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What is in a name? Quite a lot. 

Your company’s name can make all the difference in propelling your business towards success.

A good company name reflects your business, your values, and what you want to project to the world. That’s why deciding your business name plays a huge role in your success.

Crafting the right name for your business can be a difficult and meticulous task. It requires finding the perfect balance between practical, creative and legal elements. You want your name to be unique while still echoing a preferred meaning to prospective clients. The name you settle on should also be easy to spell and memorable. People should be able to find you easily both online and offline. 

Today, we will break down the business naming process into 4 steps to help you come up with powerful business name ideas. 

Step 1: Brainstorm Business Names That Represent Your Business

To begin with, develop as many business name ideas as possible. There are no bad ideas at this stage, so set a timer and write down anything and everything you think of. 

Here are some creative techniques to help you brainstorm business names:

  • Define your objectives. If you know what your business goals are it streamlines the naming process. It lets you set boundaries and gives you guidelines on what the most appropriate names will be. 
  • Expect change. Your team might not all be on board with the name change, and you may never have a full consensus on the new name. Prepare for this appropriately and go into the name change with an open mind. 
  • Remember who you are as a business. Whereas our first tip looks at what your business goals are, this tip moreover looks at your values. What drives your business? How can that influence your name.
  • Know your target market. Knowing your target market is one of the key tips. It allows you to cater your business name to your target market to better attract them. For example, a younger market would likely prefer a more upbeat name and an older market, a more practical name.
  • Futureproof. Being in the moment is limiting. Your name needs to age through a constantly evolving culture and world. Don’t go for a name that limits your expansion or keeps you stuck in this moment of time.

For inspiration, take in as much information as possible about business trends and small businesses. Narrow down the information to your specific industry.

The primary goal is to have a unique, creative and catchy business name.

For example, Frito Lay needed a short, punchy name for a new low-carb line of snacks. They approached NameStormers with a need for an innovative name that complements their existing brands.

NameStormers recommended “Edge”. A short, memorable name that pops out even in a crowded shelf space. The name implies an extra effect, an advantage and a point of transition. This brand name has been able to stand out from other low-carb competitors.

Doritos corn chips

Whichever business name you settle on, ensure it’s easy to remember. Most of the time, your business name is your customers’ first impression of your company. To save on time, hire NameStormers to brainstorm for you.

With NameStormers, you work with a team of highly skilled, creative individuals who take your thoughts and bring them to life. Helping you design the perfect name for your company, product, or business.

Ideally, a new customer should be able to memorize your business name after interacting with it just once. For instance, Hilton needed a catchy brand name for its mid-scale hotel business line. The name needed to resonate with lower cost millennial travelers.

For an attention-grabbing yet modern name, we settled on the name “Tru”. The name is modern, short, easy to remember and simplistic. This brand name has been hugely successful with Hilton—opening over 100 hotels by November 2019.

Business name ideas: Tru by Hilton is short, targeted, and welcoming

10 Important Tips for a Name That Makes Your Business Thrive

Here are 10 tips that will guide you further to name your business.

  • Keep the name simple and memorable.
  • Say the business name out loud. Ensure it sounds good.
  • Avoid including a geographical location in the business name.
  • Avoid trends.
  • The name should convey your business mission.
  • Ensure the name is culturally sensitive. Can your business name be misinterpreted in another culture or language?
  • Ask a focus group what they think of your name.
  • Compare your name with other business names in the industry.
  • Avoid too literal or overly thin names.
  • Pick a name that conveys a meaning or a benefit.

Step 2: Check to See if the Name Is Available by Searching Online

Even though you may have come up with the perfect business name, its usefulness is pegged on its uniqueness. No one else should be using the name already. Besides leading to confusion, using a name that is already in use can cause a potential legal issue.

So, register your desired business name. If you are within the U.S, register your business name at the Secretary of State office. If your preferred business name idea is already in use officially, move to the next name on the list. This includes checking the domain availability of your chosen name.

You may also consider trademarking your business name to protect it. A trademark gives you legal protections in the case where another business attempts to use your name. It can also act as an umbrella brand name if you’d like to add multiple brands in future.

After registering your business name, proceed to register the domain name. Having your own domain name builds credibility, gives your business a professional look, and increases brand awareness.

Using your business name as the domain name makes it easy for customers to identify your brand online. In case the domain name is taken, tweak or adjust the name slightly instead of rethinking the entire process.

You may also reach out to the owner of the domain and see if they may consider selling it to you. Besides the domain name, check if the corresponding social media handles are taken.

Case study

Step 3: Follow the Naming Rules for Your Business Structure

As you create a business name, it’s important to choose a business structure for the business you intend to operate. If you intend to operate a new business, your business structure will determine your day-to-day operations.

A business structure is the way your business is set up and operated. This has an impact on the legal name for your business.

In the table below, we cover several business structures and how their naming varies.

Business Structure Naming requirements.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Your name must include the LLC abbreviation
  • Must be licensed if you intend to offer professional services. E.g., doctor, legal services
Corporations
  • Your name must contain the word “limited” “company” “corporation” or “incorporated”
  • Your name should be distinguishable from other businesses in your state
Sole Proprietorships
  • The business operates under the business owners’ own name.
  • You must file a Doing Business As (DBA) in your state
Partnerships
  • Must include surnames of both partners
  • To use a different name, you must file a DBA
Awards

Get Your Business Name Right

It’s easy to pick a random name out of a hat, thinking it’ll be a good fit for your business. However, coming up with a strong and strategic business name that stands the test of time is a more complex process.

Here’s an example of a brand name that will stand the test of time. Michelin introduced a new line of premium passenger tires using the best engineering technology. The tires are superior, offering good balance handling and traction, qualities which Michelin wanted to be captured in the new product name.

NameStormers came up with the brand name Symmetry tires. This brand name has become known for its great performance and price.

Michelin’s Symmetry Tires

Done correctly, a business name can become the biggest factor in growing your business. This is why you should involve the people who have been doing this for decades. Get a set of powerful names that give your business a strong footing.

At NameStormers, we have a unique naming methodology. We have been recognized over the years as the top naming agency, both in Austin and throughout the country. Here are some of our recent awards.

We are a brand naming agency that works with you to find the perfect name that captures your business culture, values, and strengths. We also give you the rationale behind the selection of each name and how each name sets you apart.

By working with us, you’ll also get preliminary trademark and domain screening.

Our process includes business naming, product naming, naming strategy, legal and market research and even naming architecture. Additionally, we provide you with data that gives a rationale on how each name selected sets you apart and positions your brand strongly.

Contact us today and start your business naming journey.

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