Choosing a business name is an important step in the marketing of your company.
Having come up with a few successful naming and slogan campaigns, I can say that the secret to choosing a cool business name isn't having a great literary mind or a firmer command of the English language than your professor.
What is really beneficial is to know your market, know your audience and know your product and what you are selling.
All this is well and good, but how do you proceed in finding out this information? Chances are if you've had to create a business plan you've already done most of the work, and if you haven't it would be very beneficial.
First off start with the easy one. What are you selling and, more importantly, how are you selling yourself?
It's not just about a being potter selling handmade pottery. Are you going to have a small family run cottage business or a cutting edge bastion of efficiency? Both require different names.
For a family oriented or homey business with a personal touch, use softer words that evoke a feeling of home. For more modern establishments use words with a cleaner edge that will show you know what you're selling and what your customers plan to do, you'll notice all chain stores do this, short quick names. An example: Evelyn's Country Bakery vs. Evelyn's.
The next step in choosing a business name is to know what your customers are expecting. You wouldn't name a shoe store Ruby's, it would have to be Ruby's Shoes until you were well established enough to have Ruby's synonymous with shoes.
Up until this point you are including names into the process. The last step and the hardest is narrowing the list by finding out who your competitors are. Your purpose now is to take the names you've come up with from your list and to whittle it down to the name that really fits both you and the market.
You want to make sure that when people think of your name they are not confusing it with any other establishment. A perfect example of this is how many House of Pizzas are there? Does that really inspire any brand name loyalty? It gets the point across and people know what to expect, but it doesn't separate you from the pack.
Really whittle down your list, and if one seems perfect off the bat go with it.
If you're having trouble choosing a cool business name, bounce the names off of people you know and people you don't just so that even if someone who doesn't know you personally would be able to understand why you picked the name you did.
Philip Truax, Truax Design