Your consumer-facing company is ready to open to the public, no doubt providing goods and services that will change the game. All you need is a name — one that resonates with potential consumers, bringing them in the door (physically or digitally) again and again.
“That’s easy,” you might say. “I’ll just do a quick internet search and see if my idea is already taken.” Not so fast. Doing that is just inviting a host of trouble that can ultimately wind you up in court, delaying your grand opening or even preventing it altogether.
So what’s the solution? Check out these expert tips you can use to name your consumer company.
Make an Impact
There are a variety of schools of thought when it comes to company names. Some say the best company name ideas are abstract, like Shell or Google or Starbucks, allowing for massive flexibility. Others say that names should allow consumers to immediately identify their business. Think In-N-Out Burger. Some believe that coined names (that come from made-up words) are more memorable than names that use real words. We’re looking at you, Kodak.
And honestly, they’re all right. There is no one “right way” to name your consumer-facing company as there are drawbacks and benefits to almost every type and style of name. However, you can completely miss the incredible naming opportunity in front of you if you aren’t able to two simple questions:
- What do you want your name to do?
- Who is the name for?
The answers to those two questions will be extremely different from other companies depending on the industry you’re in, whether you are a B2B or B2C company, and what the cultural climate is like. Regardless of the answers to those questions, all names need to have an impact and resonate for years and years to come.
Cut the Shorthand
Initials are great. We all love them. They make naming things much easier and sometimes memorable: UPS. AT&T. CVS. Any idea what these really stand for? In truth, it doesn’t matter. You know the brand by those initials.
And while shorter may be better in many cases, keeping your company’s name to three or four letters isn’t necessarily the best idea. It can lose meaning, be too abstract, cause confusion, or even bring to mind something you might not expect.
For example, naming your company International Braking Services, or IBS, may seem like a good idea at the time until you look at it more closely. Worse, companies may already be using your initials even if you’re not in the same industry. That kind of brand confusion only invites trouble.
Get Them Excited
A company name should be more than the name of your product + “and More” or the name of your product + “World.” The public at large is going to breeze right by that: “Oh great, another one of those companies”. We talk more about this “+” trend in a recent interview with The New York Times.
You want to get consumers excited. You want them so curious they’ll stop in and see what you have. Most importantly, you want them coming back time and time again. Figuring out what kind of name triggers such a response is no easy task, even for the most successful businessperson.
For example, when Boston Beer Company tasked us with naming their line of hard ciders, we looked at the apples themselves. When we realized the ugliest apples make the best cider, Angry Orchard was born (and remains a massive success).
When 7-11 came to us looking to name their new premium coffee blend, they wanted something that spoke to its taste, quality, and, most importantly, the experience of drinking it. We named it Heavenly Blend and customers found it heavenly indeed.
And when Premier Dental Holdings wanted to change the fact that people dread going to the dentist and orthodontist, we created Brident, a pleasant name that helps remove the fear of dental visits.
Finally, consider the fact that what gets YOU excited may not earn the same results from potential consumers. You may need an objective party to find the right fit.
Is It Trademarked?
There’s only one way to make sure your company name (and logo) aren’t already in use — and it’s a long, complicated process. Again, it’s something that just a simple internet search can’t possibly answer correctly.
Finding a usable name means consulting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and one mistake during the filing process could send you back to the drawing board or create all sorts of legal headaches.
Want to Name a Consumer-Facing Company? Work with NameStormers!
Even the best company name ideas don’t just arrive instantly. There’s far more to the process. It takes effort, skill, and, most importantly, experience. Luckily, with our expertise and thorough seven-step naming process, NameStormers takes all of the guesswork out of naming.
Even better, if you’re not happy with the results we provide when the process is done, we’ll dive right back into step 1 with no additional charge to you. We’ll generate smart, usable names until we find the perfect one for you.
If you’re ready to work with professionals with proven experience naming consumer-facing companies, contact us today.