Roy's Blog

December 7, 2018

How to create the perfect name for your business — guest post

If you are in the process of starting a new business, there are many important things that will need to be considered. Things such as the product or service you’ll be selling, your target market, and your specific business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.) will all be very important.

But one aspect of starting a new business that people often overlook is their company name.

Though, at first, your name may seem to be a rather small detail, it may actually be what ends up either making or breaking your business. Furthermore, your name is one of the first ways that your business can establish a clear competitive advantage.

Perfect name

Fortunately, the perfect name for your business is something that is likely well within reach. In this post, we will discuss the most important things for you to think about when brainstorming business names and we will also discuss some of the most time-tested strategies you should consider using.

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 hope to come up with an original name often end up creating new words. Tech companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Android, and others have all chosen names that—prior to their initial establishment—would not be found in any English-speaking dictionary.
However, while all of these names are indeed unique, they are also relatively easy to remember.

Remember

Here are some of the essential things you should keep in mind when trying to create a memorable name:
    — try and limit the number of words and syllables that your name uses
    — even if you are using a made up word, choose a word that is easy to spell
    — try this simple test: give someone you know a list of ten words (one of which is the name you are considering) and then ten minutes later see which of those words they are able to remember

Though the “test” mentioned in this list is obviously non-binding, it can be a very useful checkmark throughout the brainstorming process. Usually, it makes sense to come up with a list of many possible names and then see which ones are actually able to stick.

Check to see which naming strategies are common in your industry

Despite the fact that you should strive to come up with an original name, it is still a good idea to understand the various naming strategies that are standard in your industry. Whether you end up adopting these strategies or turning them on their head, you should still be aware of how your industry works.
    — Naming a company after the founders or owners: this strategy is especially common for law firms, real estate firms, and other similar businesses.
    — Using puns, portmanteaus, and other plays on words: this strategy may be useful for businesses that focus more on creating a friendly image for their clients (rather than focusing on trying to lure capital investors).
    — Creating a word that is entirely unique: this is one of the most common strategies used by members of the tech industry and other industries attempting to be futuristic.
    — Trying to sound traditional: when it comes to creating new business names, century-old traditions are typically a bad idea. However, these names may sometimes work for the more “serious” industries such as banking, insurance, and medical care.

Another trend that has recently emerged is the use of single words—nouns, verbs, and adjectives—when coming up with business names. Whether or not this strategy will be appropriate will depend upon the nature of your business as well as your target audience.

Test the name with potential future clients

No matter what product or service you may be attempting to sell, what remains universally clear is that some people are simply much more likely to identify with your brand than others.
Once you have defined your target market — demographics, lifestyles, etc.—then you will be in a position to gather a focus group that can potentially test your name.

Target market

When running a focus group, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Not only should you make sure that your name is one that people actually like, but you should also make sure that the name is one that is able to effectively connect with your desired brand image.
Even though there is likely a name that you personally prefer, it is important to try to be objective and open to outside input.

Confirm that your business name is entirely usable

Lastly, once you have narrowed your list to a final name or two, you should check to make sure that your name is universally compatible. Typically, this will involve multiple different things:
    — making sure none of your competitors have the same name or even a very similar name
    — making sure that your name is compatible/non-offensive to other cultures (this is especially important for international businesses)
    — making sure that there is a suitable web domain available for your name

Thoroughly investigating the context of your name is very important. One of the last things you would want to do as a new business owner is have to rename your company right off the bat.

Conclusion

The naming process is one that is absolutely crucial and should not be willingly ignored. There are many different things that will need to be considered when coming up with a new name including your company values, originality, and whether or not your name is actively available.

By taking the time to find the ideal name for your business, you will be in a much better position to succeed and stand out from the crowd.

Grant Polachek 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. Get inspired by exploring these winning brand name ideas.

  • Posted 12.7.18 at 04:41 am by Roy Osing
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