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A business name is one of the most important assets for any organization. Think about it this way; customers hear your brand name even before knowing what products or services you offer.

As such, your brand name gives you a chance to leave a mark on your target audience and stay at the top of their minds.

The right company name will have you unlock various opportunities for your business that will propel it towards success. It’ll demonstrate expertise and make your brand the most preferred in your industry.

On the other hand, the wrong business name will fail to form a relationship with potential customers and lose them to your competition. You don’t want your small business to close its doors even before you start.

That said, coming up with a business name is not a walk in the park. Many entrepreneurs have identified the business naming process as the most herculean of the startup process.

Luckily, we’ve come up with a list of 6 essential insider tips that we’ve used over the years to generate company names that have given our clients results. 

1. What Message Do You Want Your Business Name to Communicate?

Brown map and notes

As we’ve mentioned, your company’s name forms the core pillar of your brand identity. As a business owner, you want this name to leave a mark in your customers’ minds.

After all, this name will be included in your logo, letterheads, business cards, merchandise, website, social media platforms, and other promotional material. In short, it will be everywhere.

Remember, your business name is the greatest branding tool you have. Perhaps communicating sincerity, excitement, or competence might do it for your business. Or maybe the brand name style you’re looking for is sophistication or ruggedness.

Whichever the case, the message you want to push out there will inform the brand name style you go for. It will also help you identify a suitable brand archetype for your business. Examples of brand archetypes include:

  • The hero
  • The jester
  • The creator
  • The caregiver
  • The magician
  • The outlaw
  • The sage

Choosing one archetype will help your brand follow a single narrative and set of values.

Knowing that, why wouldn’t you choose something that identifies your business wherever it is? Whether it’s on billboards, or when displaying your products in supermarkets and stores.

If you’re a product-oriented brand, ensure that your customers can establish what you offer once they hear your name. Your potential client base will find it easier to recognize you.

For example, Desert Glory, a tomato grower based in San Antonio, reached out to us to brand their grape tomato products in their NatureSweet family. 

Grape tomatoes stand out because of their sweet flavor and great size.

NameStormers came up with the name “Cherubs” because of its simplicity. Perhaps most importantly, it’s memorable and emotionally connects with the customers.

2. Brainstorm Business Name Ideas

Brainstorming is the next step after identifying what you want your organization’s name to convey. Set aside some time to brainstorm business names. 

Start by brainstorming as many business names as you can. What words accurately describe the services you offer? What makes your organization stand out from your competitors? What benefits will your customers get from purchasing your products or services?

Here are some brainstorming techniques to get you going:

Technique Description
Visualization
  • Close your eyes and see yourself as the customer purchasing your products or services. 
  • What words would capture your interest? What product descriptions are convincing? 
  • What feelings or emotions do you hope to evoke?
Freewriting
  • Sometimes the best ideas come in the most unorthodox ways. 
  • Freewriting involves penning down all your thoughts on a piece of paper for a set amount of time. 
  • Don’t overthink them or decide whether they sound good or not. 
  • Jot them down and go through them one by one once you’re done.
Rhymes
  • Rhyming is a popular form of wordplay that’s also essential in creating a unique business name. 
  • Think of words that sound the same as what you do and combine them. 
  • For example, if you deal in HVAC maintenance and repair, you can name your business Fan Man.
Personalization
  • You can draw inspiration from your own experiences and memories that you’d like to pass on to your customers. 
  • Including this in your name can pass on a message that you want your target audience to feel the same way.
Synonyms
  • Synonyms have helped form some of the most creative brand names we have around. 
  • Do a simple Google search of the words that relate to or describe your business and pick a synonym you like. 
  • For example, if you’re in the makeup industry, you can use glamorous, gorgeous, or charming.

When brainstorming brand name ideas, also think about your brand’s competitive edge. Your competitive advantage is what helps you stand out from your current and future competition.

Think about your strengths and weaknesses, then compare them to your competitors. Look at any gap in the market that your business is filling. 

