Finding the right name for your business or startup can have a significant impact on your success. The wrong name can do worse than failing to connect with customers; it can also result in insurmountable business and legal hurdles. On the other hand, a clear, powerful, and unique name can be extremely helpful in your marketing and branding efforts. A good name can help to boom your sales and help you grow better than your expectations. Here we are going to list the most useful ten steps that can help you in this naming process.
1. Avoid difficult names
You certainly do not want your customers to get confused about how to read or spell your brand name. You want to completely avoid having to continually correct the misspelled version of your brand’s name. Keep it fresh and simple.
2. Don’t pick a limiting name
Imagine if Jeff Bezos, the creator of Amazon, chose the name “online book store” for his brand instead of Amazon. Can you imagine how limited his business would have been? And then when he decides to go big, he would have needed to change the name, which is a not so easy process. You do not want to limit your business to only one product or city (unless that is what you are going for from the beginning).
3. Research your name and brand
Once you have settled with a name you like for your business, do a thorough web search on that name. More often than you think, someone else has thought about that same name and is already using it. However; do not be discouraged, just rethink your name and you will eventually find the best name for your business.
4. Get a .com domain name
As soon as you decide your business name, secure a .com domain name. Securing a .com domain name instead of the alternatives (.net, .org, .biz, and others) establishes a kind of trust between you and your customers. People generally tend to associate .com domain names with legitimate businesses. There is a great chance that someone has already acquired your domain name, however; fortunately, plenty of domain owners are willing to sell their name for the right price.
5. Use a name with a meaning behind it
Naturally, you would want your business name to convey something meaningful and positive. You want a name that will reflect what your business is about. Yes, there are names with no meaning like Google, Yahoo, etc. Despite that fact, these types of names will cost you a lot to market and brand. Having a name that has a meaning and conveys the nature of your business is a genius move as it will be very helpful for search engine optimization purposes.
6. Don’t choose a vulgar name
Of course, you do not want a boring name for your business, however, you also do not want to choose something that is too “out there, and vulgar.” In the end, you want your employees to be able to say where they work without hesitation, and you want your name to resonate with your target audience, especially if your business is targeting families.
7. Say the name to yourself loudly
Sometimes names seem fine on paper and in our minds but sound awful when said aloud. That’s why it is best if you start to say the name aloud to yourself and other people. Saying the name out loud will help you know whether it is a good, bad, or meh name. When you tell other people the name see how they react to it, if people seem confused by it or do not know how to pronounce it correctly; then it is not the name you desire after all.
8. Ask for feedback
Try minimizing your options to five or ten names for your business, then ask for opinions from friends, family members, and trusted co-workers. You can try running it by a sample of your target audience as well. Search the name to be sure that the name doesn’t have any negative meanings (for example, General Motors once named a new car model the “Nova” while it meant “doesn’t go” in Spanish).
9. Use online name generators
Sometimes you just cannot come up with a name. No matter what you do, your brain is blank, it is like that writer’s block they talk about. Well, do not panic, there is a number of online resources you can go to for help for name ideas like:
- VisualThesaurus.com (gives you a visual around a keyword)
- Shopify Business Name Generator tool (generates business name ideas and checks domain availability simultaneously)
- NameMesh.com (provides a startup company name generator)
- Naminum.com (allows you to generate names based on a theme)
If none of that helps, you can always ask for the help of an expert. There are plenty of naming experts that you can hire to come up with the perfect name for your business.
10. Conduct a Secretary of State Search
If you are going to structure your business as a corporate or an LLC. You should do a Secretary of State’s search to make sure that your name will not be confused with another company’s name that is already registered. If the name you chose is too similar to a registered one, the Secretary of State will not allow you to register it. Your lawyer can give you tips on how to edit the selected name in order to avoid legal complications.
Finally, we hope that this list helps you in your search for the perfect name chore. However, a final word to be said, your corporate lawyer is always the best advisor you can have for anything concerning your business. That being said, if you have any legal questions don’t depend on online resources and seek legal advice.