Please help me find a great business name
August 6, 2009 3:32 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me find a name for my new small business - it is going to reflect my recent Swedish/therapeutic massage and waxing qualifications - and interest in helping people ease tension in their bodies to help them deal with the rest of their lives. I am hoping to attract sport-related clients, but also people who want relaxation massage (so a flowery spa type name might not work). The business name needs to appeal to a broad range of people, enable me to expand later to broader aspects such as pilates, holistic healing and possibly life coaching. I have to be really careful not to have a name that gives the wrong impression about the type of massage (e.g. Euphoria). What do you think would work? 'Align', 'Ascend'.....??
posted by IdleRepose to Work & Money (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to work in this kind of branding, and I still consult for some firms that do it, so here's some generic and numbered advice, not just word suggestions since I am sure many people will provide those.

Both Align and Ascend are nice, positive and vague words, by the way. Nobody can spell Ascend, though, so be careful with that one.

For whatever name you choose, in addition to making sure it's (1) spellable by morons and (2) non-awkward to say on the phone (very, very important). Practice saying "Hello, Brilliant Name Spa" on the phone to see how it feels.

(3) Don't get too attached to some one-word neo-fusion restaurant style name, either. Instead, be sure to plan it with additional words added, and get used to it that way. For example "Ascend Spa Works" or "Ascend Therapy".

That way you can be certain that the name is (4) securable as a business name and trademark because it's specific enough to not overlap with Ascend Auto Parts and (5) is available as a dot-com. Can't stress that last point enough: when you get to pick a new name from scratch, a rare treat, you must make it dot-com nameable. Coming up with a brilliant name and then settling for or is sad. Make sure it's to start with.

Also, after securing the dot com (6) check the name with a wide group of people, such as AskMe users, as a last safety check to make sure you didn't accidentally choose a word that means "laugh at me" in Swahili, or that comes out unfortunately ambiguous on the internet like some of these examples.

(Even if you don't think the internet is important to your business type, people are going to be searching for your address, or your zip code, or something. Be findable.)

And whatever name you pick, (7) try it out on a small group of people you trust very early. I've had many "brilliant" ideas that looked embarrassingly bad to me a couple of weeks later. It's easy to get caught up in a fleeting notion, and just as easy to fall out of love with a great idea after some sobering up. Don't commit to a "bad tattoo" name.
posted by rokusan at 3:55 AM on August 6, 2009 [9 favorites]

Re rokusan's point 6: you can use this Keyword in context search page to search for your chosen name in any or all of a number of languages. It shows the search term (ie your business name) in the context of a sentence.

Good luck!
posted by flutable at 4:18 AM on August 6, 2009

Arrr, Even Keel Spa, matey.
posted by prodevel at 5:43 AM on August 6, 2009

As someone who uses your type of service, and googles for it, I strongly agree with rockusan's comments about its availability in a sense. Think about what you are selling - because you are a bricks and mortar business a location word in your name may be useful. (I was going to say that technology hasn't evolved far enough for digital massage but then realised that language is a humorous thing and digital massage is exactly what you are offering...)

Something like Albuquerque Align Therapy. Or Saskatchewan Sports Massage. Something that will come up when a person in your area googles for a local masseur.

I like coming up with tag lines as well as names. Your comment: to help them deal with the rest of their lives jumped out at me.

mumblemumbleMassage or Therapy - for the rest of your life.

Make your name relate to your offering - in location, in activity, in variety.

Alignment - body and mind therapy to keep you on track.
Brisbane BetterBody Therapy Spa
Hands-on-help: sports massage, body beauty and life coaching.

If I knew your location I may be able to come up with more.

And rokusan, that is great advice for any budding business namer. Fave!
posted by Kerasia at 6:47 AM on August 6, 2009

I guess you're looking for something a little more unique than "Serenity" or "Tranquility" but I'll throw them out there. Also, a couple places I know that offer services like yours are named:

Balance Fitness Studio
Vibrant Life Chiropractic
Healing Hands Massage Therapy

I like those names. They are all in Canada, so if you're elsewhere, some variant of these might work.
posted by yawper at 7:32 AM on August 6, 2009

I was thinking about Temple Spa because it can be interpreted flexibly -- first of all, the temple is a body part that we massage for relief. Second, there's the saying about the body being one's temple. I think it would sound inviting to both sports- and relaxation-oriented customers.
posted by hermitosis at 8:15 AM on August 6, 2009

How about: "New You"

Does what it says on the tin, like.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:16 AM on August 6, 2009

Best answer: While you are still in the marketing phase of this endeavor, you might strongly consider your exact market.

Wanting to cater to (or at least include) sports-type massage and even knowing the word "holistic" strikes me as a mismatch. I get a sports-type massage pretty regularly. When I am bouncing around looking for a new place (my therapist leaves my old place or whatever), I try out a lot of new places and a lot of new therapists. If I go in for a sport massage, or deep tissue massage and get a swedish/holistic/hereisyourhoroscope ("I am feeling your aura", "no, you are wasting my fucking time and money!") catastrophe, I not only never go back, I berate it as hard as I possibly can in as many venues as I possibly can. Finding a good massage shop and therapist is hard, spas that make it harder by marketing it to a wider, and less applicable, audience is an entirely unwelcome move in my book.

A couple of questions to ask yourself:
-Is this a granola kind of place? (a whole foods type of shopper wants something different than a safeway shopper)
-Is this a good value (massage-quality/dollar)? (some people want value, some people care less about money)
-Will you hire therapists with different specialties?
-How different are the different types of massage that are available?
-Do the specialties cost extra?
-Is this a place where someone might buy a package or a subscription and come back frequently or is this a place where a friend buys a gift certificate and someone goes once and you never see them again?

-Your local competition: answer the above questions for them (what does that tell you?).
-Review sites: what do people say about the competitors in the area?
-How do you plan to promote the business? (life-coaching is a long term consultation, massage is a minimally linked series of events, and yoga or pilates are a series of classes. All of these are different businesses, I think it would be very wise to get really good at one of them and incorporate others over time, coming out of the gate with three offerings like that will spread you pretty thin)

None of this is directly about the name, but it goes back to the same point. Figure out what you want to do, name it for that thing, do that thing, kick that things ass, consider what other (adjacent) asses you think you can kick, kick them too.
posted by milqman at 1:04 PM on August 6, 2009

« Older MBP with unrecognized battery   |   Help me update my PC / Windows literacy for the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.