What’s in a food truck’s name? When deciding what to call your mobile food business, the answer is plenty. Your food truck’s name can be too quirky or not memorable enough. The challenge for all prospective food truck owners is to pick a name that’s catchy, but also fits well with your particular type of business.
Here are 10 questions to ask as you ponder various names, keeping in mind that the choice could make all the difference in establishing your food truck business in your local area.
What do I want a name to accomplish for my food truck?
The name you select can help separate you from competitors and reinforce your food truck’s brand. Clearly define your brand positioning before choosing a name.
Will the name be too limiting?
Don’t box yourself in. Avoid picking names that could limit your mobile food business from enlarging its menu or expanding to new locations.
Does the name make sense for my truck?
For most food trucks, it’s best to adopt a name that provides some information about the style of cuisine you serve. That doesn’t mean it can’t also have a catchy ring. But be careful because quirky names are always a crapshoot.
Is the name easy to remember?
The shorter the name, the better, (or in other words K.I.S.S.). We suggest food truck owners limit it to two or three syllables and avoid using hyphens or other special characters. Also try to skip using acronyms, which mean nothing to most people, and picking a name whose first letter is closer to A than Z because certain algorithms and directory listings work alphabetically. When choosing an identity for your food truck simple and straightforward are always in style.
Is the name easy for people to spell?
That may seem to be a given, but some food truck owners purposely select names that consumers can’t easily spell. It’s a risky strategy to try to make a mobile food business stand out. If your name looks like a typo, scratch it off the list. Some branding professionals we have spoken with believe it’s important that your name be spelled exactly as it sounds. Otherwise, you will forever have to spell it out for people when saying the name or your company’s email or website address aloud.
How will potential customers first encounter your name?
Some naming experts believe there are exceptions to the easy-to-spell rule, especially if most people will see your name for the first time in print or on the side of your truck. The payoff can be that the unusual sound and spelling of the name helps to create a very distinctive brand.
Does the name sound good and is it easy to pronounce?
The sound of the name is important in conveying a feeling of energy and excitement. You also must be sure potential customers can easily pronounce your food truck’s name. It is a fact that people are able to spell, pronounce and remember names that they are familiar with.
Is your food truck’s name meaningful only to you?
A name with hidden or personal meanings evokes nothing about your food truck’s brand, and there may be cases when you or a staff member won’t be there to explain it when most people encounter it.
Is the name visually appealing?
You also want to consider how the name will look on the side of your truck, in a logo or an ad.
Have I conducted a proper trademark search?
A great name for a food truck is worthless if someone else already has laid claim to it. Start with some free resources like Trademarkia.com or USPTO.gov to do a cursory search to see if the name is already in use. Then, hire a trademark attorney to do a more thorough screening, and if the name isn’t taken, to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Getting it right the first time will save you both a lot of time and money.
For more on Trademarking your food truck check out this full article on the topic.