What’s in a Business Name?

by Kimberly on February 4, 2010 · 10 comments

I am not a very creative namer. I name songs things like “The Right-Left Song” or “The Oom-Pah-Pah Song.” Even the titles of songs I’ve posted on this website are boring: “Watch and Learn: The Mirror Neuron Song,” “The Neurodevelopment Song,” and “The Namaqua Song.

Music may come easily to me. Making up names does not.

Which made it especially hard for me when creating my business name in 2006. Thinking of a name for a business is a big responsibility. You want a name that’s easy to say, easy to remember, and maybe even expresses your personality and beliefs.

When looking at the business names others have used, I’ve noticed a couple of general categories. Their outlines below, with examples. I hope they help spark some ideas for you and your new business name.

Regional

Your business name can reference an area where you live, which can be a great option if you want to attract local clientele. Coast Music Therapy is located in San Diego (Get it? Coast. Beach). Summit Music Therapy, Peak View Music Therapy, and Rocky Mountain Music Therapy are in Colorado and reference the mountains. Midwest Music Therapy is in Missouri. Referencing a location can be a great option–unless you move and take your business with you. Coast Music Therapy doesn’t have the same draw in Columbia, Missouri.

Name-Sake

Using your name can be an easy way to create a personal brand through your business. My first music therapy business was called KMS Music Therapy (with KMS being my initials at the time). Erfurt Music Therapy also comes to mind. In fact, many highly recognizable business names use this technique: Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, and Trump jump to mind. Look at the law firms and dental practices in your town. They often use their last names in their business name.

Profession-Related

In the music therapy world, many of our businesses reference music. Cadenza Music Therapy and Metric Music Therapy come to mind. And to take it a step further, many not only reference music, but also the therapy part of our work. Rehabilitative Rhythms. Sound Health Music. Healing Sounds Music Therapy. I don’t know if this is a common practice outside of our profession, but many music therapists take advantage of words and ideas associated with our field.

Combination

Then there are businesses that incorporate more than one element, or that don’t fit in any of the categories above. I chose Neurosong Music Therapy Services because I wanted a combo that emphasized the brain (neuro) and music (song). Another example is Music Therapy Connections, which suggests the action of connecting to others. My internship was at MusicWorx of California, a brilliant name that incorporates 1) the idea that “music works” in therapy, 2) a regional association, and 3) the “rx” spelling references medical prescriptions (By the way, if you go to the Musicworx site, you’ll see a picture of my former intern ID badge on the homepage).

Some other points to consider when creating your business name:

  • Make it easy to spell. I didn’t do this with Neurosong. People don’t know how to spell “neuro” and it’s a hard word to understand over the phone. I have to spell it for people all the time–and even then half the time it’s wrong! So even though I really like the name, I would take “spell-ability” into account if I create another business down the road.
  • Make it short and sweet. One thing I like about my business name is that, even though technically “Neurosong Music Therapy Services” is quite long, it can easily be shortened to “Neurosong” while still maintaining an identity. Same with “Musicworx of California,” which can easily be shortened to “Musicworx.”

If you have other ideas or suggestions for people looking to create a business name, leave a comment below!

Share

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt February 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Great post, Kimberly. There are so many things to consider when naming a business. One thing I might add is that it doesn’t hurt to pick a name that starts with a letter early in the alphabet. That way your business is toward the top of alphabetized lists, such as in the yellow pages or on vendor lists.

Kimberly February 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

That’s an interesting thought. Thanks Matt! ~Kimberly

Michelle Erfurt February 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Great post. The first practice I had, I did a regional name: ‘Music Therapy in Orlando’… But, 2 years later we moved! So I went with something that won’t change… my name. Although it rates low on the spellable scale, I know it won’t change as quickly as my location. (what a learning experience!) … http://www.erfurtmusictherapy.com; http://www.erfurtmusicresource.com. 🙂

custom name badges May 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Enjoyed the post. This blog was worth bookmarking but this is going on Delicious now!

Kimberly May 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Wow–THANKS!!! ~Kimberly

Meridith Lager November 2, 2010 at 10:30 am

going through this now…having to rename “HeartBeats Music Therapy” simply because another MT got to in the cyber world first! – which is all that matters in this day and age. thanks!!

jeremy scott leopard September 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative
and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail
on the head. The problem is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently
about. I am very happy I found this in my hunt for something relating to this.
jeremy scott leopard´s last blog post ..jeremy scott leopard

Michael May 11, 2016 at 5:39 am

Great share!! . There are so many things to consider when naming a business.Your business name should be easy to remember.

Victor K. Hartzler December 6, 2016 at 4:56 am

Hey!!!
Business name is not just a name it’s an identification of your business. This can grow your overall business profit. So one should be careful while naming his business. Business name should be relevant to the business product and services.
Thank you so much great sharing.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: