The name of your business is often the first impression you get to make on your customers.
Without a distinctive and memorable name to represent your brand, your potential customers and investors are not very likely to remember it.
However, if you pick a name that resonates with your audience and sticks with them, you will surely benefit from it.
Naming your business is the first step to giving your brand a personality. Apart from strong branding, a good name can also help you market your business effectively.
If you’re in the process of naming your business, here are five things to remember before you settle on a name. These tips will help you pick out a powerful and suitable name for your brand.
A widely used brainstorming tip is to discard the first five ideas you come up with – because someone else must’ve too. Naming your business shouldn’t be done on a whim, even if the name feels right to you.
It’s important to brainstorm hundreds of names and bounce off ideas with trusted friends, family, and colleagues. You should also actively seek feedback from this trusted circle by offering them a list of 5-10 shortlisted names. Don’t hesitate to repeat this process until you’re completely satisfied with the results.
You can also use online resources and business name generators such as Namify to help you come up with suitable and meaningful names.
2. Assess the phonetics of the name
How does a name sound when you say it out loud? Is it easy to pronounce? Is it catchy? These are a few questions you need to answer while naming your business.
A name may look great on paper but might not have the same effect when said out loud. Experts suggest that alliteration is a great tool to come up with a brand name that will be appealing and memorable. Popular brands have used it to captivate customers around the globe, such as Dunkin Donuts, PayPal, Bed Bath & Beyond, Coca Cola and more.
Whether you take the same approach as these brands or not, ensure that the name you settle on sounds as good as it reads. Keep repeating it to assess how easily it rolls off the tongue, and what kind of feeling it leaves you with.
3. Keep it simple
Sometimes, in an effort to come up with something unique, brands pick names that are too complicated. This can make it hard for customers to relate to your business, or worse, remember it at all.
In particular, don’t choose a name that is hard to spell. Admittedly, there are popular brands with complicated spellings like Givenchy, Porsche, Tag Heuer, etc., but it’s not a good idea to imitate their strategy, especially for small businesses.
If customers are confused about your brand name’s spelling, they will have a hard time finding it online. The beauty of simplicity is that it has an instant connection with your customers.
However, it may be a good idea to steer clear of generic names. By naming your business something simple yet powerful, you can establish your brand’s identity effectively.
Take Google, for example. With such a simple name, the brand has managed to be synonymous with a search engine. To ‘google’ is to search for information – it’s now a verb in the Oxford dictionary.
4. Make it meaningful
When a brand name conveys a message or carries a meaning, it immediately has more retention power. Naming your business with a meaningful name allows your customers to understand your brand better.
For example, Amazon got its name from the biggest river in the world, indicating a vision for what the company hoped to symbolize.
A name that has a strong interpretation is easier to brand and market than business names that are seemingly senseless.
However, there are exceptions to the rule, like Kodak, Sony, Yahoo, etc. They banked on the catchiness of their names and it worked for them – but it may not for you.
5. Get it!
So, you’ve found a business name that you love. What’s next? First things first, do a thorough online search to determine no one else is using the name. Take this one step further and check the trademark journals of your country to ensure that it’s available, as you’d have to register it later on anyway.
If you are met with obstacles in this process, don’t be afraid to start over. Remember not to compromise while naming your business, as it can make a huge difference in your journey to success.
On the other hand, if the name you’ve chosen is not taken by any other brand, it’s time to make it yours. Purchase a domain name for your business, and register it to be trademarked. This will give you many legal and branding benefits in the long run and will protect your brand and its identity from infringement.
Naming your business is a bit like naming your baby. It’s the first personality element that you get to choose for your brand.
Eventually, the business will grow and evolve on its own, under your guidance and expertise. But for now, you should be happy with the name you’ve selected. If you don’t believe in it, chances are, neither will your customers.
It’s important to get your business name right from the get-go because changing it later can be extremely expensive and detrimental to your brand’s reputation.
For example, in 2009, Pizza Hut apparently tried to drop ‘pizza’ from its name and go just with ‘The Hut’. It was met with an instant backlash from the public, post which the company restored the original brand name.
We hope that this guide has helped you identify certain parameters for naming your business, and will inspire and guide you through the process of brainstorming different ideas.
If you are looking for a list of names for inspiration or need a starting point when it comes to finding names, don’t hesitate to turn to Namify’s business name generator.