Competition for a company name

Competing for a Name As a New Brand or Enterprise

Wybrand Ganzevoort Entrepreneurship Articles Leave a Comment

Ok, so you have chosen a name, and you have been spinning it repeatedly in your head. You might even have fallen in love with it already. Great! But, just to be safe, why don’t you consider one or two other names as well, just to be sure. “What do I mean, just to be sure?” I hear you ask, because that name that you feel so sure about, well, it might already be taken by another company.
So before you rush out to get a logo designed, let’s first make sure that the name that has been chosen is a good name. There are five tests that we could run with a name:

The Domain Test

Once you have thought of a company name you might want to find out if the online domain name has been taken. In order to do this, head on over to a site like www.registerdomain.co.za or any of the other domain registries to see if the name is available.

The Social Media Test

Have a look at what happens when you type the name you have chosen in the search bar in Facebook. What type of information comes up? Are there other companies by this name? Do you have competitors with a similar name, or are there any negative connotations to the name? In order to do this search, you could go to each of the social media sites, or you could make use of Google Social Search by going to: https://www.social-searcher.com/google-social-search/. This search engine allows you to search through the social media uses of the name which Google might not have indexed.

The Google Test

Type the name into Google and see what comes up. Consider the same options as above. If you are the only company by that name, or if the name has not been defined on Google yet, then there could be advantages to this. It might mean that you could explain what the name means in a blog and that Google could reference this blog each time a user searches for the meaning of the name. This might also drive Search Engine Optimisation by getting visitors to your site, if the name becomes popular.

The Friends and Family Test

For this test you need a friend or a family member who is not scared of calling a spade and spade. Run the name past a few friends, see what their reaction is. Don’t take their immediate reaction, but ask them to consider it for a day or two. If they have serious reservations then it might be good to consider some of the reservations.

The Name Registration Test

Once all of the above is done it would now be a good time to see if you can register a company name with the name that you have chosen. At this time, you need to provide three different options, so have those ready too.  To do this head on over to https://eservices.cipc.co.za, log into your account and register your company name.
Before finalising your decision consider the length of the company name and the way it is spelt. The last thing you want to do is spend an eternity explaining the spelling of the email over a sales conversation or correcting the spelling repeatedly.

When every company name has been taken

Probably one of the best names ever is the name chosen by Google’s holding company – Alphabet. The name says so much about the company and is perfectly complimented by the url domain that they have chosen: www.abc.xyz.
The following Ted Talk by Jonathan Bell provides some good insight when you are selecting a company name. Jonathan speaks about the big idea that you are trying to bring across. What is your big idea?

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