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5 Business Name Formats

Playing The Business Name Game

As any parent can tell you, picking a name is never as easy as you think it’s going to be. When it comes to your business name, it’s no different.

Granted, you’re much less likely to yell “YOU’RE GROUNDED!” after whatever you choose for your business, but that doesn’t make your choice any easier.

The name you pick for your business will be among the first impressions your company makes. Here are the 5 types of business names and things to think about when choosing one.

A decorative graphic of a name badge saying that your name is very, very important.

1. Family Names

We all have names. Using your actual name is a great way to humanize your company. Family names are also a great way to let customers know that you are a family-owned business. 

While anything is possible, it would be pretty surprising if Bradbury Brothers was not in fact, owned by the Bradbury Brothers.

A photograph of the Bradbury Brothers standing next to the Bradbury Brothers sign.

Some people shy away from using their family name because they worry that it might be hard to pronounce or confusing. However, there have been plenty of successful businesses that decided people would just learn how to say or spell their name correctly.

One of the best examples that comes to mind is Hobaica services.

The Hobaica family has done a phenomenal job of building their brand in the Phoenix community. As such, their name is effortlessly recognized. An ingenious rhyming slogan also served an instructional function, too. “You’ll Likea Hobaica” taught customers to pronounce the name while establishing their branding at the same time.


2. Vertical Names

Naming your company after the service that you provide leaves no doubt about what you can do for a customer.

The owners of Local Plumb Pros considered a lot of business names before they landed on the winning candidate. One of the reasons they went with a name based on their vertical was because they were among the people who felt their family name could cause trouble.

“It’s not pronounced the way it’s spelled,” says Billy Sores, owner of Local Plumb Pros. “We also decided that, as our business continues to expand, we do not want to get into other verticals. So, we decided to put plumbing right in the name because that’s all that we plan to do.”

Another thing that excited them was doing a shortened version of the word plumbing because as people type their search query, the name of their business will be suggested sooner.

This is a modern version of the strategy companies used when the phonebook was the dominant means of finding a new business.

The reason that you see names like 1 Best, AA Electronics, etc. is because those businesses would be listed first alphabetically. This gave your business a distinct advantage in linear source material.

A picture of the owner of 1 Best Electric standing next to the company's van.

While the phonebook is no longer the dominant lead source, there is a charm and feeling of history behind these kinds of names.


3. Location Specific Names

Residents in the Annapolis, MD area know right away where Bayside Heating & Cooling is located. That’s why location-themed names are so powerful.

Location-specific business names convey significant information, which can be especially helpful if your company is new.

An image showing a photo of a family sitting on a couch. Around them are the logo for Bayside Heating & Cooling as well as the phone number and slogan.

Granted, this kind of name doesn’t always grow as well as some of the other categories on this list, but they can be invaluable at the start – or if your business intends to work only in that area.


4. Creative Names

Aqueduct Plumbing Services chose their name as a tribute to the water delivery system in ancient Rome. “Since much of this incredible engineering achievement is still standing 2,000 years later it gives a real sense of innovation and longevity,” adds Kasey McQueen, Content Strategist at LeadsNearby.

Creative names work because they instantly say so much about your company.

Flow Pros Plumbing does a great job of touching on 3 definitions of the word flow – each one related to their brand. It’s a synonym for their vertical and represents their laid-back, no-hassle approach, all while tying in some sweet haircuts. A screenshot of the mainstage area on the Flow Pros website homepage.

This makes for a very memorable combination.


5. Combination Names

The majority of businesses combine multiple business naming conventions to come up with the specific feel they’re looking for.

John Krobatsch created the company that would become John The Plumber in 1940. While the company is now in the hands of his grandchildren, his name and spirit live on very visibly through the company’s branding.

John The Plumber's Logo.

His welcoming face and accessible name adorn everything the company touches, creating an easy rapport that makes people excited to do business with them. Including the vertical with the name creates a complete picture in just 3 words.


The Names Have Been Changed

Creative names or unique family names can be extremely memorable, and do a ton of brand-building in a short time.  However, it’s important to consider how a business name can go wrong before you choose one.

If your name is Stanley, and you want to operate as a handyman, something like Stanley’s Manly Services* might be a great way to show that your brand is fun and helpful. If you choose the wrong logo, though, you could be asking for trouble.

A logo for a fictitious company. The company is called Stanley's Manly Services and features a drawing of a man ripping his shirt open.
Not a real LeadsNearby client.

* The name in this example has been changed to protect the innocent, but not as much as you might think. This kind of vertical confusion is actually all too common.


What’s In A Name?

No matter what naming convention you’re going to use, it’s important to do sufficient research before you settle on one, start purchasing domains, and get all the shirts printed up.

Even if the name you’re going with is completely harmless, you want to make sure that there are not other people using it, and that it won’t lead to any sort of brand confusion.

Whether you’re considering a rebrand or want to make sure that you get it right the first time, call 919-758-8420 for LeadsNearby. We’re happy to give you a free marketing consultation to get your project off to the best start!

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