Whether you’re just starting out as an independent, opening your first salon or looking to rebrand your existing salon business, the name you choose is extremely important.
It’s the thing you will be known for, the thing you want people to talk about, the very first thing a prospective client knows about you and if all goes well, you will be living with this name for a long time.
- But where do you start?
- What makes a good beauty salon name?
- What things should you consider when thinking up possibilities . . . . so many questions!
Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered . . . keep reading as I walk you through the whole process and by the end of this article you will know everything you need to know.
Here’s a quick summary so you can decide if this article is for you . . .
In this article I will take you though:
- How to come up with great ideas and what to do for inspiration
- What things you need to keep in mind when coming up with possible names for your beauty salon
- How to get feedback on your ideas the right way!
- The mistakes I’ve made in the past with business names
and finally . . .
- How to make that final decision using The Salon Business Name Evaluator
Total Read Time: 5m 45s
IDEAS . . . OH NO, I DON’T HAVE ANY IDEAS!
If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own salon for a while, then the chances are that you have been calling it something in your mind already, go on admit it. You may already have an idea for a name, or many ideas, or you might just have no ideas at all.
In any case you need a list of ideas to compare with one another to help you make sure you choose the right one from the start.
Sometimes when trying to think of names yourself you get caught in a certain mode or mind set. If you are anything like me, ideas don’t just flow out like turning on a tap, I need something to help shake them loose first.
So if you are stuck for ideas, here are a few suggestions to get you going:
– Ideas and thoughts probably come to you at the strangest of times, in the shower, on the toilet, queuing for a bus, in the supermarket?
Make sure you always have a place to record ideas for names. Whether it’s an app on your phone, in a notebook or on the back of your hand, just make sure it is always close by so you don’t lose what might be a great idea for a name.
(Tip: The back of your hand isn’t the best place for this! )
– Brainstorm ideas. If you’re rebranding or expanding and/or you already have any kind of team, then get everyone together and start throwing ideas around and write them all down.
This works really well because what one team member says may not be quite what you are looking for . . but it could spark genius in another!
If you are just starting and you don’t yet have a team, then get your friends and family and any existing clients together for some drinks and do the same thing. Sure, you will get some ridiculous suggestions, but somewhere in there might just be gold!
– Survey your audience. If you’re already on social media in some way, ask for suggestions from some existing clients, friends and followers.
Create a facebook poll or instagram poll and allow people to add their own suggestions . . . if you already have a following because of your business then even better. Remember, we are focussing on generating a list of ideas here, so any suggestions will be useful even if they’re awful.
– Start with a logo. You might be more of a visually creative person. You might not yet have an idea for a name, but you might have some sort of logo or image or selection of logos and images in mind.
Sketch these out and hang them up on a wall where you can see them. Just seeing the image(s) might shake loose some ideas.
And share the images and logos with others too (see above point) ask for their suggestions.
– Consider using your own name. A great way to personalise your offering and to make it unique. However, it can feel a little strange sometimes to be both you AND your business.
It helps if your name is a little unusual, this will help to make it memorable, but if your name is too unusual and difficult to spell or pronounce, then it might backfire on you. Either way add it to your list for now, we can evaluate it later.
– Your Location. Another way to personalise your business is to name it after your location. Mary Portas (Queen of Shops) named one of her most successful ventures simply “32 London Road”. This is ideal, its simple, memorable and has the additional benefit of people knowing exactly where you are.
Just be aware this might cause you a bit of a headache if you need to relocate in the future.
Consider instead using a more general location in your name, your town or your suburb maybe. This gives you more options, while still helping your potential customers know where you are located.
– Business Name Generators. As a last resort . . if you are REALLY stuck for ideas there are a number of business name generators online which might be useful. You are unlikely to find your dream business name on here, but it might give you that spark of inspiration put you on the right track.
Here is a list of the ones I have found that are actually useful:-
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF BUSINESS NAMES (A.K.A. SOMETHING YOU MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT)
OK . . . so now you have a bunch of ideas to create your list of possible names, before we get to the fun stuff there are a couple of things to bear in mind when putting together your short list that you may not have considered, but are REALLY important.
Like I already said, your salon’s name is going to be the first thing any potential client sees or hears about you!
You want it to stand out and be memorable, therefore you want it to be special and if at all possible unique.
You could do this by creating an unusual way of spelling it. There is a gym near where I live called ‘Motivate’ however the name on the sign is:-
“Mo – T – v8”
While this is certainly unique I literally had to stand and look at the name for a good few seconds before I got it. It worked in the end, but you just try recommending a business to someone if you have no idea what it’s actually called.
Another thing you want to bear in mind for any name you consider is that of trademark infringement. This is a big, potentially scary legal minefield that I am not going to pretend to be an expert in.
Real Life Example: I have first hand experience of this myself. I have a business called Virtuosity. I thought long and hard to come up with the name, it was unusual, intriguing, inspiring and left options open in case I wanted to diversify . . . I even had a friend of a friend design me a really cool logo. The problem is no one knows how to spell it! When I am on the phone and I give people my email address I would always have to spell it several times. Giving out my website address, I would have to write it down for people. I still like the name, but if I knew then what I know now, I think I would have picked a different name.
As with anything like this you should seek proper legal advice if you are unsure. But, from experience the safest thing to do is steer clear of any name that is already being used by another beauty related business in your area (do a quick google search to make sure) and definitely do not try to copy or imitate another brand.
PICKING THE WINNING NAME FROM YOUR LIST . . .
Once you have your list of possible names, whether you have just stuck with with a big long list or you have whittled it down to a short list of five to twenty names, you are probably going to want to run the options past some trusted friends, family or colleagues. There are a couple of things I need to warn you about here:-
Target Audience – I totally understand you want feedback on your ideas and who better than the people you know, like and trust. However, these people have two potential flaws . . .
- Are they your target audience? While it is important that the name you choose appeals to you, it’s more important that it appeals to your target market. If your friends, family and colleagues are not aged 20 to 30, working in the city and looking for express treatments to revive and revitalise them and that is who you intend to attract to your business . . . then their opinions might not necessarily be the ones you are looking for.
- The other problem is that these people know, like and trust you! If you go to them with a name you are clearly excited about, these people are less likely to give you an honest opinion as they don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Vagueness – Feedback on your ideas for business names from people you know can often be a little vague. Again . . . they like you so if they think there’s a problem, they’re less likely to give you constructive feedback.
They’ll probably just say something like “Yeah . . . great list, I think they all sound fantastic!”
What you need is some sort of objective method for evaluating your list of names. A simple tool or exercise that will put each name through its paces, make you think about each one in different ways that matter and finally give you a winner!
Did you know . . . Branding . . of which your business name is a big part of . . . is big business. There are a number of great branding and naming agencies out there who will charge you anything from $5,000 to $80,000 to help you come up with a name.
Oh . . . You don’t have that kind of cash lying about, well lucky you because you found this article and now I’d like introduce you to . . .
INTRODUCING THE SALON BUSINESS NAME EVALUATOR!
Branding agencies differ on their own list of criteria when evaluating a business name. I’ve created my own list specifically for the beauty and aesthetics industry.
I’m going to explain the whole process in detail below, but you can download the Salon Business Name Evaluator tool itself for FREE, which includes everything I am about to cover, along with some instructions PLUS I’ve created a full video walk through to take you through the process . . . Click Here To Access
Just to show how detailed the Salon Business Name Evaluator is . . . here are the criteria it uses to evaluate your options . . .
THE 9 EVALUATION CRITERIA
Appearance: Put simply, how does the name look?
Whether it is on your signage, your stationary, written on documents, in an advert, in an article etc. The name will always be seen in a different context, but the hope is that it will be seen!
Looks are important . . especially in this industry. Things that might help here are visual cues such as alliterations , symmetry of words or letters and the number of letters and words.
Consider how often you might have to write the name of your business, as a general rule short names are easier to handle than long wordy names.
Sound: Just as much as you want your name to be seen, you also want it to be heard.
