When it comes to business and brand names, the length plays a more important role than you’d think. It’s why many businesses stick between 1-3 words when choosing their brand name. However, we’ve seen that one-word brand names are more effective.
That’s why in this post, we’ll be looking at why you should opt for a 4-5 letter brand name and how to find one for your business.
Why are Shorter Brand Names Better for Your Business?
The length of your brand name determines how many letters you’d have, the syllables, and how it generally sounds.
So the shorter your brand name is – the more memorable it is. Think about the most recognizable companies you know like Tesla, Chanel, Zoom, and Uber.
Although the long vs short brand name debate has been on for a while, short names are easy to recall because they are just one word. These 4-5 letter names are easy to spell and pronounce, so they don’t have to do a lot of work in being memorable.
Shorter names are also better brandable. They generally have more visual symmetry. So when you use them on branding assets and materials, they are easier to look at and retain. Since they are more memorable, it’ll be easier to dominate the market with your brand.
Now while having a short brand name is helpful, the quality also significantly affects how effective it’ll be.
Let’s look at some intriguing statistics on the most valuable brands in the world in 2022. Apart for the bank name, most of the brand names are short, as shown in the table below.
|Most Valuable Brands Worldwide in 2022 (in billion)||U.S. Dollars|
|China Construction Bank||65,55|
|Agricultural Bank of China||62,03|
|Bank of China||49,55|
How to Find Quality 4-5 Letter Brand Names
If you want to join the top brands using lesser characters in their company name, here’s how you can find a quality memorable brand name in seven steps.
1. Choose a name category you want to stick with
There are several types of brand name categories. So we recommend choosing one category so it’s easier for your team to come up with your preferred brand name. The available options are;
- Generic brand names – a great example is cars.com. They are straightforward and generally don’t evoke any emotion. While it’s short and memorable, they don’t engage your user or pique interest. They also easily restrict your brand to a specific product or niche.
- Suggestive brand names – while your brand name might not have anything to do with your offerings directly, they can be a great way to suggest what you want to achieve. For example, Amazon isn’t a vegetation brand but it suggests they want to offer a vast range of products and services – just as vast as the Amazon forest.
- Descriptive brand names – These names focus on describing an experience. A brand named lush for example already describes an attractive and luxurious experience. This type of name also evokes something about your brand because it moves people.
- Abstract brand names – These are what we refer to as out-of-context brand names. Many times, they are random or really just made up. Popular examples are Google, Apple, and Hulu. Because of the sharp contrast, these names have with the brand, it immediately sticks with people. They are the catch business names we like.
Once you’ve settled on the route you want to go with, you can then proceed with the next steps in finding a shorter brand name.
Pro Tips– Choose a category that’ll communicate your brand values, purpose, vision, and mission.
– If you cannot choose a short name, there’s always the option to use an acronym like IBM.
2. Host a brainstorming session
Next, we recommend hosting a brainstorming session with members of your team. Asides from it being generally fun, it’s a great way to compile ideas from the many suggestions you’ll get.
This is also a great opportunity to highlight the character traits you’d want your brand name to show. Once you have the possible word combinations based on the brand name category you want to opt for, create a long list of ideas.
Over time, you can shortlist them and run a poll with members of your target market to choose the best one for your brand. Sometimes, they might recommend you go back to the drawing board.
Here’s an example of a brainstorming session for users to analyze a list of potential business names
Here, you’d see how these users feel about these names. While there’s a winner, many think the options sound like existing businesses.
When running a brainstorming session, it’s important to set an agenda and guidelines. This is because, since it’s fun, you can get sidetracked, spend so much time, and not get any valuable results during the event.
So for example, you can set a four-point agenda like this;
- Choose a brand name category
- Best adjectives that describe our brand
- The emotions we want to evoke with our brand name
- Brand naming ideas based on the other established points
Ensure every member of your team participates and all ideas are welcome. Over time, you might start to notice trends in choices or preferences. This can help you decide on your 4-5 letter brand name.
Pro Tips– Have a facilitator to ensure that your agenda is followed and the session is properly moderated.
– Ensure you don’t criticize any ideas during the session – it might hinder others from sharing their thoughts.
3. Use a brand name generator
If you don’t have a team to brainstorm with or you’d generally prefer to save time by automating the process, a brand name generator is exactly what you need.
This tool uses modern AI technology to create original brand name ideas that’ll fit into your overall brand strategy. Plus it’s free so you don’t have to spend anything to get tons of ideas.
One thing most business owners forget is that your brand or business name also impacts your SEO. And so having a brandable name makes it easier to find your business online.
A good brand name generator understands this and that’s why they often use keywords popular in your industry to curate a brandable name for your business.
With this tool, you can get hundreds of name ideas in all niches. You can also choose to filter the names you want and even check for domain availability which we’ll discuss more in this article.
The process of using a brand name generator is also easy.
You can also save the ideas you compile and share them with your team for further insights. If you’re still stuck between a few options after this, you might also want to run a poll online. This will give you some more user perspective.
Pro Tips– Choose a brand name generator that offers filters so you can easily sort them out.
– You don’t have to stick to keywords – especially for short names. Type adjectives like funny etc, to get started.
4. Compile a long list and shortlist them
As we’ve earlier stated in previous steps, you need a long list of ideas. This is because, oftentimes, many of the ideas you get might not appeal to everyone. It might also not fit into the element of a good name.
With a long list, you can easily eliminate the names that are pretty much deal breakers. For example, will it be prone to spelling errors? If yes, you need to move to the next option. Some other deal-breaker examples include;
- Being too similar to a competitor’s name. You need to stand out and differentiate your brand. Having a similar name defeats that purpose.
- It’s too restrictive – if your brand name is anything like cars, you’re restricted to that product unless there’s a rebrand. This is why you need a name that offers you room for future growth
- If only members of your team or insiders get the brand name, you definitely need to scratch it off your list. You don’t want to constantly explain what it means.
- Can you pronounce it? If it isn’t it might mean that your brand name is not approachable. You also don’t want to spend tons of marketing budget explaining how to pronounce your name like Chipotle.
Pro Tips– Avoid geo-specific names. They are just as limiting.
– Get 5-10 names in your long list so the shortlisting process is easier.
5. Test the name
Once you have a list of shortlisted names, it’s time to choose the one you’d want to use as your brand name. We recommend setting up a focus group to track how they resonate with this name. Is it still pronounceable for them? Or does it convey the desired brand personality?
You can even run tests if you’re conflicted between two names. Create a landing page or a product package and show your target audience. Consider this a sort of mockup or MVP.
When testing, be on the lookout for likeability. What you prefer might not be what your audience would like. You also want to look at the context. What does it portray your brand as? Are there any innuendos you weren’t initially aware of?
Here’s a brand test survey example from Zoho Forms
In your polls or focus groups, ensure you ask the right questions. The most important one
is whether they can trust that brand enough to purchase from it
Pro Tips– The same questions for all variations – so there’s no bias.
– Keep the questions short and simple
6. Make sure your name is available
Once you’ve decided on a brand name, before proceeding to use it across your entire assets both online and offline, you need to be sure that it’s truly available for you to use.
For starters, check if you’re even infringing on a trademark. You can do this by running a quick Google search sweep online. You can also visit the USPTO website to see if anyone else has a trademark for that business name. If there is, you can easily redirect your focus to another brand name.
If your brand name hasn’t been taken by another business, it’s time to check if that domain name is available. You want to specifically ensure that the .com domain extension is available. This is because in the future when you need to expand or cover more locations, you can have an official central domain.
Luckily, if you’re using a brand name generator to come up with name ideas, you don’t need an extra domain name search. And that’s because it’ll bring our brand name ideas with the corresponding available domains.
For generic brand names, there’s a tendency for the domain might be super expensive. So you want to be on the lookout for how expensive it is too.
Pro Tips– Avoid opting for domain names with numbers or symbols out of desperation.
– Register more than one variation of your brand name, so you’re extra secure.
7. Finalize and protect your brand name
Once you purchase your domain and start using your brand name, it’s important to protect it from copycats, and your competitors. This is why you need to trademark your brand assets. That way in the future, if anyone is using your brand name, you can send a cease-and-desist letter to stop them from using it.
One of the greatest trademark battles was between Apple Corps and Apple Computer (now known as Apple inc). The former being a music company founded by the Beatles sued Apple computers for trademark infringement in 1978.
After three years, Apple settled with $80,000 and the condition that while they wouldn’t venture into the music business, Apple corp wouldn’t enter into the computer business. Although this ended by setting boundaries, it probably wouldn’t have worked if Apple Corp didn’t protect their brand name.
So start by hiring a trademark attorney to give you professional insights on how to file for a trademark. We also recommend using your brand name both offline and online so you can prove that it belongs to your company.
Pro Tips– Set up a regular trademark watch so you can know whenever anyone is infringing it.
– The trademark application takes time so you want to start it as early as possible.
Generally, 4-5 letter brand names are more recognizable and memorable. That’s why most successful brands stick to these name types. Find available short brand names for your company by starting with a brand name generator today.