How to Avoid Having a Cringey or Embarrassing Business Name

Business Name Idea

Black Friday and the holiday season are almost upon us, and customers are getting ready to break their piggy banks and spend that hard-earned cash they’ve been saving all year long on products they genuinely love. 

Even though this is the perfect opportunity for brands to secure new customers, boost sales, and start the new year on a solid note, many businesses won’t get the response they’re expecting from their campaigns this year. Why? The answer is simple; poor branding.

And one sure sign of a poorly branded business is a cringey or embarrassing brand name. Cringey names can instantly push customers away from your brand and trigger a marketing disaster for your business this holiday season. 

No customer will happily buy your product if it has a name like Ayds diet candy, ISIS chocolate bar, iBeat.Blaxx, Pee Cola, or if it has the words “coolest monkey in the Jungle” boldly written on it.

And just in case you want to start a strong business, here are a few tips that’d help you avoid getting a cringey or embarrassing business name.

Don’t Give Your Business a Long or Complicated Name

One thing you must avoid when naming your company is giving it a complex brand name. Take it from us; no customer wants to waste their time and energy trying to pronounce your company’s name.

People prefer short, memorable brand names to long ones because they are easier to say, remember, and search online.

Long names have many drawbacks, one of which is the chance that customers would misspell a letter when looking for your business on the internet.

Your business’s brand name establishes that critical first impression that your company needs to develop a compelling image in the eyes of its customers. So make sure you select a strong name that is short, attractive and rolls off the tongue.

Avoid names like ‘Susan’s Special Shoe Selling Shop,’ ‘Shenyang Prehistoric Powers Hotel Management Limited Company,’ or ‘King of Nanning, Guangxi, and His Friends Trading Company Ltd,’ because customers instantly forget such names.  

Fun fact: China has banned the use of such long and weird brand names.

Be Extra Cautious with Political Matters 

It’s essential to remember that upsetting customers is a legitimate formula for brand failure. Many businesses have made the mistake of demonstrating their ‘uniqueness’ by choosing a derogatory brand name, and it never ended well for them.

And, in this day and age, when customers are much more interested in the brands they patronize, sending the wrong message about culture and politics through your brand’s name will undoubtedly create a huge gap between your brand and its customers, just as Aunt Jemima’s name did before it was renamed Pearl Milling Company.

But don’t rest now; because even if you’ve come up with a wonderful name, you’ll also want to avoid anything that will make your buyers feel uneasy about your brand. Every business must exhibit extreme caution when dealing with political issues.

Customers found it difficult to distinguish Mike Lindell’s business, MyPillow, from his political activities due to his over-involvement in politics.

This action shattered his client base and led David Hogg, a Parkland massacre survivor, to create a pillow company that’d put MyPillow out of business.

Position Your Brand Wisely

Although every company desires to expand profitability, only those brands perfectly aligned with their target customer demographic would be able to do so.

A recent study by Squadhelp shows that people between the ages of 25 and 34 love new and innovative brands over traditional ones. In contrast, customers between the ages of 45 and 65, prefer traditional brands.

So, if you want your business to grow, don’t give it a name that doesn’t reflect and appeal to your target demographic.

Examine your audience and choose the tone that’ll work best. Edgy names like Alienware are great for businesses targeting young people, but if your target audience are Baby Boomers, stick with traditional names.

Every entrepreneur must understand their target market to generate a name that matches their requirements and personality. And, when it comes to naming your company, the quickest and most dependable route is to use a reputable company name generator.

Get Your Brand’s Name Tested

Failure to test your brand name with an audience is another guaranteed way to wind up with a name that’ll make your customers cringe.

Therefore, make sure you test your name on a small sample of your target audience to see if it connects with them.

Testing your name will help you determine if your audience likes it and if it’ll grow with your business.

Most successful brands like Ayds Diet Candy didn’t see the need to test their brand name regularly to verify that it still supported their business’s development. And the brand’s failure to monitor its brand name eventually led to its collapse.

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Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company, the world’s #1 naming platform, with 30,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation.