You’ve been gathering herbs, oils, hydrosols, and other natural and organic skin care ingredients for months…maybe years. You’ve learned all about how to formulate amazing skin care products that your friends and family have told you are the best they’ve ever tried. You’ve come to the realization that you love making skin care products, and maybe you could actually turn your skin care line into a viable business.
You start thinking about things like “should I have a shop or sell online?” “Do I need a website or can I just have social media pages?” “How do I need to register my business?” “What kind of insurance do I need?” “What should my labels look like?”
These are all important questions, but to answer all of them, and many more that that will come up, you have to first answer this question:
“What should I name my skin care business?”
This is a question that plagues every single entrepreneur, skin care or not. It’s something that I’ve seen many of my colleagues, Create Your Skincare® students, and even myself get stuck with. Why is that?
Naming your skin care business is like naming a child in many ways. You don’t want something that’s so common that it doesn’t stand out with its own clear identity. However, you also don’t want something that’s so out there that people can’t identify with it (or pronounce it) for that matter.
It’s also not as easy as you might think to name your skin care line, because many of the first ideas that pop into your mind are likely already taken by another brand. If you choose a name that’s already taken, or that’s too similar to another brand, you could be setting yourself up for trouble in the long-term.
Today I wanted to share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned in naming things in my years as an entrepreneur, as well as some of the advice I’ve shared with my students.
Here are some of my favorite exercises to help you figure out what to name your skin care business:
Close your eyes and picture your ideal customer using your amazing herbal skin care products. What images, colors, words, scents, or ideas come to mind? How would she describe her experience using the products to a friend? How would she describe how the products make her skin feel? How would she describe how she ultimately wants her skin to look and feel? Write down those words.
Do an online search using the words or phrases that came up in your visualization. What are the names of the skin care lines that come up on the first page of your search? How close are they to your initial ideas? How many names show up that are similar to each other? This will give you an idea of how many other brands are thinking along the same lines as you. Don’t let this discourage you! Let it show you where opportunities exist for you to choose something different.
Now that you have an idea of skin care business names that are already in use, do a brain dump. Write down any ideas that are similar in concept, but different enough from the others to stand out. Don’t censor yourself–just write down every single possibility that comes to mind. It doesn’t matter if some of the new names are very similar to each other. Keep writing until you are completely out of ideas.
Create your short list.
Out of your brainstormed ideas, now go through each idea one by one. Take a red pen (or use a red font color) and strike out any that jump out at you as an instant “nope.” Then take a green pen (or font color) and circle any that jump out at you as a definite “maybe.” After you’ve done that, you’ll likely have some ideas left that have not been given a nope or a maybe. Copy those down separately and go back through with your red and green. If you are still unsure, make it a red. Set aside all reds, and rewrite your greens. Go back through your greens with the red pen and narrow down further if you can. Do this until you have a solid group of strong maybes. This becomes your short list for what to name your skin care business.
Research your short list.
One by one, research each name on your short list in three ways:
- Regular online search of the term–see if the term comes up as the name of a skin care line, skin care business, or another related business.
- Domain search of the term–go to a site like GoDaddy or Google Domains and see if anyone owns the .com of the term. Even if someone hasn’t already registered a skin care business using that name, they may have bought the domain. Though there are multiple options for domains these days, the .com is still the gold standard in the US because it is the easiest for a consumer to remember. It’s also ideal that the term you want is available intact–not hyphenated or with an alternate spelling–though that’s not necessarily a deal breaker.
- Trademark search of the term–after you’ve done the above two preliminary searches, you’ll want do a trademark search. Check the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) on the US Patent and Trademark Office’s website to see if anyone either owns or has filed for a trademark for the name you want.
Once you’ve found a name or phrase that is available, you should be good to go! It’s always a good idea to consult with an intellectual property attorney before you proceed to be on the safe side.
What if none of your short-listed skin care business name ideas are available?
If you’ve exhausted all search options with your short list, all is not lost. You might decide on a slightly different phrasing. You might also decide to use a number in place of a word like Create Your Skincare Professional Edition grad, Tasha, did with her brand Native2Nature Skin Care.
You might decide to make up your own word like my friend Lisa Brill did with her skin care line, Qet Botanicals. You might also decide to use your own name, as many famous skin care lines have done in the past (Chanel, Estee Lauder, Dr. Hauschka, Dr. Alkaitis, etc). Create Your Skincare grad, Terry Bailey created a name for her skin care line, Tenoba Bodycare, out of the letters of her first, middle, and last names.
If you happen to already have an aesthetics, herbal, health coaching, or other skin wellness practice, you might use that name and attach the word “skin care” or “botanicals” or something else that identifies this product branch of your business.
Do you have a skin care line?
How did you come up with the name? What challenges did you face? Please share in the comments below!
Did you like this skin care business article?
I recently surveyed my email and social media communities about what they’ve found most challenging in their skin care businesses. Over the next several articles, I’ll be offering my own solutions to these challenges. Be sure to subscribe to my email list OR for desktop notifications below (click the red bell icon) so you don’t miss out on anything!
*Native2Nature photo provided by Native2Nature Skin Care.