Naming Your Business
One of the most challenging parts about starting a business is coming up with a name. The name of your business sets the tone and holds the identity of your company. It emphasizes what you represent.
Make it Unique
Most organizations will tell you to ensure the name of your business is easily spelled and pronounced. With the rise of more progressive startups coming to fruition there are many companies who have strayed for the standards of what was traditional, and have proven that you can think outside the box. Some you are probably familiar with.
- Toys R Us
These are examples of companies who have misspelled and created new words for the their names. They have all grown into globally recognized brands.
Pacific Rain, or Pacific Rayne? We made the decision to take the unconventional route. We do not want to be a conventional company by any means. I have learned early on, that whatever sets you apart could be your greatest asset.
Don't Pick A Name That is Limiting, As Your Business Grows
The first criteria was that we did not want to want to corner our brand into a box. If we chose a name that was too limiting, it is a struggle to grow beyond the limits we could unwittingly trap ourselves in.
There are many examples of where I have seen companies trap themselves, and limit their brands possibilities with their name. Take Children’s museum of Tacoma for example, a beloved community organization that had been around for decades. With a name like Children’s Museum of Tacoma…well one can assume that this is a kids museum in Tacoma. But they they began to grow. They added a childcare program, opened a preschool. They opened a location outside of Tacoma in the neighboring town. Suddenly they had outgrown their name. The major issue was people assumed the extent of the museum’s services and they began missing out on serving their customers with the new programs, and letting it be known they have a secondary location outside of Tacoma.
Eventually the Museum was forced to proceed with a massive rebranding which led to them to change their name to Greentrike. This change, opened new doors , and left room for growth in new programming and a secondary location. With the exception of Covid-19 closures, this led to a radical change in organizational structure, and increased revenues for the organization to give back to the community in new ways.
Find the Domain Name For Your Website
A big hurdle is securing the domain name for your website.We wanted the domain name PacificRain.com which would be ideal for people searching for the company on google. As more and more companies move online, it can be difficult to find a name with an available domain for the website.
A great example of not getting the url you really want is the photo sharing company Flickr. They tried very hard in the beginning to attain the website : flicker.com with (er). They could not get the person who owned the domain to sell to them. However to everyones amazement, the misspelling lead to better brand distinction and recognition. The Flickr team was actually glad in the end that they went with their second choice for the name. In other words it was the misspelling of their name that was partially responsible for their success.
Use a Name That Conveys Some Meaning
Another reason we made the decision on the misspelling of Pacific Rain, was to stay true to our roots. My first name is actually Cairayne (pronounced “Ky Rain”), so the name had a double meaning to represent myself as the founder, and to recognize our industry in the rainy Pacific Northwest.
Fun Fact: It rains in Seattle 152 on average each year.
You May Need to Adapt
The Big challenge with having an oddly spelled Business name it can make it difficult for people to find your company online. We have uncovered a few different methods to overcome this. Hopefully to find them useful.
#1 Add incorrect/ phonetically spelled version into your blogs and website pages. We have done this with this blog post, with will help search engines like google, identify our website as a potential match when someone types pacific rain in the search bar.
#2 Add clarifying words to your advertising. Many times companies will use this to indicate what department they are referring to. We all know who Amazon is, but pretend for a moment that we didn’t. If for example you were looking for a music streaming service, Amazon implies calls their music streaming “ Amazon music”. It is still Amazon but it is a simple way to clarify a specific part of your company who may be unfamiliar with what you do. We do this with PacificRayne’s social media @pacificraynegear. We added “gear” to clarify what we are specifically promoting, but it allows us the possibility for growth.
#3 Embrace the impact of your brand. If you are going to choose a name that seems arbitrary, or that has an odd spelling, own it! You can go one of two ways when naming your business. It can fall flat, or you can make it your own. Use the uniqueness of your brand to stand apart from the competition and get brand recognition. As long as you have an excellent product or service, in my opinion your name will then be associated with greatness.