If you have the perfect idea for a new business, the next step in the process of starting a new business will require you to consider many important things. Things such as the product design or what type of service you will offer, your target audience, and what business structure will work best for you are all be very important to consider.
But the most overlooked aspect of creating a start-up is choosing the company name. If you need help on how to come up with a business name, this article is for you.
Many people may, at first, think that your brand name is just small detail in the grand scheme of things. But in actuality, your name could be what makes or breaks your business. In addition, your start-up name is one of the first things you can do for your business that will can establish a clear advantage from the competition.
Fortunately, the perfect name for your business is something that is likely well within your reach. In this article, we will analyze the most important strategies you can use when brainstorming creative business names ideas and we will also cover some of the best strategies you should consider using when creating a name.
Be Sure to Choose a Name that’s Original
There is no doubt that in order to survive in the competitive world of business, you will need to demonstrate your relevance and separate yourself from the competition. If you are someone who is considering entering an already crowded industry—which even tech startups are beginning to get quite crowded—then you will need to choose a name that will make a lasting impression. As you begin the process of searching for original names, you should also define your mission, your company values, and the specific image you are hoping to inspire.
More often than not, your name will be one of the first thing that prospective clients and investors know about your company. You should assume that there are already a dozen companies offering a similar product at a similar price. So instead of conforming to the norm and latching onto a name that may have been useful twenty years ago, you should redefine the standard and come up with a name that challenges the norm. Though taking chances can sometimes be uncomfortable, doing so is an essential part of becoming an entrepreneur.
… but Also Make Sure the Name is Easy to Remember
Many companies that wish to create an original name often choose to create new words. Tech companies like Facebook, Tumblr, Android, and others have all made names that—prior to their initial establishment—were not words at all. In addition, these names are extremely unique but also pretty easy for potential customers and clients to remember.
Here are some of the most key things that you should think about when trying to brainstorm a memorable name for your business:
- Attempt to limit the number of words and syllables in your name
- If you decide to go with a made-up word, create a word that is simple to spell
- Try this easy name test: a friend or family member a list of ten different names (including the name you are considering) and then ten minutes later see if they remember your name
Though these quick “tests” are clearly non-binding, they can be extremely helpful to you throughout the name brainstorming process. Typically, it is sensible to brainstorm a list of many potential names and then see which one will be the best for your business.
Check to See Which Naming Strategies are Common in Your Industry
Even though it is crucial that you come up with an original brand name, it is still smart to understand the numerous naming strategies that are common in your specific industry. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to adopt these strategies or doing something completely different, you should still understand how naming in your industry works.
- Choosing a name based on the founders or owners: this strategy is very popular for law firms, real estate firms, and other legacy businesses.
- Using puns, wit, and other plays on words: this strategy can be helpful for businesses that want to present a friendly and fun image for their clients and customers
- Coming up with an entirely brand new word: this is one of the most used strategies by members of the technology industry and other companies that want to appear futuristic.
- Appealing to tradition: when you’re trying to brainstorm a possible name, dated and old traditions typically don’t work well. However, these names could be beneficial for the more “serious” industries like banking, insurance, and any medical industries.
Additionally, a popular trend for naming a business is using single words such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. These can be really helpful when coming up with business names. When deciding if this strategy will work for you highly depends on the nature of your business and your target market.
Test the Name with Potential Future Clients
Regardless of what product or service you’re selling, the most important thing is that your customers identify with your brand. Once you have defined your target market based on age, gender, lifestyles, etc., then can begin to gather people for a focus group. Once you have gathered people for a focus group you can begin to potentially test your brand name.
When audience testing your focus group, there are some things you need to remember. Not only should you ensure that your name well-liked by your audience, but you should also make sure that the name is aligned with your desired brand image. Even though there is likely a business name that you personally like the most, it is key to try to be objective and accept any input from your target audience.
Confirm that Your Business Name is Entirely Usable
Finally, once you have narrowed down your list of names to just a single name or two, you need to ensure that your name is universally compatible with any audience. In general, this will require multiple different steps:
- Double check that none of your competitors or similar businesses have the same name or even a name that is too similar
- Making sure that your name is compatible to other cultures and is not offensive in other languages (this is very crucial for international businesses)
- Do a quick Google search to see if there is a suitable and available web domain for your chosen name
If you do your due diligence when investigating the context of your name, it will greatly pay off for your business. One of the worst things you would have to do as a start-up owner is to rename your company right off the bat because your original name isn’t usable.
The business naming process is one that is extremely vital and requires your time, effort and resources. There are many different things that you should consider when brainstorming a new name.
You should remember to include your company values, origins, creativity and whether or not your name is available on various platforms (domain name, social handles, etc.). By putting the time and effort you put into your business will put you in a great position to succeed and stand out from the competition.
This article is written by Grant Polachek, who is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation.