When first starting out, entrepreneurs often stress over packaging and a number of other details, leaving one of the most important aspects of their business as a mere afterthought. The unfortunate truth is that the name and branding that you choose for your business is often able to make or break it, and can be the difference between a business rapidly succeeding or just moving on slowly. If you get the name right for your company, the branding will be a by-product of your advertising. Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a name and branding for your business.

Sounding good

The name of a business should sound good when it is said. Alliteration, or words that start with the same consonant æ such as Coca-Cola or Dunkin’ Donuts – works really well for business names, as they tend to roll off the tongue and have a catchy ring to them. When picking a name for your business, it’s a good idea to say it out loud a lot to make sure that it sounds good, and that you don’t get stuck in any sort of tongue twister situation. People will need to say the name in different forms of conversation and audio, so making it sound good is essential.

Meaning and benefit

Your business name should convey meaning and be relevant to your company and the products and services that you sell. For example, think of Ray-Ban, which is a clever and memorable name for a sunglasses company that clearly conveys the purpose, meaning, and benefit behind the product – banning the sun’s harmful rays from your eyes. When you think about it, Ray-Ban is a relatively simple choice of name, but it works well.

Correct spelling

It’s best to avoid certain web trends and mistakes when it comes to choosing the spelling for your name. Dyslexic style spelling such as Flickr could just confuse your customers, so it’s best to stick to correct, traditional spelling and avoid any type of text-speak or abbreviations in your business name. After all, with the QWERTY keypads on smartphones and tablets, text speak and abbreviations are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Avoid initials

Although some companies such as IBM have managed to get away with using initials, it’s good to note that these are multi-million dollar companies that have been around for decades and grown huge amounts since they were launched. With initials, it’s hard to add meaning, purpose, or benefit to your brand, and if customers aren’t familiar with your business, they’ll have a hard time working out what it is that you actually sell. Initials are also boring – so instead, use a name that is engaging or interesting.