Naming your business is a critical aspect to consider when you’re launching your startup. It is typically the very first thing that your future customers will find out about your new business. It should attract customers while summing up your brand’s identity.
Even though naming a new business is challenging, it should not have to feel you are like stepping off the edge of a cliff while wearing a blindfold. If you can follow the three unique naming stages described in the article below, you can organize your ideas and get the most out value out of your business name.
Stage One: Mission and Vision
Outline your brand
Writing down a couple of existing brand names that you think are effective can help you brainstorm your own business name. When analyzing these names, write down what you like about them and if you want to achieve a similar vibe.
For example, IdeaSpies is a good startup name because they focus on tracking innovations and sharing it to inspire others
Create a list of six to eight of your favorite existing names, then you can begin to analyze them. Go through this catchy business name list to get started on this step. Write a few notes or bullet points about what you like and dislike about each name. Examining your top names can help give your naming process a direction.
Consider your audience
Make sure that when you’re naming your business you keep your target audience in mind. A great example of this is the investing app, Robinhood. Their platform is focused on making the investment process very accessible and cost-free for the typical average person, not just the rich. Their business name summarizes their brand’s values perfectly by utilizing the story of the hero bandit Robin Hood. In addition, the name appeals to their target millennial audience. The name is both youthful and unique, and it matches the millennial values of convenience and equality.
Where do you see your brand at in the next five years? What about ten years after that? If you are planning to start a company that might grow into new areas in the future, be considerate not to select a name that pigeonholes your business.
Try to summarize your values and vision in a couple of short project statements like this:
- We need a name that shows our exciting, unique approach to selling shoes.
- We need a name that establishes us as a hip, youthful brand
- We need a name that hints at our pet friendly business practices
Get started by writing down a couple of your own project statements.
Stage Two: Get Creative
Start with the basic principles of a good name. A strong name is easy to say, easy to spell, and easy to hear. If people have a hard time sharing your brand, they won’t share it at all, stunting your brand’s climb to success.
Gather some names
Brainstorm business names by writing down every possible example for each type of name on our list. This will help you get a better idea of what you’re looking for. The higher the number of names you have on your list to work with, the better scope you’ll have.
Narrow your list
Now that you have gathered a wide range of ideas, start getting rid of the names that won’t work for you until you have a list of five or six of your favorite business names. This is a handy opportunity to get yourself a second opinion from your friends, family, or people in your target audience.
Stage Three: Check your Boxes
Get Your Domains
Since a brand name often needs a website, it is important to reserve the domains you need for your business. Register a .com and any other extensions like .co, .io, and more that you think may be relevant. Your business name should have a .com you can use with it, though you do not always need an exact match. Get creative with domain add-ons.
Then, you should reserve any necessary social media handles for your business before anyone else does.
Assess your risk
Trademark validation for your company name is another great way to help you secure your brand name. All you need to do is run a simple trademark risk test to make sure that your name isn’t already being used by business with similar products or services. If your name too closely resembles another name for a brand you might accidentally find yourself in trouble with trademark law. Be proactive when preventing trademark risk to keep yourself out of any potential messy legal issues.
Creating a solid brand name can be a tough task. A name can make or break your business. It is the crux of your brand’s identity, and it should be first connection between your business and your target audience. You might think that all the best names are taken already, or that you don’t have any good name ideas, but the perfect name for your startup is out there!
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the world’s #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 company name ideas.