The Ultimate Guide to Naming Your Handmade Business
The Ultimate Guide to Naming Your Handmade Business
Table of Contents
- Step 1: Reframing the Purpose of a Business Name
- Step 2: Brainstorming Using the 5 Name Categories 3.1 Personal Names 3.2 Descriptive or Functional Names 3.3 Invented Names 3.4 Experiential Names 3.5 Evocative Names
- Step 3: Filtering the Name Ideas Using 7 Filters 4.1 How Does it Sound? 4.2 How Does it Look and Spell? 4.3 Is it Distinct Enough? 4.4 The Depth of Meaning 4.5 Warmth and Humanness 4.6 Practicalities 4.7 Future Proofing
Picking a Name for Your Handmade Business
So, you're starting a handmade business and the one thing that's holding you back is choosing the perfect name. You understand the importance of a good business name, as it sets the tone for your brand and can impact your success. But with so many options and considerations, it can feel overwhelming.
In this article, we'll break down the process of picking a name for your handmade business into three simple steps. We'll explore different categories of names, go through brainstorming exercises, and use seven filters to help you evaluate and choose the best name. By the end, you'll feel confident in selecting a name that represents your brand and resonates with your target audience.
Step 1: Reframing the Purpose of a Business Name
Before diving into the name selection process, it's essential to understand the purpose of a business name. Your business name serves as a practical identifier, but it doesn't define your success or need to explain what you do. Instead, its primary role is to evoke a feeling, an emotion, and engage your ideal customers on an intellectual and emotional level. Remember, your name will always be in context, whether it's displayed alongside images, colors, or your actual products. Therefore, it doesn't need to tell the full story of your brand or products. By reframing the role of a business name, you can release the pressure and approach the naming process with creativity and excitement.
Step 2: Brainstorming Using the 5 Name Categories
Now that you have a clear understanding of the purpose of a business name, let's dive into the brainstorming process using the five name categories. Each category offers a unique approach to naming your handmade business, bringing forth different qualities and associations. Keep in mind that this is a brainstorming session, so don't filter your ideas just yet. Write down anything that comes to mind within each category, even if it seems like a bad idea. The more ideas you have, the more likely you'll discover truly exceptional options.
The first category is personal names, which involves using your own name as the name of your brand and business. This choice can create an elegant and personal connection between you as the creator and your audience. Examples of successful brands that utilize personal names include Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, and Tiffany & Co. However, it's important to consider whether linking your brand closely to your own name aligns with your long-term brand vision and growth strategy.
Descriptive or Functional Names
The second category is descriptive or functional names. These names include keywords or descriptions that directly explain what your business does. It's common to see names like JDG Accessories or Jeanine Jewellery in the handmade niche. However, it's worth noting that it's no longer necessary to have a keyword in your name to rank in search engines. Using descriptive names can lead to increased competition and make it difficult to stand out among other businesses with similar names. Consider if this category truly reflects the uniqueness and personality of your brand.
Invented names are completely made up words that are designed to sound and look appealing. Examples of successful brands with invented names include Oreo, Google, and Etsy. These names instantly stand out and have a high potential for memorability. Inventing a name allows you to define the identity and associations surrounding your brand from scratch. Consider the visual and auditory aesthetics of the name when brainstorming in this category.
Experiential names offer a direct connection to something real, even though they may not directly describe your products or services. For example, a digital invitation business could be called "Print&Party." While it doesn't explicitly mention digital invitations, it creates a connection to what customers are getting and wanting. When brainstorming in this category, think of names that evoke specific experiences or emotions related to your brand without being overly descriptive.
Evocative names are real words that can be found in a dictionary but don't directly describe what you do or connect to your brand. Examples of successful businesses that use evocative names include Amazon and Apple. Amazon, for instance, evokes the image of something exotic, different, and of grand scale, rather than directly relating to the Amazon forest. When considering evocative names, focus on what emotions and associations the word evokes rather than its direct meaning.
Step 3: Filtering the Name Ideas Using 7 Filters
After brainstorming a list of name ideas within each category, it's time to filter them down using seven essential filters. These filters will help you evaluate the effectiveness and suitability of each name idea.
1. How does it sound?
Consider how the name sounds when said out loud. It should be easy to pronounce and not tongue-twisting. You want to ensure that it rolls off the tongue smoothly and is memorable for both you and your customers.
2. How does it look and spell?
Evaluate how the name looks visually and how it is spelled. Consider its legibility and readability, especially when used in a logo or other visual representations. Avoid using funny spellings that may lower the perceived value of your brand.
3. Is it distinct enough?
Examine whether the name differentiates you from your competitors. You want your name to stand out and be unique within your industry or niche. A distinct name will help customers remember your brand and distinguish it from others.
4. The depth of meaning
Assess the depth of meaning behind the name. Ask a few people around you to write down the first 10 things that come to mind when they hear or read the name. If the name lacks depth and fails to elicit any associations or ideas, consider exploring other options.
5. Warmth and humanness
Consider if the name has warmth and humanness, especially in the context of the handmade industry. Handmade businesses often benefit from names that feel personable and avoid sounding corporate or cold. Look for names that evoke a sense of connection and emotion.
Address the practical aspects of the name, such as legalities, social media handles, and domain availability. Ensure that the name you choose is legally available and distinguishable from other businesses. While securing a .com domain is ideal, don't stress if it's not available, as there are alternative domain extensions that can work equally well.
7. Future proofing
Consider if the name allows room for growth and expansion. Your business is likely to evolve over time, so choose a name that can accommodate changes in your product offerings, target audience, or brand direction. Avoid names that might limit your business's potential for growth and innovation.
By applying these filters to your list of name ideas, you can assess their suitability and identify the names that align best with your brand vision and goals.
Choosing a name for your handmade business is an exciting and crucial step in establishing your brand. By reframing the purpose of a business name, brainstorming across different categories, and applying filters to your ideas, you can confidently select a name that resonates with your target audience and sets the stage for success. Remember, your name is not the sole determinant of your business's success, but rather a powerful tool that evokes emotion, engages customers, and represents your unique brand. So, have fun with the process, trust your instincts, and turn your handmade skills into a profitable venture to be proud of.
- Choosing the perfect name for your handmade business can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. By following a simple three-step process, you can confidently select a name that represents your brand and resonates with your audience.
- The purpose of a business name is not to define your success or explain what you do. Instead, it should evoke a feeling, an emotion, and engage your ideal customers on an intellectual and emotional level.
- Brainstorming name ideas within five different categories - personal names, descriptive or functional names, invented names, experiential names, and evocative names - allows you to explore various options and associations.
- Filtering name ideas using seven essential filters - sound, visual appeal, distinctiveness, depth of meaning, warmth and humanness, practicalities, and future proofing - helps you evaluate each name's effectiveness and suitability for your brand.
- Remember to have fun with the process and trust your instincts. Your business name is a powerful tool that, when chosen thoughtfully, can set the stage for success and resonate with your target audience.
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