea or feeling. These names tend to be unique and creative. With this type of name, businesses can create a powerful brand story and customers can also interpret the message on their own.
Examples of evocative business names:
In order to create a good impression and leave an impact, some business owners opt to use a brand-new word for their business name. This is also perfect for those who really want to unleash their creative side and come up with something distinctive.
Here are some examples of invented business names:
If you’re into wordplay, coming up with lexical names would be best for you. Because lexical names tend to be fun and easy-to-remember, they are often considered as efficient tools in capturing the customers’ attention.
Examples of lexical business names:
- Krispy Kreme
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Burger King
Geographical names are among the most common business names. These names are linked to a specific location, and are used most especially when a business is trying to appeal to a local market or audience.
Here are some examples of geographical business names:
- Philippine Airlines
- Pampanga’s Best
- Inasal Chicken Bacolod
- Kentucky Fried Chicken
- California Pizza Kitchen
- Arizona Tile
Founder Business Names
Some companies name their businesses after their founders. This works well especially if the founder already has its existing personal brand. Founder business names are also proven to be effective because they give customers the feeling of connecting with another human being, thus leading to a deeper brand relationship.
The following are examples of founder business names:
- Ayala Corporation
- JG Summit Holdings, Inc.
- Calvin Klein
- Ralph Lauren
- Walt Disney
Acronymic names typically avoid complexity, and make a business name easy to remember. These names are also very common in industries involving science and technology because they reduce the complexity of longer names and make it easier for customers or clients to connect to them.
Examples of acronymic business names:
Whatever type you choose, remember it’s important to come up with a name that is original, user-friendly, and future-proof. And above all, consider a name that would best describe your vision and help you tell your story.