Naming your startup can be time-consuming and challenging. Here are eight tips to help name your small business or startup.
1. Consider Your Brand’s Identity
The name of your business is an integral component of your company’s identity. It will appear on your website, products, letterhead, business cards, promotional materials, and in many other places to designate your services. If your company is service-oriented, consider the ease with which potential clients will be able to recognize the services you offer based on its name.
If you’re located in a small town, your name should have a cozy, hometown feel. If you’ve set your sights on a bigger market, on the other hand, your name should convey a more cosmopolitan and corporate image.
2. Use a Name Generator
Even a branding expert can find creating the perfect name for a company or business a daunting task. A business name generator can streamline this process by creating one-of-a-kind ideas. Generators use keywords to automatically apply the most relevant filters and sectors and help people find relevant names. They can adjust the tone and length of each name suggestion to come up with the perfect name. Generators have the additional advantage of checking availability instantly.
In lieu of a name generator, you can take the time to brainstorm. Before you do that, establish what you want your startup’s name to communicate. Think about concepts related to your industry or your services or products, concepts that describe the competition, and those associated with key differences between your offerings and those of similar businesses.
Think about words that describe the advantages of your offerings. You can look up translations of these words in foreign languages and use them as long as they don’t sound too complicated. The most successful companies’ names are short: Virgin, Tesla, Apple, Meta, Google. As tempting as it may be, refrain from using a “ph” instead of “f” or “q” instead of “c.” This makes it harder to spell the name.
If your business’ name is three words, consider the acronym. Even if you aren’t going to use it, your clients might.
4. The final decision should be yours
A lot of budding entrepreneurs involve family members, friends, clients, and staff in the process of coming up with a name for their startup. You might have luck with this, but the risks are definitely there. You could end up trying to achieve consensus, leading to a trivial name. If you don’t take someone’s suggestion, they might get upset.
Anyone involved in this should have an in-depth understanding of your business. Once you’ve made a few selections, ask a few customers or friends for feedback.
5. Don’t choose literal or narrow names
You might be selling phone accessories, but don’t call your business that. You might want to expand your range beyond those products in the future. This applies to everyone offering a niche product. If you sell antique clocks, don’t call your business Jim’s Antique Clocks. You might include antique furniture or lamps later.
6. Not Too Simple
An overly simplistic name is just as bad as a very specific one. Plain names make it hard to set your startup apart from your competitors. General Electric is an exception. It got away with its plain name because it was one of the first businesses in this industry.
7. Avoid Obscure References
Admittedly, there is an exception to this too: Google. While an obscure name can be memorable, it can also be hard to pronounce or spell. If your business is online, an obscure name will make it difficult to reach a mass audience, which would be your goal. Made-up or vague names can work, but not without huge efforts and vast marketing budgets.
8. The Risks of Geographic Locations in Names
It seems natural to use your region, county, or city in the name of your business. If you do, consider whether you’ll always work in that county or city. If you decide to expand, the name might hinder you.