What should I name my business?

Naming your business is no easy feat. You need to settle on a name that will have a long life and communicate what you are all about in a simple way.

We've put some naming categories that will help you along the way –

Functional names

Examples - Builder's Warehouse, Drain Surgeon

Pro's - An immediate connection is formed with what your business does. This is particularly helpful for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - meaning when someone googles services similar to your business it’s more likely they will find you first.

Con's – If you expand into other industries/products or services, your name could limit you to your current specialization.

A Single Word

Examples - Discovery, Apple, Checkers, Mango

Pro's- Catchy and easy to remember, also versatile for expansion into other products or industries.

Con's – Finding something original that is not already taken may be hard. Marketing effort is required to layer meaning on what the business is actually about.


Examples - MTN, EOH, KPMG, FNB

Pro's - Short, roll off the tongue, easy to remember.

Con's - Taglines, messaging and images will need to be used to communicate your business further.

Different language

Examples - Kulula, Vukhani

Pro’s – Intriguing and can imply multiple references related to your business

Con’s – Resonance may be limited to those individuals that understand the language, but can also intrigue those who do not.

Names of People

Examples - Mugg & Bean, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys, Kunene Brothers Holdings, Nando's, Ackermans

Pro's - Names have strong cultural reference. They can also lend themselves to a theme such as Nando's or a more serious professional organization such as attorney's firms.

Random words

Examples - Five Roses

Pro's - easy to remember once you have attached the meaning of your business in your clients' minds

Con's - marketing effort needs to be put in to attach meaning to these names otherwise your market will still associate its dictionary meaning.

Combo names

Examples- YouTube, Takealot, Mediclinic, Google Maps

Pro's – Meaning is instantly created with the use of two or more words

Con’s – Can be lengthy

Invented names

Example – Zando, Google, Xerox

Pro’s – Original never before seen names leave lots to the imagination

Con’s – Other brand elements need to be used to create and imply the meaning and essence of the brand.

This post was written by Tina Bodill Tina heads up Kukula Marketing and loves getting her hands dirty on solving marketing problems from strategy, to brand development and marketing project execution mostly for Medium sized B2B Businesses. She is a mom to a little human, a pug and a sausage dog and loves vintage Mustangs.

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