It’s hard to create a strong name for any business - and perhaps even more so for a private equity firm. Unlike other industries, you can't get too creative. You need a name that exudes professionalism and reliability, and a misspelled or made-up word probably won’t convey that.
But, your name also needs to be unique and memorable so, you have to find that perfect balance between creative and too common. Imagine it from an investor’s perspective: Why would someone give money to a company with an unpronounceable name, or one that's just plain forgettable? And on the other hand, you have to remember that just because a name sounds cool, it doesn't mean it's good for business.
Don't name your private equity firm the first thing that comes to mind. Instead, consider these branding and naming conventions to encompass your business and display your professionalism.
Start With a Story
Your firm exists to make money, but so does every other private equity firm. So, think about what sets you apart from everyone else.
Brainstorming the name of your private equity firm should start with a story. A story will help you be relatable to your audience, and create a real connection. If you don’t have a real story behind your ventures, don’t just make one up or try to sum it up with a simple word.
Dig deeper and think about the kind of values and growth your clients are looking for in an equity firm. Create the feeling that you’re not just another firm, but a uniquely credible and personable one.
Know What Your Brand Stands For
Before you come up with a brand name, you also need to consider what the true purpose of your brand is. For starters, you want your firm’s name to shine a little light on your core values.
Don’t rush - truly think about what this name says about your firm. From the vantage point of an investor, they want to know exactly who you are and what you offer. Clarity is the name of the game, and the best way to provide that is with true forethought about what it is you offer.
Cool misspellings with “K”s instead of “C”s ideally should be avoided. And forget about names that are difficult to read or pronounce. A private equity firm is all about trust. Therefore, your name should rouse confidence, assurance, and professionalism. Would you invest money in a firm whose name you can’t even say out loud?
Understand Your Responsibility
Naming is more than just telling your clients *what* you can do - it should tell them *how* you do it. They wouldn’t be seeking a private equity firm if they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. Instead of focusing on what you do, think about how you do it. What makes your private equity firm better than the next? Are you focused primarily on growth equity, or are you focused on real estate?
When your firm has a disciplined approach to its goals, it can be easier to communicate these goals to the public. After all, your company's focus and core values are your differentiator so, showcase that in your brand name. It will also give potential customers a sense of what to expect when working with you.
There are different ways and words that you can incorporate into your brand name to convey the ideas and feelings you want to evoke in your audience.
First, ask yourself: If your brand name could convey only one thing, what would that be? Then, think of 2-3 elements that encapsulate that one thing, whether it's your company's core value or a specific characteristic.
- Let's use reliability as an example of that 'one thing.' What comes to mind when you think of reliability? Maybe a tree, like a sturdy cedar or mighty oak. Using an evergreen tree in the name will always exude longevity, certainty and have positive associations.
- Position your company as the best, and imply that you're constantly striving for excellence. This will help convey a sense of authority. You can think of words related to mountains, for example maybe with a prefix like "mount," "mont," or "summit." All of these allude to height and great standards.
Or, you can incorporate the actual names of some of the highest mountains, like the Himalayas or Mount Everest. Use parts of these words, like "Hima" or "erest" to reference these great peaks. Animal names are also useful for incorporating into your business name. Many of these names convey speed, strength, determination, and even team spirit - so it's a great way to communicate your core values.
Other words that reference excellence and a premium experience can be One, First, Spire, Tower, Premier (or simply use the suffix “ier”). You can reinforce the feeling of being the best by creating a name like “Montier,” for example. It blends “mont” (the French term for “mountain”) and suffix “ier” (from premier) whichhighlights core values of excellence, growth, and elevation.
This name places any company as an industry leader in the pursuit of premier results. If the exact URL is taken but used by a company in a different sector, you can add words like “group,” “partners,” “investments,” or “capital” to find an available domain name.
When people hear a name for the very first time, they’ll make their own associations with it so make sure it exudes positive emotions.
If you want to evoke “trust,”you can use words like: “vera” (which means “true” in Latin); stone (which alludes to something strong and reliable); “rock” (suggests steadiness and durability); “titan” or even “bold,” whichcarries with it ideas of confidence and ability.
Colors can also be incorporated in a private equity firm name – “blue”represents feelings of trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, stability. Black is traditionally seen as a symbol of professionalism and seriousness. Brands that use black are looking to make a powerful statement and convey a sense of authority and respectability.
Whatever strategy you use to create your name, make sure it makes sense to everyone, not just you. The naming convention should be at least somewhat relevant to your firm. “Premier Trees” doesn’t sound like “optimum trust” in the aspect of investments. It sounds like an agricultural company. "Montier," on the other hand, is much more ambiguous and lends sophistication to a PE firm.
When naming a private equity firm, one needs to instill the perfect mixture of trust, creativity, and simplicity. While describing who you are, what you do, and how you do it, your name needs to tie all your values in a neat bow. A private equity firm should be remembered, valued, respected, and trusted. And after it all is said and done, it needs to be easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and easy to remember.
Make sure you do your research and make sure a name is available to use. This is simply done with a quick browser search, and by checking GoDaddy.com for the URL availability.
Finally, before you come up with your final decision, don’t forget to reach out to lawyers and law firms specializing in Trademark and Intellectual Property Law. They will be able to provide you with sound advice and information regarding the legal rights of your name.