When you are just starting a business, coming up with a suitable name may be difficult. This is because your business name makes a huge impact on the success of the business. Going with the wrong identity can chase your potential customers away.
Also, it can do worse things like bringing insurmountable legal and business hurdles. But a powerful and clear identity can help your branding and marketing efforts effectively. Because many startups are constantly searching for company name ideas, we have put together some suggestions that will help you create winning business names.
Helpful Tips for Creating a Business Name
The tips below will help you create an identity for your company.
1. Avoid Names That Are Difficult to Spell
When names are difficult to spell, potential customers might get confused when they want to look for such businesses on the internet. For instance, some people still spell Flickr, a photo-sharing website, as Flicker. Therefore, to avoid such occurrences, company names should be kept simple.
2. Do Not Choose Names That May Limit You as Your Company Grows
Picking names that are too narrow might cause future problems. What do you think would have happened today if Bezos Jeff titled his company “OnlineBooks”, not “Amazon”? The business would be limiting itself or he may have opted for a change of name, which involves another legal process.
Let’s say you want to start a cake business and you call it “Cakes by Ben”. If that business grows beyond cakes, probably extends into confectioneries, would it still be “Cakes by Ben”? Avoid choosing ideas like “CrackNuts Unlimited” or “Bridal Dresses of Las Vegas”. Nobody wants to limit their business to specific cities or particular products.
3. Search the Internet Thoroughly
After coining names that are pleasing to you, search the web to see if they exist. Most times, you will discover that other people already own them. Now that is not a final showstopper but a call for you to pause and try something different.
4. Secure a Domain Name
You may shoot yourself in the foot if your business is already operational and you do not own any of the domain extensions. Why is that so? Someone may buy the domain name before you and that becomes a problem. You may have to look for a way to buy it back or change your company’s identity entirely.
If you want to get a domain, go for a dot com instead of alternatives like .biz, .org, .net, or other extensions. More people are familiar with “.com” and will naturally type it when searching for a website. Hence, the domain is associated with well-established businesses.
Without doubts, someone may already own the domain name you desire. However, many of such people are happy to sell to you at a good price. So think of getting a domain as an investment.
You may want to check for its availability on sites like GoDaddy. If someone already owns it, you may be able to track them down using a “who is” tool and find out if they will sell to you. Also, ensure you use the name on social media websites that are popular like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
5. Choose Names with Useful Meanings
Ideally, business names convey something positive and meaningfully related to the business. Check if people can instantly understand your products and/or services from the identity you choose. Although meaningless names such as Yahoo and Google are catchy and appealing, they cost a lot of money to brand.
For example, a website like “OnlineTickets.com” clearly states the meaning and what the business does. This is also helpful for SEO (search engine optimization).
6. Search for Trademark
You can search https://www.uspto.gov/, the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, to be sure that you can acquire a service mark or trademark for the business.
7. Search the Secretary of State’s Registry
Even though your business is just starting, you may want it to be an LLC or a corporation in the future. You can check the registry of the Secretary of State to be sure that your company’s identity will not be confused for another already registered one.
If it looks closely like the registered one, the Secretary may not permit you to go ahead with the registration. A corporate lawyer helps to handle this type of search.
8. Evaluate if the Company Name You Choose is Catchy
You do not want to end up with a boring company name, but you do not also want to settle for something that is “out there”. Your employees should not have a hard time saying where they work. You also want your target customers to relate to the name.
9. Request Feedback from People
You can get up to 5 or more names, then ask your friends, relatives, and colleagues to give their feedback. You can also request feedback from potential customers. Just ensure that there is no negative connotation to the names you come up with. For instance, there was a time GM named one of their car models as “Nova” and didn’t realize that in Spanish, it means “doesn’t go”.
10. Ensure It Sounds Awesome When You Say It Aloud
Some names may look fine on print but say them aloud and they become awful. Also, ensure that people do not become confused regarding how to spell it when you say it aloud.
11. Utilize Available Resources to Brainstorm Company Names
You can use different sites when brainstorming names. They include:
- Naminum – to generate names with respect to a theme.
- Name Mesh – a name generator for startup companies.
- Shopify – an e-commerce store that has a name generator for businesses and checks the availability of a domain.
- Visual Thesaurus – provides visuals for keywords.
- You can even consider hiring a branding expert.
12. Ensure You Are Truly Happy with the Chosen Name
Any business name you choose will stick with you for many years to come. Therefore, ensure that you love it and your customers can relate to it. So do not be in a rush, take time to create something catchy and loving.
It is always good to start well and for businesses, coming up with catchy names is a good way to start. The tips shared in this article will help you create a name that you and your customers will love.