It isn’t always going to be you saying the name of your business either. Imagine it being said on the radio, by friends over a coffee, at an awards ceremony or noisy trade show.
Consider how easy it is to communicate easily from one person to another. This helps with word of mouth promotion.
Distinctiveness: How different is your name to any competition or related business.
Distinctiveness is only one aspect of making a name memorable, but it is a required element. Ideally your name will be relevant to your business in some way, helping it to be memorable, but not easily confused with another business whether in your industry or not.
Positioning: This has a two fold meaning. Firstly, how relevant to what you do is your name. It doesn’t have to be immediately obvious, but if someone heard your name and then what you do, the two should make some sense together.
Secondly, where would your name ‘position’ you in lists.
Picture this, I get out my iPhone, open up Google and search for “Beauty Salons in Manchester”. It’s going to give me a list of pages to go to and maybe some options. Both the pages to go to and the options will have to be in some sort of order and by default these are alphabetical.
If you’re a new business looking to attract clients who might be looking at an an alphabetical list of salons in your area, you want to be near the front or towards the end . . . think “Ageless Beauty” or “Zara’s Day Spa” . . rather then lost in the middle.
Depth: Here is where you can get in to the more ‘touchy feely’ elements of your name. How much depth a name has could be viewed in a number of ways. Does it have layer upon layer of meanings? Is it clever with multiple (positive) connotations. Could it be used in a number of ways?
Tricky to evaluate . . . but worth thinking about!
Feel: As much as it is possible to quantify, what sort of ‘feel’ does the name have? Does it have a a welcoming warmth, a feeling of positivity. How does the name make you feel and does this fit with the image for your business.
Energy: How vital and lively is the name? Does it have a buzz, an effervescence, maybe a sense of intrigue?
Can you imagine it supporting a marketing campaign. If you heard the name on its own, maybe out of context, would you automatically want to know more?
The X-Factor: Nope . . . no singing involved here, but does the name have that something special. Can you see people gossiping about it around the coffee machine at work, over a drink in a bar – “Hey have you heard about that new salon called . . . . . . . ”
The X-Factor is going to be different in every case, but if you can find it then it can be promotional gold.
Domain Availability: Let’s face it, this internet thing isn’t going away, so if you want to get found in the real world you are going to need a virtual store front on the internet (i.e. a website).
While it isn’t essential, it makes life easier if you can grab the name of your salon as the website address for your website. There is still some debate over this point, but if at all possible make sure you grab the ‘.com’ version of your name as it is viewed by both Google and people as a signifier of importance.
UPDATE: Your main website address is important, but increasingly more so are your social media assets. While you are checking on your domain name availability, also check on the availability of your salon name for your preferred social sites (e.g. twitter, facebook, instagram etc)
It’s time to start evaluating your shortlist. Remember you can grab your own copy of, the evaluator itself, instructions and video walk through right here: Click Here To Access
I’d love to hear from you and the names you choose using the Salon Business Name Evaluator. Leave me a comment below with the name you decided on and a link to your Website, Facebook or Instagram page and I’ll visit you and give you a or a ♥️.
ONE LAST WORD ABOUT BUSINESS NAMES IN GENERAL . . .
Don’t let your business name hold you back;
- No matter what name you choose for your salon it probably isn’t going to feel instantly comfortable. Chances are that you are still going to have some niggling doubts in the back of your mind. “Was there a better name?” or “Should I have gone with a different option?”Just remember . . if you follow the process in this article you will choose a great name that is right for your salon business.
- Names can take a bit of getting used to, so give yourself time to grow in to your new name. Like I said, it’s going to feel strange to start with, anything new always does. Over time, it will begin to feel like it was always the obvious choice and how could you possibly have thought of choosing anything else.
- Finally . . . if you still have doubts about a name, just run with it. It is always more important to get going, start making progress rather than waiting until you are 100% positive about a name.Sure, a name is important, which is why I have created this article and resource, but it is by no means set in stone. It might be that down the line you decide to change your name or rebrand, but there could be any number of reasons for this – don’t let it hold you back.