From floating ideas to deciding on the final business name, you need to use a system that works. You need to be sure the business name you settle on satisfies your business needs.
Many people think that when starting a new business, coming up with a good business name is the simplest step. They think that you can simply get a few ideas from a free business name generator and start to make money. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Choosing a great name for your business is more complicated than that.
It’s a process that involves much more than just guesswork. You need to do more than simply considering name ideas suggested by your family members, close acquaintances, and a generator.
It’s essential to create a relatable business name. One that matches your overall brand identity while having the potential of major business growth.
At NameStormers, we follow these steps to come up with a business name:
- Gather. We have a chat and get to know who you are, who your target audience is, the feeling you want your new name to convey, how it will be used, and of course — what your long term goals are.
- Ideate. The big brainstorm. Here we produce names until you have a shortlist of potential brand names you’re happy with.
- Screen. Here’s where the preliminary trademark screenings start. We use the same databases trademark attorneys use to ensure your names are viable.
- Pitch. We pitch all viable names to you using our fully-tested presentation method. We explore the names together and strategically plan the next steps.
- Fine-tune. Here, we listen to your feedback and fine-tune as required. We then do a Customer Validation Study where your names are ranked from the customer’s favourite to the least liked.
- Test. The next round of testing involves asking groups more detailed questions about your potential brand name, comparing your name to competitors, and testing your name for memorability.
- ROI. Here’s where you get your brand name candidates alongside the hard data supporting their strengths and weaknesses.
As you can see from the steps above, there’s more to generating business name ideas than meets the eye.
A good business name can mean either more business for your company or a loss of revenue.
Today, we’ll look at the key factors that inform the steps we take to develop an appropriate business name. We’ll also share what we do for our clients to help them pick the best names for their companies, products and services.
1# Gather — Consider the Core Values of the Business
When brainstorming a business name, remember that not only does the name need to be appealing to your target audience, it also needs to encompass your values for the business.
A business name stays with you for a long time. So you need to pick a name that you’re willing to live with.
Here are some questions we ask you when we’re discussing core values and objectives for a business name:
- What are your key differentiators (what sets you apart)?
- What is your unique value proposition?
- What story are you telling?
- What problem are you solving that no one else is?
- What void is your product or service fulfilling?
- What emotions does your company evoke that competitors barely muster?
We then take everything we’ve learned, and move on to step 2.
2# Ideate — The Creative Stage
Here’s the fun part. At this stage, we think of as many brand name ideas as we can. We don’t just suggest a few options; we give you hundreds of ideas to pick from.
So what are some of the methods we used to come up with so many ideas?
- We write every name idea down (even if it’s bad!)
- We explore Greek and Latin root words, suffixes, and prefixes.
- We use handy tools, including synonym trees, thesauruses, and word-part searches.
- We consider both metaphorical and symbolic ideas.
- We even explore idioms, puns, and wordplay.
- And more.
We use these ideas in coalition with your brand objectives and all of the other knowledge that we gathered in the previous step. In short, here, all our research into you comes together to create a perfect brand name.
We also understand creativity is important so that you don’t end up with a boring name that appeals to neither you nor your target audience.
We take our time. We don’t rush the process and involve as many of our team members as necessary to make sure we’re not limiting creativity.
The business name you eventually pick says a great deal about you, so you need as many options as possible from this process.
When you hire NameStormers, we’ll give you as many creative options as you want until you’re satisfied with the final choice.
3# Screen — Screening for Trademark and .com Domain
After we’ve thought out a few catchy options we believe will work, the next step is to screen the new names for trademark risk and domain availability. This is an important step that has to be done carefully.
A name is only as great as its ability to be legally used. Prescreening names for trademark issues will help protect you from legal problems later. The first step is to run a search through agencies like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If it’s a lower-risk name, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Yet our work isn’t done.
Even if the names are lower-risk, the data will only show you that the exact names haven’t been taken yet. We take further precautions because the basis for trademark infringement is if there’s any “likelihood of confusion.”
This means that if there are names that sound similar, or that have alternate spellings, your claim to that name could be disqualified in the future. This calls for serious Trademark screening like that done by NameStorners using the same services that trademark attorneys use.
Another necessary step when naming your business is to check for the .com domain availability.
This is important because most people associate businesses with the .com domain names more than any other. Even if you secure other domain names like .net or .org, the .com extension is still important.
So, we check that it’s available and if it’s not, we let you know. Not owning your .com domain can cause lots of confusion among your clients and you could easily lose business.
Therefore, we inform you of the domain’s status for shortlisted names.
However, that’s not where the initial naming process ends. Here’s some other checks we do.
Check for Cultural and Linguistic Appropriateness
An important point to consider is if your new business name is appropriate. How does it sound in other major languages? Is it offensive? Is the meaning the opposite of what you’re going for?
This brings to mind the time when General Motors named a new make of their car the Nova without knowing that Nova means ‘doesn’t go’ or ‘not going’ in Spanish. That’s certainly not a great name for a car.
This step requires in-depth research and not just a few searches. If your name has an offensive connotation in another language, people may avoid you because just saying your name will make them uncomfortable.
A free online business name generator may not help you here. You need the services of business naming companies to help you with the extensive research.
We have a history of helping our customers come up with catchy business names that have helped them grow and gain popularity within a short time. Check out our portfolio for businesses we’ve worked with and helped to pick great business and product names for.
Testing Your New Business Names Through Market Research.
Here’s another important test we do. Many companies neglect the value of market research. Unfortunately, this ultimately hinders their business model and forces them to rebrand in the future. We don’t want that to happen, so we test your brand name against the wider market.
First, we use a Customer Validation Study to quickly rank the names we’ve brainstormed. We learn which brand names your audience likes the least, and which they like the best. In most instances, this just leaves a couple of business names in the running; so many ideas can be quickly dropped.
So what kind of questions do we ask your audience?
- How much do they like your name?
- How easy is it for them to say the name?
- Can they easily spell the name?
Remember: the perfect name has meaning to it, and through talking to your customers, we learn exactly what meaning can be best associated with your business.
After that we compare your names to competitors. Does your name stand out? Is it better or worse than your competitors? Is there any possibility it will cause trademark issues?
Finally, comes our memorability test — though we won’t go quite into that right now. We all have to have our secrets, after all? Rest assured though, it’s quite an effective test.
ROI. Get Great Business Names
As you can see, we’re passionate about creative business names. Do you need help? Are you wondering how to come up with a business name? That’s what we do at NameStormers.
Let’s handle the naming process for you while you focus on what you do best — developing and growing your business.
With over 30 years of experience in the company naming business, we have the knowledge and tools needed to get you the perfect name for your business.
Check out the numerous awards we have received for the impeccable work we do.
See the story about how we worked to create the name ‘Tru’ for Hilton that helped them appeal to their millennial customers. The name was successful, with up to 100 Tru by Hilton hotels opening by November of 2019.
Below are just a few of the companies we’ve worked with.
Hoover needed a name for a new steam cleaner. The name we successfully proposed, Hoover Agility, sold for over a decade.
Circuit City wanted to make the process of buying a car more pleasant and enjoyable. They picked the name CarMax from the options we gave them.
CarMax was not only short and easy to pronounce but also helped them achieve their goal. Now CarMax is a common site in many markets.
Desert Glory wanted to brand their family of NatureSweet grape tomatoes. NameStormers proposed the name ‘Cherubs.’ The name allowed Desert Glory to build a strong brand name of grape tomatoes without investing too much money.
We can go on and on about our success stories in branding and naming companies. We do more than your basic free business name generator. We build unique brands so you can keep growing. Contact us today for any business-naming and branding needs.