There are several processes involved in setting up a business. Naming the business is one of them, and should be done even before setting up other structures. Why?
Your business name is your greatest branding tool. Potential customers hear your name before they know what products or services you offer. A good brand name will leave a lasting impression in your customers’ minds.
Your brand name also communicates your business’ mission, vision, and values. Your customers should know what you stand for when they hear your name.
A brand name rarely changes, so it should be a long-term marketing and branding investment.
Once you have an impactful and memorable brand name, your business will be well on its way to success.
Coming up with an impactful name isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Don’t take it lightly. It needs focused planning and evaluation.
Today, we’re going to look at how to decide on a brand name and reveal some insider secrets you might not have seen in the last branding guide.
Define Your Objectives
When it comes to developing a name for your brand, always begin with your objectives and end goal in mind. This will give you a framework to streamline the process and ensure you end up with a shortlist of names that support and agree with the most important aspects of your business.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What message do you want to pass to your clients?
- What emotions do you want the name to evoke?
- What impression do you want your name to leave on your clients?
- Where will the name be displayed?
- Who do you want to attract?
- Do you need an exact dot-com domain?
- Will this be a global or company, service or product?
Think big from the start. You want the business to grow and spread its wings. With that in mind, choose a name that will be flexible enough to allow for more products and services to be offered, should you diversify in future.
Be careful with names that confine you to a specific location. Say you have a beauty brand located in Iowa and name it Iowa Beauty and Cosmetics. What will you do when you reach success and want to expand to Wisconsin or Illinois?
Bottomline: Steer clear of names that will compel you to rebrand in the future.
Know What Features Make a Perfect Business Name
As we’ve already mentioned, coming up with a name is no easy task. Sounding right is not the only thing you should focus on. You want a brand name that also works for you.
Your brand name has the potential to shape opinions about your business. That said, there are some essential features that must be put in place to come up with a brand name. They include:
Simplicity is one of the core features of a good business name. Your customers have a lot on their minds and memorizing your brand name is probably not a priority. Help your audience remember your brand by keeping your business name short, simple and easy to spell and pronounce.
Remember that word of mouth is one of the most essential aspects of marketing, for both small and established businesses. How will customers tell their friends about you if they can’t remember or pronounce your name?
You also want to factor in your customers’ ability to find your business online. It should be possible to find your name without having issues with correct spelling. If someone misspells your name while searching online, you’ll lose them to your competitors.
Shorter and simpler names are usually easier to remember, pronounce and spell.
How memorable is your business name? Unfortunately, memorability isn’t something that’s decided consciously—it’s decided by the subconscious brain.
With brand naming, memorability isn’t synonymous with pleasant or well-liked. Think of the annoying song that gets stuck in your head. Brand names can be memorable in the same way.
For instance, compare the names Google and InfoSeek. Google is the more memorable of the two, despite InfoSeek being a more pleasant-sounding and telegraphic name for a search engine.
Google is evocative. It leaves you thinking “What is a Google?” You’ll probably be thinking about it for a while after hearing it for the first time, whether consciously or subconsciously. That’s how a brand name becomes memorable. Who even remembers that there once was a search engine known as InfoSeek?
The only way to know if your name is memorable is by testing it. At NameStormers, we test the memorability of brand and company names.
The process involves showing your target consumers a list of your favorite names. Unbeknownst to them, we perform a follow-up memorability test 1 or 2 days later. The test asks them to fill in blanks, rather than pick from multiple choice options.
We simply ask, “From the names given to you in the last couple of days, which ones can you remember?” The unaided awareness ensures that consumers can only list the names they truly remember.
Having a simple brand name doesn’t mean that it should be bland. You want it to be creative.
A business name that’s too straightforward can make your target audience lose interest in your brand even before they sample your products or services.
Get creative and make style choices involving alliteration, rhyming, and wordplay.
While getting creative, don’t latch on to trends, as these come and go. If you copy a trend, you’ll become irrelevant once it disappears.
While going through the business naming process, think about what you want your brand to be known for. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What makes you stand out from your competitors?
- Who’s your target audience?
- What do you want your customers to remember you for?
For example, a name such as “Sparkles Cleaning Services” clearly communicates what your business has to offer and is consistent with what you stand for. It conveys a certain image and appeals to the client.
The name “StoneTrust” is a perfect example of a business name that’s simple, memorable, and consistent with the brand’s values and principles. “Stone” focuses on customer satisfaction while “Trust” shows that the brand is reliable and credible.
Choose a Naming Strategy
Now that you know what makes a good brand name, you’re ready to name your business.
There are several strategies for doing this, each with its fair share of benefits and drawbacks.
This table summarizes some expert naming strategies to get you started:
|Invented Name Strategy||
These strategies might not address all possible brand name origins, but they’ll get your brain rolling if you’ve got a creativity block.
How to Come Up With a Brand Name
After choosing a naming strategy that’s appropriate for your business, you can now come up with a few potential brand names by:
- Brainstorming: Sometimes, you can strike gold by listening to other people’s opinions. Ask your colleagues, friends, and family which names they find most appealing. Listen and write down all feedback without discrimination.
- Freewriting: Start writing down name ideas and don’t stop for a set period, say 30 minutes. Don’t pause or edit, even if you’ve made mistakes.
These are ideal tips to help you come up with excellent brand name ideas.
Check Its Availability
By now, you might have a list of brand name ideas that excite you. Now it’s time to check whether they’re available.
First, make sure the names are not already being used by other companies. You don’t want a trademark complaint or a lawsuit for using a name that’s already been registered, nor do you want to share the same name with another company.
In this online age, you also need to check the availability of domain names. Your domain name will establish your website’s online presence.
Checking domain availability means confirming whether the name is available in .com form. If it’s not available, you can choose to use a different domain extension, such as .net, .inc, or .org, if they’re appropriate for your business.
If the one you want is unavailable, you can also tweak your domain name to be more specific to what you do. Add a word or letters at the beginning or end that refer to your business.
For example, if you run a bakery and the domain scrummytreats.com is unavailable, you might secure scrummytreatsandpastries.com.
Many company owners forget about social media when checking domain availability. Don’t forget to check whether your preferred name is available on all the platforms you’ll use for business.
Get a Brand Name That Works for You
For the last three decades, NameStormers has established itself as an expert business naming agency and upheld a reputation for helping businesses create names that work for them.
Our work has gone on to win awards and accolades. We’ll do more than just give you available names—we’ll give you the best name for your business.
Talk to us today for a name that’ll make your brand stand out.
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