October 11, 2018

When Naming Your Food Business – Don’t Narrow Your Own Options

naming your small businessOne thing I talk about when I teach in-person food entrepreneurship classes in Seattle is that part of the business creation process includes coming up with a name for your business. While many of us start with our businesses with one particular business concept in mind – for example, ‘cupcakes’, it’s important not to create a business name that reflects only that one product type.

This was brought to light again for me recently when I saw this news article about Temple which is dropping the ‘Turmeric’ from their ‘Temple Turmeric’ name. Why are they dropping the ‘Turmeric’ from their brand name? Because they are hoping to build off of the brand loyalty and recognition they’ve created with their core customer base to expand into other non-turmeric products.

The same goes for you too as you create your business name. You don’t want to name your business ‘XYZ Cupcakes’ only to find that in the future you can’t easily grow your product line beyond cupcakes and still maintain your consumers’ trust. Given your name, they associate your product with cupcakes, for example, and not a new line of granola you may come out with.

By the way, the cupcakes example is a real one from a friend and fellow food entrepreneur of mine. She started her business back right as cupcakes were first taking off so to name her business with the Cupcakes word it in it seemed on-trend and timely. However, as more competitors entered the cupcake market she realized that she was having a hard time differentiating her brand. She always said that in hindsight she wished she’d simply named her company “XYZ” and then could offer cupcakes, granola, and anything else she was interested in and thought would be a good fit for her clientele.

So as you think about naming your business, keep a broad name in mind so that as your business grows, as your customers change, and as trends ebb and flow, your business can change with it.

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