For every startup company, creating a business name is one of the most challenging stages to face off. Of course, you can always dodge this task and just christen your company after your ‘name’ — but where is the fun? Naming your business involves a series of considerations and creative process — and trust me, you need lots of it!
An ideal business name parallels to your company brand and goals. It is ‘that’ thing which separates you from the busy crowd. A trademark that you live with every single day of your life. Simply put, your living legacy!
A business name speaks for itself. Hence, it is important to carefully ponder the various aspects before investing in a business entity. The most identifiable element of a good brand name is it represents the collective identity of your company. After all, your business name is a fundamental aspect that would either make you or break you.
And most importantly, choosing a business name shouldn’t be a daunting task, to begin with. You, as the business owner, should indulge in the creative process to ultimately come up with the most standout business label.
Here are some essential tips you need to consider before coming up with an iconic business name:
1. Understand Business Objectives – According to the words of Sarah Tippet, the editor-in-chief of Homeschool Base, the naming process should start with peeling off the project goals, mission statement, and objectives.
- What are your business priorities?
- Will your business name portray more on your industry or your services?
- What is your brand positioning?
Asking these questions will help you predetermine the context of your business goals and marketability of your name. If you’re aiming to represent your company brand, you have to do some extra nudge to ensure it fits to represent your business at large.
Remember: An absence of initial plan would lead to nearsightedness to the bigger picture. Your company name is crucial in solidifying your company brand. In the long run, your business name will appear on your marketing collaterals like the website, business cards, brochures, and promotional materials. Identifying the business fundamentals is a must in the process to propel on the brainstorming concepts.
2. Identify the Type of Name – Now here is where the magic begins! Creating a mind map using ‘name categories’ is an efficient method to brainstorm thoughts organically. After identifying your business objectives, now is the time to pitch in some creative glints. At this rate, determining your name type is imperative as it will parallel to your brand personality.
Check out our Business Naming Worksheet and kickstart your creative naming session in just easy steps! Download it here.
Here are the general categories for name types:
- Descriptive – Names that explicitly attributes or describes a business brand. Appropriate examples are Bath & Body Works, Holiday Inn, and Airbus.
- Fabricated – Completely out of the blue names that are made-up cleverly to innovate. Popular fabricated brand names are Google, Skype or Viagra.
- Acronym – Initial letters from common words to formulate a stand-alone name. Think of KFC, BMW
- Technical – Names mixed from newfangled words, technical language or function. Business names in this category are often futuristic sounding like Panasonic and Xerox.
- Symbolism – Derived from metaphorical forces to establish
uniqueimpression from people. Widespread brands with symbolism are Starbucks, Apple, and Virgin brands.
- Alliteration – This refers to the poetic-sounding business names like Dunkin Donuts and Lula Learn. These names aim to be verbally playful and memorable to people.
- Merged – Names that are
combinationof two or more ideas to formulate new context. Popular merged brand names are FedEx and Microsoft.
Naming process starts with exploring possibilities with the various categories. If done right, the product can be powerful.
3. Uphold a Sense of Originality – Why bother with rigid strategies to become an industry leader when consumers cannot even tell you apart from your competitors?
Among the biggest hurdle with naming your business is originality. The danger with an unoriginal name is your association with other business (be it on the same or a different kind, niche or industry), taking into account the millions of enterprises in the US.
You might infringe on their goodwill ending up with an expensive lawsuit. Or it may work the other way around, where other businesses tarnish your reputation. Either way, an echoic name does not look promising no matter how exciting and befitting it might be for your business.
When brainstorming for names, allow the free-flow of your ideas. The aim here is to make a lasting impression, ensuring higher possibilities of recall or even entice immediate transaction. This is not the time for you cut down your selections, instead, create as many name options as you can.
You can begin conceptualizing names by finding an inspiration. Your inspiration may be yourself, your products and services, the aims of the business, your locality or your interests that relate to the business among other influences you can find.
There are also several online tools that you can use to determine the originality of your name selections including popularity and protected names.
4. Make it Authentic – There’s no room for superficiality in the creative process. The trade name as with the business must be authentic. It should be an accurate representation of the products and services offered, suggestive of its kind and quality.
At a time where consumers are proactively looking into businesses ethical and sustainable practices, integrity and transparency should be at the forefront. And nothing is more nucleus than the corporate name.
Your name is where your conversation with your clients begins; your message has to be impactful and meaningful. It is only right to begin your journey by setting the right expectations. It would seem that your business name is greatly dictated by the wants and preferences of your market.
That is not entirely the case.
These are just the concerns that you need to consider when forming your name because alongside enterprise naming is your brand building. Your business name and brand should tell your story. It will be responsible for honing your target market.
It has to be a cause, a revolution that mobilizes.
The challenge here is for you is to safeguard the business from any vulnerability. You might unknowingly give out trade secrets just by your name. Competitors are predators waiting for the perfect moment to attack. You should not allow them to strike at your heart and your very identity.
5. Ensure Web-Viability – With the onset of various communication channels, you have to have a wider vision of how your corporate name affect your strategies and performance across these platforms.
According to the research from Global Digital Report 2019 of We Are Social and Hootsuite, the number of social media users in 2019 is 3.48 billion which signified the strong prevalence of social media. Moreover, giant platforms like Instagram and Facebook contributed big time to this large-scale growth annually.
Some of the powerful business names are short and straightforward, often times containing up to two syllabi. While this is not a strict precedent, in social media, short and simple business names are likely remembered and easily found.
Sophisticated names are good in giving that avant-garde, sleek or fun ring, highlighting the identity and character of your business. It becomes a problem when your market cannot remember or even properly spell out your name as they look you up through the social media sites.
Social media has its own naming system by way of ‘usernames’, having limited characters. It is advantageous for you to keep the same and short username for all your social media. This is to ensure consistency and for your customers to easily find you across different channels.
6. Check for Domain Availability – Now ask yourself, is my business name ‘web friendly’? Why? Because aside from the legal matters that you have to comply to make it official, you still have to establish your online presence. This includes domain christening.
Your domain name is somewhat your online address. Instead of using strands of hard-to-remember numbers, your patrons can look you up online by entering ‘that’ name. Again, it’s not required to use your business name as your domain. Successful brands like Facebook, PayPal, Tesla, and Twitter, for instance, didn’t have the same domain as their corporate name when they first launch online.
However, having the same or closely similar domain is of course ideal. It helps your target market locate you faster, increasing your chances of making potential consumers to actual clients.
This is why your business name should be brandable and adaptable.
The problem here is that having a business-domain name match can be difficult especially for new businesses. There are over 100 million created domain names, lessening your chances of getting a rare or distinct one.
Some of the approaches that you can use to create an effective domain name include making it creative, keeping it short, using words related to your products and services, making it general enough for growth, and having something that will easily stick.
Building a name, literally and figuratively, is a convoluted process. It will definitely squeeze out your creative juices, thinking of ingenious business names that are equally catching, original, authentic and is uniquely you.
Using these tips may not shorten the course, it can, however, guide you through the complexities of business naming.