Your comprehensive guide for starting a bar business

Picking a Name for Your Bar

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A great name should be memorable and evoke a feeling. It’s one of the most important elements of creating a strong brand. When you are ready to pick a name for your bar, there are several things to consider, including making sure that it’s not already taken. As you pick a name for your bar, start with these naming tips:

  • Make it memorable. A creative, distinctive name will stick in the minds of your customers and not be easily confused with other names.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Name. In most cases you want to stay away from naming a business after yourself. The one exception is in the bar and restaurant business, where intimacy and familiarity trumps marketing standards. In fact, your customer’s will likely shorten the full name to just referring to your place as “Joe’s” or “O’Reilly’s”.
  • Make it appealing and easy to use. If your name is hard to spell or pronounce, it won’t be as memorable.
  • Avoid geographical names. Geography means different things to different people, even in the same town. The Westside bar might really be north of some of your clientele. Don’t confuse them and don’t make it hard to open another shop later.
  • Get feedback. Try out your potential name on family, friends, and folks in the business and potential customers. If real people don’t connect or react, then try to find something that resonates with them.
  • Avoid famous names or brands. You want to be unique and you don’t want to get sued for trademark infringement. Think a big company won’t come after a little bar? Think again.
  • Conduct a name search. You can conduct an initial search online – it will let you know if you have a lot of competition for the same name and also give you some insight into whether or not you can create a corresponding domain name for your Web site. Have your business attorney finesse the search and make it formal so that you can properly register your business name.

If you have no idea what you would like to name your bar, you should try some basic brainstorming techniques with paper and pen, a dictionary and thesaurus, and a few friends. Test out how names sound, what they mean, and how memorable or catchy they are. Picking a name for your bar can be a fun, creative exercise, but it’s also serious business. The name of your bar is the beginning of your brand and your customer allegiance.

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