So you’ve decided to start a makeup artistry business. Congratulations! Starting any business can be a scary endeavor… but it’s also a very rewarding and exciting one!
It might not seem like it, but choosing a name for your business might be one of the most difficult parts of getting it off the ground. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the do’s and don’ts of choosing the perfect name for your makeup business.
What’s in a Name?
Well… a lot, actually. Whether you like it or not, your business name will be the first impression you give to your potential clients. You’ll want to choose a name that—at best—makes the client relate with your brand or—at worst—peaks the client’s interest enough to want to know more about it.
Developing your Brand
Before you choose a business name, you need to have established your brand values. You’ll want to pick a name that fits in with your brand image. For instance, a business that stands for classical elegance and beauty will be named completely differently than a business whose focus is on eclectic makeup & style. Once you have a general description of your brand’s core values, you’ll be better equipped to make a short list of possible names.
Making a Short List
There are countless sources from which you can draw inspiration for a business name. Once you have an idea of the message you want to convey, you can then start looking for words, phrases or names that convey that message. Consider looking into:
- Proper names
- (Simple!) word games
- Words in other languages
- Clichés or popular phrases
- Names from books, mythology or other works of fiction
- Use your imagination!
Don’t limit yourself here. Be as creative as you want and write down every contender for your business name. You’ll probably find it’ll take about 10-20 names before starting to think outside the box and come up with some real winners.
Once your first list is done, go through it and eliminate the names you don’t like so much… then order the ones you DO like from favorite to least favorite.
Rules of Naming
Once you have your ordered short list (which in the end might not be very short, but that’s okay) you’ll want to run each naming possibility through the gauntlet to make sure it follows the rules of naming your business.
Make it Legal
If nothing else, make sure the business name isn’t already taken. The last thing you want is to end up in a court battle over trademark infringement. So take the time to thoroughly check and make sure your business name doesn’t step on anyone’s toes.
Note: You’ll probably have to eliminate a lot of your contenders based solely on this step. It sucks, I know, but trust me… it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Keep It Simple
Many business owners try to be ultra-clever with their business name. Unfortunately, this most often backfires and leaves clients wondering what in the world the business name means. Let’s put it this way: if you have to explain or apologize about your name to clients, you chose poorly.
While you want your business name to convey your core values, you also want something that people will understand, or at the very least won’t question.
For instance, say you chose to call your studio “Aphrodite Makeup & Hair”. Aphrodite was among the most beautiful figures in Greek Mythology, and that’s how you want your clients to feel when you work on them. Now, possibly not everyone will know the background of Aphrodite… but those who don’t know this won’t be confused by the name: it sounds good and unassuming on its own.
Keeping with names steeped in Greek Mythology, say you named your studio “Kronos and Rheia”. These were the names of Hera’s parents. Hera is the wife of Zeus, and the most beautiful of all the immortals in mythology. The concept is the same… but the name is much more complicated. Perhaps one out of 100 people will “get” the reference… and those who don’t might not even know that “Kronos and Rheia” is a makeup & hair studio!
Make sure the name works FOR you, not AGAINST you.
Pro Tip: Consider the spelling. If your business name contains words that are commonly misspelled, or unusual words that have a difficult spelling, consider how that will affect your customers if they try to find you online. Try to choose a name that people will be able to spell after hearing it.
Keep it Short
A business name should not be a sentence. It needs to be short and snappy. Think about the top brand names out there today. Are any of them more than two words long? Maybe one out of a hundred? There’s a reason for that. Consumers have a very short attention span: they might remember a word… but they won’t bother trying to remember a phrase, especially if it’s a business name!
If you choose to shorten your business name by turning it into an acronym, make sure it’s 2-3 letters, max.
Make it Internet Friendly
By now, your list of potential business names is probably much shorter than when you just started out. Next, you’ll want to make sure that the business name can be registered online.
Ideally, your website will be “www.YourBusinessName.com”.
If you can’t get your exact name:
Say www.AphroditeMakeup.com is already taken… but www.AphroditeMakeupStudio.com is available.
Well, sure you can move forward and build your site on the second address. Just consider that you’ll forever be in an online competition for visitors with that first website. You’ll have to put a lot more time and energy into your online strategy, to make sure you stand apart from the competition that has the same name.
While sometimes you’ll have to concede and register a website that isn’t your *exact* business name… just consider the side effects of doing so. If you have other top contenders on your list where you CAN register that very website… that might be a safer choice.
If the .com is unavailable:
When looking into registering a website, you might find that “.com” is taken, but “.info” or “.ca” or “.au” or some other extension is available. Again, you can choose to go down this road, but make it an informed decision.
Customers will typically look for a “.com” first. If you don’t own it, some customers might inadvertently end up on someone else’s website.
Testing your Business Name
Once you’ve chosen your business name, you’ll want to run it through the ringer!
First, make sure your business name won’t be listed with other less desirable brands or products. If someone searches you on Google, the last thing you want is to be listed in the middle of a bunch of plumbing supplies, or in between news stories covering terrorist activities!
A lot of innocent businesses that were named “ISIS” decided to rebrand this past year, as you can imagine. Though you can’t predict the future, you can at least make sure you don’t walk into that type of situation due to poor research.
Next, test your business name with a small sample of potential customers. Ask them what they think of the name: does it interest them? Confuse them?
Would they give the business a chance, based on that name? An impartial and honest reviewer might uncover some issues that you’ve overlooked.
Do Your Best!
Hopefully this guide will help you pick the best business name you can while avoiding some common pitfalls. A final word of advice, just be sure that you choose a business name that you like!