Naming your business can be one of the most challenging pieces of launching a business. There is so much equity tied up in a name, how it correlates with your logo, and the emotions and connotations it stimulates from its audience. One can easily fall down the rabbit hole while trying to pick the perfect name.
Fortunately, we’re here to help! There are a few tried-and-true tips to narrow your search and come up with a long-standing name for your business. While many of you already have a business name, you may be considering a rebrand or renaming, and these tips apply to you, too.
Consider Your Brand Identity
Whether you’re an established business or a startup on the cusp of launch, you have identified specific values, ethics, and promises. These brand components are your North Star when making any kind of decision, and should be considered when choosing a business name.
Your brand promise embodies how you want customers and potential customers to feel about your business. Selecting a name that is aligned with those objectives will set you up for long-term success because it is based in your core values, and not a fleeting trend.
Think about what kind of emotional appeal and connotations you are trying to establish as a business. Target those key differentiators and weave them into your brand name.
Use Real Words
Combining founders’ last names or other kitschy amalgamation of keywords that form fake words can be appealing, but ultimately don’t create the best business names. While it is meaningful internally, its significance is lost on your target audience.
People thrive off of familiarity, and this translates to using proper words. Branding your business with a non-existent word poses quite a few challenges, namely pronunciation issues, spelling errors, and it is easily forgotten because it is not exist outside of the brand name.
Instead, think about words that encompass your brand promise and see how to piece them together in a way that makes sense to your target audience. A children’s pottery studio would likely have a more playful and jovial business name than a boutique law firm. Always remember whom you are appealing to, and put that first.
Consider Its Longevity
Along with using real words, you need to think about your business’s growth potential. A generic or cute name may not fit a business once it has grown and expanded over the course of ten years. Be clear about your business objectives and do a gut check against your proposed names. If it doesn’t feel like a name you can invest in for the long haul, it may not be the best option.
Domain names and social media handles are important to remember when picking your business name. While social handles can be variations of your business name, it’s good practice to keep your domain name as close as possible to your company name.
With trademark laws and a host of social media platforms to deal with, the following three programs will do the hard work for you and vet your preferred business name.
These tools make identifying available business names simple, and alternatively send you back to the drawing board before you’ve committed to a name that’s already been claimed.
It’s easy to operate in a vacuum and come up with the “perfect” name for your business. However, you can never assume how the general public, and specifically your target audience, will react to your name.
When you have one or two business names that meet the above criteria, run them by a small focus group. Create a presentation that frames the name in the context of the business and if possible, is accompanied by a logo or at the very least brand colors. This provides a more holistic view of the business name and what kind of image its trying to portray.
Equally as important is choosing people who are real potential customers as their input is the most valuable. You may be tempted to enlist the thoughts of your friends and family, but they are probably biased. Go to your target market. Listen to their suggestions and insights and go back and tweak the name if you feel their comments warrant a change. The primary objective of enlisting a focus group is to ensure that the emotional ties you want associated with the brand are being generated from the name. Once you have a name that garners the appropriate emotions, you know you have a hit.
Your business name is the first thing potential customers learn about your company. Make sure it has the desired effect by implementing these tips and always remember the demographics and specific characteristics that comprise your target audience. The name of your business brings the company to life, so do it justice by putting the time and effort into developing the best name possible.
About the Author: Julie Chomiak is the Content Marketing Specialist for Webs and Pagemodo. When she’s not scouring the web for small business trends, Julie loves traveling, interior design, and animals of all kinds. Get more from Julie on the Webs Blog and the Pagemodo blog.