Author: Lynn Tickner, Founder, Ink and Key

If you’re making the move from solo therapy practice to group practice, you have a ton of details to juggle. You’re confident you can handle those details, too.

Just as you’re plugging along and doing just fine on your mile-long to-do list, you get to this item.

What is the name of your group therapy practice?

Gosh. Can’t you just pick a name out of a hat that sounds halfway decent and keep going?
Mmmm, I don’t recommend it. Here’s where to begin so you don’t stay stuck.

Differentiating your name from your brand

At this stage, keep in mind that your name is just the beginning of what will develop over time into your brand. What’s the difference?

Think of your name as the doorway through which people will enter in order to learn more about what you offer and how your offer meets a need or solves a problem. If your name is dull, forgettable, or a turnoff, it’s possible you may lose people before they even reach for the doorknob. But, if your name is intriguing, memorable, and engaging, there’s a better chance that your target audience will walk through that doorway to see what you’re all about.

When you are choosing a therapy practice name, imagine each idea as it might appear naturally. When your customers encounter your name for the first time, they won’t be standing in silence before a single word surrounded by white space.

Instead, they will see the name in the real world and in the context of your brand, which is the all-inclusive big picture – everything that makes your practice what it is. This includes, but definitely isn’t limited to: a tagline, a logo, brand colors, a website, social media channels, advertising, and more. All of these things will help you create a distinct personality for your brand, meaning the name alone should never be expected to do all the heavy lifting.

As people become familiar with your practice, they’ll connect your practice name with emotions, values, and experiences.

Just as the simple name of a type of fruit has come to represent design, innovation, imagination, and even the sensory experience of that little whoosh when you unbox your new iPhone for the first time, your name will naturally evolve from a one-dimensional word into a multi-dimensional representation of your brand – what you do, how you do it, what makes you stand out, your personality, and your values, and how you make people feel when they encounter you or engage with you.

Three factors to consider when selecting your therapy practice name

1.Your audience: What kind of name will resonate with them the most? Who will be interpreting the name, and in what context? How will they find you?

2.Your purpose: If you could give your new practice name a job description, what would it be? Be careful here. Many make the mistake of putting way too much responsibility on one little grouping of letters. Drawing upon some of my own company’s work with clients, here are some examples of what realistic job descriptions for a name can include:

To hint at what you do:

  • MedMaestro (robotic medication reconciliation)
  • StableForm (horse training performance analytics)

To trigger positive emotions:

  • Ruff Revival (mobile dog grooming)
  • Mama Moments (self-care subscription boxes for new moms)

To get attention or create curiosity:

  • Acularo (strategic business management platform)
  • Stoked (digital development studio)

3. Your future: Although right now you’re 100% focused on developing or growing your practice, think ahead five years or so. What if you decide to make a slight shift? As practices grow, they evolve. Make sure the brand name you choose now won’t limit you in the future. There’s no need to go too broad but don’t go so narrow that you limit yourself and are forced to rebrand later on.

Trying to think of a name for too long can be stressful, so don’t forget to take breaks. The majority of professional, seasoned ‘namers’ say that their best names often actually come to them during downtime. The best recipe is: brainstorm, rest, repeat.

If you are stuck and ready for help in naming your practice, I have an 18-person naming team standing by to help if you’d like to start a naming project with us. Our projects start at $699 and are all self-service. Upon payment and completing our questionnaire, you’ll have ideas ready to check out within 48 hours. Get all the details and start your naming project here.

Heather and I will be standing by to hear all about your fabulous new practice and what you decided to name it.

Lynn’s Bio

Entrepreneurs can get stuck at every stage of growth, and Lynn Tickner loves to help them get unstuck. Her creative agency, Ink and Key, helps entrepreneurs start with a great name for their idea and then turn that idea into a thriving business. As a StoryBrand Certified Guide, Lynn uses the power of story to help brands uncomplicate their message, create marketing that works, and reach their ideal clients.