Choosing a name for your interior design business can be a complex task that requires a lot of thought. Choosing a great name will positively affect how potential clients view your brand and search engines find you. However, choosing a poor name may result in a lack of conversions and even confusion from people visiting your site.
Working with many interior designers, I’ve seen which names work and what names are questionable. If you are struggling to come up with the perfect name, read on – the following tips just might help you narrow your choice!
A Strong Name Needs to be Simple
And memorable. Your business name should leave nothing to the imagination to achieve maximum exposure. Using ‘interiors’ or ‘interior design’ in the name is a prominent place to start, but it is not always necessary if you can capture your style in another phrase. Think about the living spaces you like to design. What comes to mind?
Many business owners (not just interior designers) fall into a common trap: trying to get too crafty when choosing a name. You may have a wonderful sense of creativity and think you have an instant winner. Unfortunately, assuming your clientele may not understand your creativity or choice of wordplay. In fact, they will likely be confused and may favor a competitor with a more straightforward name that accurately describes their services.
When choosing a business name, here are some other things to avoid:
- Using puns. They may cause your audience not to take you seriously.
- Try not to choose a name that sounds different from how it’s spelled. You don’t want to have to consistently correct people.
- Avoid geographical locations – they may limit your scope and future growth potential.
A Brilliant Name Will Be Discoverable
Unique names with no keywords will require a lot of marketing, so if your budget or timeline is tighter, consider the best-using keywords. Using interior design-related keywords in your name and your domain name will get you found in any searches your ideal clients make.
It’s possible that your perfect interior design name is not available as a domain. Occasionally, the owner of your perfect name will not be using it, so it is possible to buy it from them. However, suppose that is not an option. In that case, you could add some text to your name, such as ‘designs’ or ‘interiors.’ Doing this is unlikely to detract from the brand voice you are trying to create and may work in your favor by broadening your audience.
Thoughts on using your own name.
Many interior designers choose to use their own name(s) for their business, which can be an effective and intelligent marketing strategy, especially for services industries like interior design. Aside from maximizing your credibility as a reputable provider in your field, you also have the added bonus of building instant trust and credibility. Customers are conditioned to be attracted by real people and their stories, and a great way to build a positive reputation from the outset is to put a face to the name.
Handing out business cards or meeting someone in a coffee shop is more effortless when interested parties do not have to remember multiple names. “Hi, I am Rachael Francis from Rachael Francis Designs” – makes it pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?
Of course, some caveats to using your name(s). If you fall into the following categories, perhaps a different option might be in order.
- Your name is difficult to pronounce.
- Your name is too common (and probably taken).
- Your name is used by someone infamous (or famous).
- If you hire junior designers or grow a team, clients may expect your full attention vs the other firm members.
Consider available social media accounts.
Nowadays, social media needs to be a big part of your marketing strategy, so ideally, all of your accounts need the same, if not very close to, your domain name. You may find this tricky, as not everyone has a website, but almost everyone has at least one social media account. Considering most people use their real name on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, it pays to research your chosen business name and how it fits on these channels. You will likely receive a lot of traffic through these channels, so try not to confuse your clients by using different names in different locations.
Is using .com the best option?
Once you have a name you like, the next thing is to think of the domain. In most people’s eyes, having a name that ends in .com means that your business is reputable.
I agree with this assumption. Although search engines like Google only prioritize .com names because more than 50% of websites have this extension, it is still better to avoid lack of exposure and go with the mainstream.
If you have a name you are set on, a .co or .net domain may be an option you could consider, but again, your branding and organic content will need to be stellar to get to the top of google search results.
Don’t forget about filing for trademark.
It is good to know that you still have some protections even if you don’t officially have a mark registered with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Known as “common law” trademarks, they’re protected under state law principles of unfair competition. That is why it is wise to search registered brand names in your state so you don’t accidentally use someone else’s.
Registering for a trademark may not be necessary if you plan to stay within a specific geographical boundary. However, common law is quite limited both in geography and brand protection. If you have grand plans to expand your business in the future, registering your name will provide you with the necessary protections that prevent others from profiting from your hard work!
Think it over (and over).
Choosing the perfect business name is a big decision. It is best to give it some time before you set the wheels in motion and start a website, make business cards, register a trademark, and incorporate.
A technique I advise my clients to consider is to elicit the advice of those in their professional circle. They may be able to offer a perspective you haven’t thought of yet. Of course, too much advice can also be a bad thing. Remember, you know your business better than anyone. A business name should materialize organically when you consider your brand voice, your services, designs, and the spaces you love.
Any name you choose should be timeless, so give yourself some time, say it aloud, and come back to it in a week. If it still feels right, then go for it!
Seek professional help.
What if you have tried everything, and nothing feels like it represents you as an interior designer? No worries! There is help available.
A good business coach or even a strategic copywriter should be able to help. Brainstorming, research, and words are their bread and butter. They can help you brainstorm and find phrases that reflect your brand story. Then, coupled with a website designer, your website will be searchable, easy to navigate, and gorgeous. And when you’re ready to create an elevated brand and website design, I’d love to chat. Click here to schedule a time to discuss your project.