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Top Branding Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Business When Choosing a Brand Name

When starting your own business, choosing the right name is essential. In addition to sticking to the minds of your target audience/potential customers, your choice of business name also has to stand the test of time and avoid any legal issues or trademark infringements down the road.

These branding mistakes can ruin your business before you’ve even started it up, so be sure to steer clear of them when you name your brand.

Getting Emotionally Attached to Your Choice of Business Name

Having a business name you are emotionally attached to is an easy way to sabotage yourself. You will spend all your time trying to make it work instead of finding another name.

When you want to start a new venture, the best thing to do is purchase a business name listed for sale. This will save you the headache of having a business name that doesn’t work for your idea.

It is also helpful if you plan on changing your business model at any point because then you won’t have to change the business name. According to a recent survey, less than 20% of customers say that A Brand Name Change Is Perceived Positively. According to this survey, you should attempt to get your business name right the first time because most customers find it unfavorable. Why? This is because they are already familiar with the old name, and it is difficult for them to connect with a new name.

Getting Snared By Negative Interpretations 

Business names are an integral part of a company’s identity, and it is important to be mindful of the connotations and interpretations of words when choosing a name. For example, ‘death’ might not be the best name for a flower company.

Luckily, if you make a mistake with your name, there are avenues available to correct it. Suppose you’re stuck with an unsuitable moniker; there are plenty of business names for sale on the internet that you can explore.

While you are at it, you can spruce things up and change the meaning of a word without changing the spelling: use an alternate pronunciation, spell out numbers instead of abbreviations, add “and Sons” after a business name, change “Way” to “Avenue,” etc.

Building Barriers to Memory

What’s in a name? Quite a lot. Your business’s name sells your brand to customers and gives them the first impression. Your business name should be an extension of your brand persona, what you do, and what makes you different from any other company.

A common mistake is picking a name that doesn’t convey anything about your business type or its specific attributes. You want to avoid phrases like Home Improvement Company or Business Services. These generic titles don’t give potential customers enough information about your offer.

Choose words that let people know at least some part of your story, but not all of it- this keeps their curiosity piqued, so they’re inclined to find out more.

How Does Negative Interpretation of Business Name Affect Business

Naming a business is among the most important decisions any business owner will make. It’s the first impression people have of what you do, and it needs to be memorable and unique. But the wrong name for your business could lead to disaster, as many entrepreneurs found out after naming their businesses something negative or inappropriate.

Here are common mistakes entrepreneurs made with naming their businesses and how they turned out:

The Business Name: Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

What Happened?

The ice cream company was forced to change its name because there was another company called Chunky Monkey. They didn’t want anyone confused between the two brands, so they changed their name to Moo Freez Ice Cream.

The Business Name: Allstate Sugar Beet Insurance Agency

What Happened?

You may not think sugar beet and an insurance agency would go together. Still, someone thought it sounded like a good idea. It turns out this business name wasn’t as catchy as they had hoped, and they changed it to plain old “insurance agency.”

Negative Interpretations of Brand Names Example

Your business name is a big decision, and you don’t want to make it lightly. Here are seven common naming disasters and how you can avoid them.

    • A brand name should never be negative. Examples of this include Plague or Murder.

    • Your business should not have a negative connotation if it sells food or drinks. For example, Sodalite might not be a good name for someone who sells ice cream.

    • Businesses with ambiguous or generic names will be harder to identify in online searches. For instance, if your business is called “The Company,” potential customers won’t know what type of company they’re looking at when they research companies like yours online.

    • It’s also important to consider international use when choosing a business name. You may think your business name sounds catchy and clever, but you could end up with some strange translations.

    • When searching for business names, getting information about any existing trademarks is important before finalizing a purchase. Otherwise, you may end up paying legal fees when somebody files a suit against you for trademark infringement.

Finally, keep your target customer group in mind when naming your business!


There are a lot of pitfalls to watch out for when naming a business. A name should be catchy and memorable while aligning with the business’s mission. As such, it’s important to avoid words/phrases that have already been trademarked or used by another company.

Squadhelp is the world’s leading crowdsourced naminig platform supporting clients from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies. Grant Polachek is Head of Branding at, a 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. They have reviewed over 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today.