Naming your company is one of the most important parts of branding and even business success. For some, choosing a business name is quite simple and quickly tackled step because it is obvious to the business owner.
For others, identifying a business name is rather challenging, as they struggle to find a name that describes every aspect of the business and what it represents. Hence, choosing the right for your business, although overall inspiring, can sometimes prove a potentially complicated step in the process of setting up your business.
What’s in a name? Well, quite a lot it seems. The right name can work wonders for your company’s visibility, as opposed to the wrong one, which (combined with other factors) might add to its failure. A great business name will help you set yourself apart from a sea of competitors, boost your company’s branding, and give your potential customers a reason to remember and hire you. While a business name that is not quite up to par will not decrease your business operations, it might not grow your sales either. So when choosing a name for your business, make sure you choose a name that you will benefit most of.
When it comes to naming your business, there are a number of rules that can help you make the right decision. This naming guide will outline several tips to make sure you choose a name that will give you a marketing edge on the market.
Mind Your Business Goals
If you already know your niche, you must have a handful of ideas about naming your business, or at least a loose concept of what could later shape into your company’s name. The best way to start is to review your business goals.
Go back to your business plan, unique selling proposition, and your mission statement. Determine your strengths and start from there. Consolidate the foundation with the overall architecture of your business. Remain true to your objectives and incorporate them into all aspects of your enterprise, including the name.
This is an excellent opportunity to showcase who you are as a business and what you stand for. Take your time to create some general guidelines that will speed up the process of naming your business. Consider the message you want to send out to your target audience, how you want to be viewed by potential customers, or what kind of feelings or images do you want your company’s name to inspire.
This is where it is best to make some key decisions about the name, which later you may adjust if necessary. Decide what kind of a name would work best for you. Is it something familiar, creative or futuristic? How related do you want it to be to your products and services? Should it be specific or across the board? Does the name’s length matter? Would a shorter or a longer name suit your company best? Will an abbreviation related to your business structure, such as Inc., LLC or Co. be included in the name?
Decide on these key features early in the process of choosing a name to save yourself some time further down the road.
Do Your Research
Now that you know how you want your business to be seen, go online and find out what your target audience expects from a company in your niche. As much as a company’s name is about the company itself, it is also about the people it is trying to reach out to. So, think about what your ideal customer would respond to. Have you specified the demographics? What are their interests? Would they find humor amusing or bizarre?
Consider the names of your competition and find what you like or dislike about them. It would be extremely useful to identify how your target audience responds to these names and use that knowledge in creating your business name.
Type your general business category and see what results your search engine comes up with. Look at the names on the first result page at least. The first dozen websites are the most visited in your niche and most likely the ones customers trust the most. Thus, the business names listed highest on the results page are the ones that are most effective. Use that information to create a name that will resonate with your target audience.
Take Naming Seriously
Once you have defined your guidelines for naming your business, set your creativity free. At this stage, you will need to come up with as many ideas as possible. Begin a brainstorming session on your own, with a business partner or colleague, or anyone who is willing to help you create a name for your company. Keep the guidelines in mind and allow yourself unlimited time to generate ideas. Use lists, mind mapping, brain dumping or word associations. These sessions should enable you to come up with various business name ideas.
Brainstorming sessions can sometimes leave you with a variety of options, some of which might not be a suitable choice. When determining what is suitable, make sure you name checks off most of the items on this list.
What makes a good name? Here are a few descriptions it is desirable business names to fit into.
Try to create a name that is unique and memorable, something that will stay with customers long after they came across your name. That is the quality of “stickiness”. It is difficult to determine what will stick with people, but go for a name that you believe will fit like a puzzle in the overall branding.
Unusual spelling and long names can be a bit of a risk for a new company. Instead, keep it simple and short enough to provide some information about what your business does.
Avoid names that follow current trends, make sense only to you, or sound sloppy. Do not risk making people think your name is outdated, struggle to understand what it means or think you have not put enough effort into your name, which determines their first impression of your business.
Avoid Copyright Infringement
People are creatures of habit. Sometimes unintentionally you can create a name that is very similar to an already registered name, and other times they modify a famous brand name and use it for their business. However, the rule of thumb is not to use, modify or borrow (even ‘until business takes off’) an existing brand name. Big companies have been known to file a lawsuit even for small details when it jeopardizes the originality of their brand, so save yourself a lot of trouble by avoiding any association to an existing brand.
Think twice before you add your town name or a specific product in your business name. This might limit you to your local market and decrease the visibility of your company for people outside the region or require you to change names if you add to your product line in order not to confuse customers.
Sometimes business owners chose unusual names just because of the sound or some allusion in their native language. While they might mean nothing in one part of the world, in another they can be a cause for your company’s embarrassment. Remember to check for secondary meaning and international implications. Check the Urban Dictionary for any informal language usage and do a research if or in what contexts the name has been used. There have been quite a few companies whose names have had negative connotations in different languages.
Keep Focus Away From You
The first thing many people tend to do is name their company after its founder. This is by far the easiest thing to do when creating a business name. But easy is not necessarily good. Although not entirely an unusual practice even for modern-day companies, and especially small businesses, it is probably the least practical. If you are planning to sell your company in the future you should know that not many are interested in buying a business named after its owner. If you build a successful brand around a company you should now have no trouble finding buyers.
Use Business Name Generator
Thanks to different online tools, brainstorming and coming up with a company name has never been easier. With the right name generation tool, you can create a name for your business and secure a domain name within minutes. Until not that long ago, finding a creative company name took a lot of resources and time. While there are still many dedicated companies that can unload your bank account for up to $1M to create a name and brand for your company, Business Name Generator is a free service that can suggest names and check the availability of the name you are considering for your business. All you need to do is enter one or two keywords that represent your product or service, or your company and what it stands for, and let it work its magic. Business Name Generator searches domain names and if taken offers alternatives. See how it works.
Regardless of your experience or the kind of business you have in mind, you will find brainstorming with Business Name Generator very easy and stimulating, and you can generate just about any name for different niches in no time.
Check Availability and Be Web-Friendly
Once you come up with your ideal company name, head straight here to see if a website domain is available. If you are lucky and the domain name is not taken already, you can go on to purchase it. But if that is not the case, the name generation tool will suggest alternatives. The ideal is for your company name and domain name to be the same, but this does not guarantee results. As long as you feel your chosen name is the winning concept, do not give up. Do not think of choosing a slightly different domain name as “the second best option”, but instead as a no-lose decision. Even if you have to settle for a different domain name, you do not have to change your business name.