It could be the quality of your products and services, the speed at which you deliver, or how affordable your products and services are. 

Whichever direction you choose to take, highlighting your strengths is instrumental in building a successful business.

3. Keep It Short and Sweet!

Woman writing

Think of all the tech giants and big companies you admire. You might have never noticed, but they have one thing in common; they have short names that are easy to remember, write and spell.

Some examples include:

  • Apple
  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Tesla
  • Google 
  • Chanel

Difficult company names make it hard for your customers to remember you when it’s most important. You don’t want them to misspell your name on search engines as you could lose them to your competition!

Keeping it short and sweet is important because most businesses rely on word of mouth for growth. Word of mouth is just not crucial during startup, it also comes in handy as your business grows. 

Your customers won’t promote you if they have a hard time remembering, pronouncing, and spelling your company’s name. 

Try avoid using obscure, rare words. Confusing your prospective clients won’t get you too far.

While most business owners want to get creative when naming their brands, you should take some caution. For example, avoid using ‘Q’ instead of ‘K’ or ‘Ph’ instead of ‘F.’ Such modifications make it harder to spell your name.

Don’t forget to consider your brand name’s acronym. An acronym is made up of the first letters from all the words in your business name. For example, IBM was once International Business Machines. 

You also need to take care here. Some company names don’t make good acronyms, for example, the abbreviation for Amazing Support Services is unfavorable. Ensure that the acronym is not offensive.

How does this naming thing actually work

Tip 4: Check Legal Availability

Unfortunately, you’re not the only one with a rare business idea. In the US alone, there are more than 30 million firms. You can get a rough picture of the size of the pool of competition.

Such statistics show that finding an original business name idea can be challenging. 

The first thing to do when thinking of a business name is to check its availability. You can do this by searching on Google to see if it’s already being used in your industry.

If you see that the name is already being used, don’t panic and start thinking of other ideas. First, check whether that business is in the same industry or whether the name is trademarked.

Check Legal Availability

5. Check Domain Availability

Growing a brand in this age is almost impossible without an online presence. Having a website is one of the most vital ways of securing a spot for your enterprise in the modern world. A website is secured through a domain.

Always check for domain availability before you select a particular business name. 

Again, your domain name should be easy to remember so that your customers don’t search for the wrong name on Google. 

There are also possible solutions if you find your desired domain name is already taken. Note that the domain name doesn’t have to be the exact business name. 

For example, if you own a tour company called Explore Expeditions, the domain name expoloreexpeditions.com is unlikely to be available online. However, you can get more specific and secure exploreexpeditionshikes.com or exploreexpeditionsvoyages.com.

You can also try using hyphens, such as explore-expeditions.com, or a different domain extension, like exploreexpeditions.net. 

You need to be careful with this strategy. If your customers forget the hyphen, they’ll land on your competitor’s website

Awards naming methodology

6. Don’t Use a Business Name Generator

As a small business owner, you might have been advised, or even tempted, to use a free business name generator. However, you ought to know that this comes with a few potential hazards for your new business.

For starters, business name generators are online tools that use various algorithms to generate possible company names. You input keywords in your industry, and the tool creates a list of variations or combined keywords that you could use.

The chances of getting an effective name from a business name generator are considerably low. While you might argue that you’ll still vet the business name ideas and settle with the best, machines are no match for the creativity of the human mind.

These tools often give poor results because you get generic names. A machine cannot capture the story you want to tell.

Most importantly, a business name generator wouldn’t understand your needs and tailor your company name around those needs. 

case study american heart association

Get a Strong Brand Name for Your Business

NameStormers has been dedicated to creating powerful brand names for companies. We’ve been in the industry for more than 30 years, working with big businesses and nonprofits, and received various awards and accolades for our work.

Our track record has demonstrated time, and again our work is backed by research. Contact us today and let us give your business a name that works for you.

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Featured Image from: Freepik by Gpointstudio