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Your Food Business Needs to Avoid These Common Naming Mistakes if it Must Succeed

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When starting a food business, you must focus on getting essential elements like a fantastic recipe and menu, knowing the type of food brand you want to start, getting a great location, giving your shop an attractive layout design, and perhaps, the most vital ingredient you need is branding your food business.

Think about it; your customers need assurance that what they’re about to put into their bodies is made from the finest ingredients and as delicious as they could ever hope. Giving your business an appealing name is the first step to fulfilling that promise.

And though there are several ways an entrepreneur can go about getting a good name for a company or product, some of which include using a business name generator or a naming agency, the naming mistakes encountered all have similar patterns, which we’ll be looking at today.

Let’s begin with:

1. Unpleasant or Easily Misinterpreted Names

Businesses are bound to experience more sales if they share similar social, cultural, health, and environmental beliefs with their core customers. It is common knowledge that the average person feels strongly about these delicate issues and is more likely to support a business that does as well. 

Even if it’s through your food business’s messaging or advertisements, like Gillette, or both, if your business decides to center on these issues, you’ll eventually end up excluding a sizable portion of your audience because people who disagree with the causes you support are always less likely to purchase your products or use your services. 

We saw this play out recently when some Starbucks stores faced threats of boycotts because they decided to go cashless. This backlash happened because most Starbucks customers don’t align with cashless policies. Understand that your name is the best representation of your business. If it’s unpleasant and distasteful, like Hitler’s Chicken, it’s only natural for your customers to avoid your brand and think your food is horrible.

2. Extremely Long Brand Names

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If you’re starting a food brand, avoid names that are overly long and complicated, as these words are unnecessarily difficult for people to pronounce or remember when searching online. 

Top food businesses use short, fun names like Jollibee, Hell’s Kitchen, Chick-fil-a, and Burger King. The reason is that short, straightforward names always capture your clients’ attention more effectively than long, complicated ones.

If you fail to come up with engaging food business name ideas that are short and memorable, many of your customers will struggle to remember your company’s name, much less suggest it to their friends and family. If you must use a long name, consider abbreviating it, like KFC and TCBY.

Creating short, unique, and memorable names for your food business should be your priority because 80% of customers forget about branded items within three days.

Keep in mind that for your clients to recall your brand name quickly, it must be memorable, sound good, and be easy to pronounce.

3. Bizarre Translations

Giving your brand a renowned online presence has the advantage of making it accessible to customers all over the world who can engage with your brand.  But a global identity also comes with a few drawbacks. One is picking a company name that could have a strange or offensive meaning in a different language.

Your potential clients will be reluctant to patronize you if the name of your brand is derogatory in their language. We witnessed this when the names of two well-known products, Mazda’s Laputa and Nokia’s Lumia, translated to “prostitute” in Spanish and were therefore rejected by Spanish-speaking customers. Similarly, every English-speaking consumer would be hesitant to try Pee Cola, a popular soft drink in Ghana.

Businesses looking for the perfect name shouldn’t confine their linguistic research to only one language. Make sure you choose a brand name only after thoroughly examining the top languages in both the market you’re aiming to target and the primary languages spoken worldwide.

By following this path, you can ensure that your chosen name will be respected by your customers worldwide.

Put Your Customers First

It may seem like old news, but countless business owners get so focused on their food company’s profit that they lose sight of the fact that their primary goal is to serve their target market. And that’s why your brand must make every attempt to give your customer’s needs and preferences priority.

Customers soon lose interest in businesses that prioritize profits because nobody wants to do business with a company that they perceive uninterested in coming up with novel and creative solutions to their needs.

Choosing a name that has been well researched, has positive connotations in the language of your target, and is simple to say and locate online is the best approach to positioning your food brand. Making the smart choice and getting a powerful name will prevent you from needing to rename your business after a few years.Grant Polachek is the head of branding for, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies.

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