Today we’d be answering one of the most pressing questions of entrepreneurs who’re starting their business.
And the question usually is, “How do I come up with a great business name that’s clever and memorable without needing my tagline to tell my customers what my business is all about.”
Well, understand that during the process of creating your brand name and putting things together, the name of your business is going to be something that’s already decided or something you’ll have to come up with yourself.
Whatever the case may be, getting a brand name shouldn’t be what stands between you and starting your business. So here are a couple of steps that’d help you generate a great brand name.
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Here’s Why Every Business Needs a Perfect Name
Some of the most skilled entrepreneurs we’ve encountered were so focused on other aspects of their business that they didn’t give their business name any attention at first. They believed that the effort, worry, and pressure of finding a unique name was unnecessary, and they’d just settle for any name that came to mind.
But to put things in perspective, have you ever considered how different your life would have been if your parents had named you Paul instead of Jeff, Olivia instead of Sarah? Would your personality still be the same? If people met that version of you, would they have a different first impression?
Now, the same way people take on a different personality when their names are changed, businesses too also take the same shape as their names. Why? Because names are the critical pillars of our self-identity.
So every business must endeavor to get the perfect name because it can help:
Anchor your Brand’s Identity
Although every name will give your business a specific identity, the perfect name will give your business a unique identity in its industry. The perfect name captures your brand’s values, while also establishing the tone for its culture. Apple stands out from brands like HP, IBM, and Microsoft because of its unique brand name.
Attract your Target Audience
Great brand names connect to your customers by either establishing common ground or appealing to their emotions. And that’s why you need a name that links you to your audience; otherwise, you won’t be able to attract their attention.
Distinguish your Business from Competition
Because of the pandemic, competition in every market is through the roof, thousands of startups are now contending for the same target audience. And if you want your business to stand out, and swiftly win the hearts and minds of your audience, then you’ll need a great brand name because customers are usually drawn to the most catchy and appealing names.
With that said, let’s explore how you can find the perfect name for your business.
How to Find the Perfect Name for Your Business
Although it can get pretty confusing knowing which name is best for your business, don’t worry because this checklist would help you confidently select a name for your startup, product, software, or just about anything else.
It all begins with:
1. Knowing your Target Audience
You need to have a clear idea of the exact type of message you want your brand name to send, and who your target audience is so you can craft a name that they’d easily identify with.
This would help you know whether your brand name should be playful, modern, pragmatic, intriguing, or powerful. It’ll also provide the focus you need to navigate the long and winding path to naming your business.
Remember, the perfect brand name doesn’t just have context, it gives context. It sets the stage for building a solid brand identity that’d support other critical aspects of your brand, but it can only do this if it’s aligned with the desires of your customers.
So create a project statement of one or two sentences that capture the basic idea of what your brand name should communicate. Here’s an example:
- Our business needs a name that’s informative and shows how unique we are in the market.
- We need a sophisticated name that quickly conjures up images of a high-end men’s fashion brand.
2. Set the Right Foundation
Now that you’ve decided on a style, you’ll need to know the ideas and images you want to portray in your name. We typically urge entrepreneurs to focus on expressing one or two key fundamental concepts that are crucial to their business, culture, and values rather than focusing on the descriptive aspect of their business.
If you’re launching a food delivery business, your concepts may include ideas of healthy living, ethically sourced items, excellent customer service, and speedy delivery.
3. Beware of Danger
Once you’ve decided on your style, theme, and purpose, it’s time to get out the lab coats—plenty of coffee and doughnuts—and start brainstorming!
But before you brainstorm, you need to be aware of the danger zones because, with so many trademarks, it’s getting increasingly difficult to use a single English word. Here are some things to avoid:
- Single English words
- Power words like force, Icon, and United
- Symbolic words like Bridge, Spring, and Rocket
Stay on the safe side by making sure whatever name you chose for your business is:
- Easy to say
- Sounds appealing
- Easy to spell
4. Harness your Creativity
Get a team, and encourage them to come up with the strangest and most brilliant ideas that come to mind. Allow team members to bounce ideas off one another because even the most absurd idea might inspire the finest ones.
Your team shouldn’t shy away from modern, intriguing, or metaphorical names. Customers love wordplay, and coming up with interesting word combinations might be a winning formula.
But if you don’t have a team and the entire process of finding a great name seems daunting, then a powerful business name generator is what’s best for you.
The Ultimate Step
After harnessing your creativity and coming up with a list of four to seven potential brand names, it’s time to find that name that’s perfect for your business by getting each of them tested with an audience.
Get the names that satisfy your brand’s criteria to a varied group of people, preferably from the same demographics as your target market.
It’s crucial not to influence their decision at this point. Simply ask them which brand they’d like to learn more about, and then select the name that best represents your fundamental values.
By following these guidelines, you and your team would be able to come up with a memorable brand name that will catch people’s attention, stick in their minds, and survive the test of time.
Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients such as Nestle, Dell, Nuskin, and AutoNation.