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Choose a company name that speaks to your culture, customers and ambitions.


There are many reasons to get excited about your new business.

“What to call it?” is certainly up there in the pecking order, perhaps only superseded by that key question that sits at the heart of any new venture; “what problem will my business solve?”

The importance of choosing the right business name; one that suits your product or service and communicates your brand’s character, is maybe not absolutely critical to success but it certainly plays an important role in building your new-born brand.

Roast Re:public, founded by Jaco De Witt, is one business that got their thinking right, deciding on a name that perfectly conveys who they are and what they are about . . .

coffee and people


Put “you” in your brand.

Roast Re:public began with a simple idea:  “We loved coffee and wanted to make a difference,” says De Witt. “From the start (in 2013), a fundamental trait of Roast Re:public‘s character has been our desire to positively contribute to the community, and so ‘coffee with a conscience’ became our trademark.”

Roast Re:public has taken their vision of social upliftment a step further with what they call a social franchise. “We are now venturing into entrepreneurship opportunities with our social franchising, where we convert old shipping containers into Roast Re:public franchises. We access enterprise development funding to create this “coffee shop in a box” model, giving young entrepreneurs the training and chance they need to own their own business,” says De Witt.

What to consider when choosing a name

In choosing their name, Roast Re:public ticked one of the key criteria by “conveying what their company does” and what they stand for. There are, of course, other considerations – including the following as highlighted by Forbes Magazine’s, Leila Lewis.

Be easy to find

Customers need to easily remember and be able to quickly find your business, whether they are searching online or in the local newspaper. Don’t pick a name that is too close to a competitor’s, for example.

Be memorable

Don’t try and be too clever with your name (spelling in particular), especially if you don’t have a huge budget to splash on brand awareness. Not every “Google” sounding name will work – no matter how smart or quirky you think it is. Best to keep it direct and simple while building your brand.

Pick a name that feels the right fit for your market

You need to be comfortable that the name resonates with customers and the industry at large. “Sweet Nothings” may work for someone looking to open a bakery but certainly doesn’t work for a company offering Tax consulting . Rudimentary as this example is you do get the idea of relevance and how valuable it is to “make sense”.

“Intention is important when choosing your company name. It dictates how you are searched, referenced and remembered.”

Leila Lewis, Forbes Magazine.

Consistently deliver on your brand promise

Having a name that resonates, is easy to remember and speaks to who you are is great but it’s only the start of your journey.

The trick is to keep that (good) name intact and this requires a consistent and unwavering commitment by one and all in your business to uphold the traditions, vision and foundations that your business is built on.

Our business philosophy has remained in tact over the years, in fact strengthening as we grow,” says De Witt. “We want to challenge the way people do business, where it’s not all about the bottom line. This whole world-wide movement of social entrepreneurship talks about having a triple bottom line; people, profit and planet.

What you do should be for the benefit of all three.

We’re not just here to get the most out of something or someone in monetary terms. Of course profit is still important but you are also here for the community, and if you treat people well and treat the planet well, it becomes a different, better, way of doing business.”

Apart from supporting enterprise development, Roast Re:public sponsors a local charity, Youthzones, a South African NGO that is working with 40 000 of the country’s most vulnerable people. Jaco explains, “they have a holistic view of educational development, culminating in enterprise development, which, from a philosophical point of view, we really resonate with.”

Marry passions. Love what you do

As their name suggests, making a positive social impact is as important to Roast Re:public as their core business of coffee. “We are quite lucky that we’ve been able to marry our passions (making coffee and trying to make a difference in the larger context of our country ).

They came together quite nicely and our name, simply – reflects our attitude towards life, business and our country.”


Updated: May 11, 2018