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Picking a name for your new company is one of the most essential processes when starting up, yet not many small business owners pay this the attention it deserves.

While it can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, it’s worthwhile as it can make or break your business.

An inappropriate business name can make your customers fail to connect with your organization. Further, it can lead to legal issues and other hiccups.

In fact, countless businesses have struggled because of their brand name. Even giants like Amazon. Amazon was originally called Cadabra, but Jeff Bezos discovered customers had a hard time spelling or understanding it. A lawyer even misheard the name as “cadaver” on one occasion. Although it had a rough foundation, Amazon ended up being an incredible brand name that has perpetuated continued growth and enthusiasm.

A strategic and unique business name can make your brand stand out from your competitors and promote you and the value you offer.

How to pick a business name

Think of a ground-breaking construction project. If you want to construct a skyscraper successfully, you must pay attention to its foundation. With a shaky foundation, you won’t go far before your project comes tumbling down.

Your business is the skyscraper, and the brand name is its foundation.

So, why do so many businesses fail in this crucial process?

Most business owners make this decision out of emotions or impaired judgment. They simply listen to suggestions from their family and friends, then settle for the one that tickles their fancy.

You don’t have to lose your sleep due to this process. We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide on simple ways to pick a name for your business entity.

What Makes Good Business Names?

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As a business owner, you might not know what makes a great name.

You must have heard of some popular theories that try to illustrate what a great business name consists of. For example, some say that the correct name is repetitively structured, such as Coca-Cola and Jelly Belly.

There’s no magic formula or one-size-fits-all strategy to coming up with the perfect business name. However, there are a few pointers that will make it easier for you to come up with the desired name that your target market will remember.

They include:

  • Be Meaningful: Your business name should communicate the essence of your organization and contain the image you want to evoke in your market. It should also establish a positive emotional connection.
  • Be Distinct: It should help your target audience to distinguish between your brand and your competitors. It shouldn’t cause any confusion to your potential customers.
  • Be Authentic: Customers want to be loyal to brands that are authentic and accurate in achieving their mission. If your brand name doesn’t communicate or represent your core values, customers may not be loyal to you.
  • Be Memorable: Your brand name won’t do you any justice if no one can remember it. Always keep things short and sweet. Make sure whatever name you settle for is straightforward but catchy, and people can easily find it online. 
  • Longevity: As a business owner, you have a great vision for your business. You want it to grow. Therefore, you must consider how to keep your business name  relevant for when your company evolves. Steer clear of generic names and fads, as you’ll be compelled to rebrand as soon as the trend disappears.

These criteria will help you vet names. When determining whether your business name will be successful, always ask yourself one question: Does it resonate with my potential customers?

case study hoover new name

What Are Your Differentiators?

One of the most fundamental ways of coming up with the desired business name is establishing what makes your organization different from the rest.

The brand heart helps you differentiate your business from the rest. Brand heart refers to a set of beliefs that your company stands for. These core principles and ideas are what makes your organization unique.

To establish your Brand Heart, you have to know your purpose, vision, mission, and values.

Always remember that you aren’t just choosing a business name. You’re looking for one that evokes emotion and memorability.

For example, Other Machine Co approached us when they decided to rebrand. While their name was sometimes confusing for their target customer, they also experienced difficulties differentiating themselves from others in the industry.

We looked at what made their company stand out. Their products were powerful, with the ability to handle a wide range of materials. Their output parts also create the end product with utmost precision.

After factoring in these features and going through a few rounds of prescreening, we settled on the name “Bantam Tools.” The bantam bird is known for its power and ability to punch above its weight.

Bantam Tools

Is the Business Name Web-Friendly?

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When starting a small business, you want to reach as many customers as possible. In today’s world, this isn’t possible without an online presence.

To be competitive, your business has to have a website and be present on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

As such, your online business name needs to be web-friendly. Always do your research for domain availability to see if you can find a domain name that matches your business name.

A domain can affect your brand’s online visibility in many ways. It also influences your marketing results.

Having this in mind, you shouldn’t always abandon a good domain name just because it’s not available. Here are two things you can consider doing in such a situation:

  • Consider buying it if it’s a parked domain. A parked domain is a registered domain that’s not connected to a particular website or service. Buying a parked domain might cost you, but missing out on potential customers will cost you more.
  • Get creative and add some modifiers to the name. For example, let’s say you own a car garage that deals explicitly in car tuning. The domain name ‘autogarage.com’ may already be taken, but you can modify it to ‘autogaragetuning.com.’

You need to have a memorable and straightforward domain. A long or uncommon spelling may sound great to your ears but terrible for your customers. Make sure your business name makes it easier for your clients to find you online.

Awards clutch global

Is it User-Friendly?

By now, you already have several business names you could use for your brand. So, what next?

The name for your business should be easy to spell and type into Google, even if it’s made up. Nobody wants to search your business name and not have it appear in the results. In fact, this can make you lose potential customers to your competitors.

You have to always consider that not everyone is as great a speller as you might think. Search engines don’t have systems in place that might rectify a mistyped URL.

User-friendly domain names help your customers find you faster. Here are a few tips to ensure you come up with a user-friendly name for your business:

Tip Description
Ask for feedback
  • The most basic way to know if your brand name is user-friendly is by asking a few friends and family for their opinion. 
  • Confused faces or mixed opinions when you mention a particular name, might make you reconsider its user-friendliness. 
  • Speak to your target audience as well because they’re the end consumer.
Test on different platforms
  • You can test your brand name on a logo to see whether it’s appealing. 
  • Say it out loud in a conversation or draft it in an email. 
  • Imagine your business is already in operation. Take several names you’ve brainstormed and picture them on letterheads and invoices. Which brand names stand out to you the most?
Apply some creative limitations
  • Don’t  have a name that’s hard to remember, pronounce, or spell. 
  • Don’t go beyond words with more than two syllables.
Check language translation
  • Have you considered that your business name, when translated to another language, becomes offensive?
  • Do a quick search so you can settle on a brand name that’s appropriate in other cultures.

Is it Available?

Before you settle on a name for your business, you need to ensure that it’s available. We can’t emphasize this enough as it can cause serious issues for you if you fail to check.

It’s common to find some popular and identical names even in different industries. Similar ones can confuse your customers.

Using a name that your business competitor is already using could lead to a lawsuit. Litigation can also make you not eligible to obtain trademark protection for your brand. Intellectual property is not something you want to take for granted.

Get a name that’s also available for domain registration. Have it at the back of your mind that .com domains are very popular, so it might be a bit hard finding an available domain name suitable for your business.

If your desired business name’s domain is not available, you may consider using hyphens or abbreviations. You may also consider using alternative top-level domain extensions, such as .net, .edu, .inc, or .org, if your organization qualifies for one of them.

Good Domain Business Names

As you get creative with your domain, always consider how easy it is for your target customers to remember it. If they forget to include a hyphen or use .com instead of .net, you’ll lose them to your competition.

Domain names should ideally be short and straightforward. If you have to get overly creative, we recommend you ditch that specific name and move to the next choice.

Ready to Get Branded?

Choosing a business name is not as much of an uphill task, as you’re led to believe. While it can be a bit of a process, it’s worth it in the end.

It can be the defining moment of whether you’ll attract the potential customers you desire or lose them to your competitors.

NameStormers can walk you through the business naming and branding process, all the way to registration. Our track record of 30 years has helped refine our branding process so that our clients get successful results.

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We’ve received numerous accolades and have created a stockpile of success stories for you to look over.

Talk to us today, and let us brand you!

Featured Image from: Freepik