Choosing a brand name for your business is the first important step for any start-up. A brand name is an essential part of your business. This is one of the first challenges that you will ever make early on in your new career. The brand name of your company will go a long way in helping the business make the first impression on prospective clients.
The brand name you choose is a precedent of what people should expect from your company. Also, the brand name also informs your clients of the way they perceive your business.
And the brand name can also go a long way in helping people forget about what you do or otherwise.
In deciding what your brand name should be, you are torn between three different ways of picking a brand name: you tend to decide whether:
- You may be thinking about whether the brand name should refer to the nature of your business.
- You may want to make it more ambiguous,
- Also, might want something more symbolic,
- Should your brand name be just your name?
- Do you feel like using another name for the business? or
- Do you want to use a completely made-up word as your brand name?
It is a good business strategy to come up with a brand name that will significantly influence success, and hopefully, accelerate the growth of the start-up.
The wrong business name, can in the worst-case scenario fail to help you connect with potential customers. This can also lead to legal and business hurdles that can not be surmounted.
On the other hand, a powerful, clear, and catchy brand name could be extremely useful in helping your branding and marketing efforts.
Choosing brand name tips
Choosing a brand name for your business tips are essential strategies that a new start-up has to implement to get the best brand name.
The following tips will help you to choose the best name for your new company:
1). Create a brand strategy
People mostly find it difficult to select a name for their businesses.
When this happens, it is always right to skip this step for now until you have successfully created a brand strategy. What does a brand strategy mean?
By brand strategy, we mean such things as:
- Your business goal
- Your target customer
- Your core business values
- Your core message as a company
- And your brand personality.
If you are finally able to understand all these extremely significant elements of a brand, you are now able to easily choose whether a name will be suitable or not.
Your brand strategy creates a framework that gives you the basis to determine if a chosen brand name is suitable for your new start-up.
With this brand strategy, you can ask yourself such important questions like:
- Does this name express the intended personality that my brand upholds?
- How suitably does this name align with the core message of my business?
- Will my clients find the name suitable?
The chosen brand name of your start-up will need to backup and buttress your brand story. Your audience should be able to relate to the given name.
When you begin this naming process with a solid brand strategy, you then give yourself important parameters which will be useful in choosing the proper brand name that is suitable for the business.
2) Go for a brand name that grows with your business
As soon as you choose a brand name for your new company, it can become very difficult to change.
Due to this, you should make sure that the name that you eventually settle for is something that would grow as your company expands. You can hardly tell the level that your business will be in five years.
You should settle for a flexible name or except that you are trying to rebrand every time that the company changes directions.
The following things usually change as companies expand their products, services, and offerings:
- Company address/location
- The services/products offered
- Your business partners
- Your target audience.
You should avoid choosing a brand name for your business that limits your potentials and keep you away from opportunities as your company grows.
You should avoid choosing a narrow name that might cause you some problems later in the business.
Just think for a second if Jeff Bezos ignored the word “Amazon” and went for something more constrained like “Online books.”
If he had done so, this would have been very detrimental to the growth of his business. Now Amazon is the biggest e-commerce space to buy virtually anything that you can think of.
And to think that it was once a platform for selling only books before it expanded is nothing short of amazing.
3). Think about all the various ways that you can select a brand name
There are several ways that you can choose a name for your company. You can either do this yourself or you could just try to get a brand name recommendation.
If you are looking to name your company all by yourself, then the following examples of good brand names will help you in suitably naming your new start-up.
- You could use your government/legal name – e.g. Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Vera Wang, Smith & Wesson, Pratt & Whitney, Courtney & Langford, etc.
- Use a name that describes the nature of choosing a brand name that describe the nature for your business– e.g. Payoneer, Dunkin’ Donuts, Paypal, Toys R Us, Soccernet Media, Football Magazine, Slam Magazine, Rides (auto) Magazine, etc.
- Combine words – e.g. Facebook, Snapchat, Mastercard, Fitbit, Whatsapp,
- Choose a metaphor – e.g. Target, Amazon, Nike
- Using initials or acronyms – e.g. IBM, MTV, NASA
- You could just form a new word (which can be an adaptation of a word that already exists) – e.g. Google, Twitter, Xerox
4). Do not choose names that are difficult to spell
One thing to keep in mind when thinking of a company name is to keep it simple. You do not want to confuse prospective customers as they look for your company online.
Choosing a brand name for your business need to be very simple is the way to go here.
Instead of thinking about a phrase like “Bayerische Motoren Werker GmbH” you might want to leave it as “BMW”.
Then again, if you are thinking of “International Business Machine” it might be best to leave it out as “IBM”.
5). Get a name that is used to express meaning
Typically, you need a company identity that is used to express a positive and meaningful thought that relates to what your company is all about.
People should instantly understand your core service/product whenever they hear or see the name of your company.
Whereas, there are meaningless company names such as “Harpo”, “Zappos”, “Yahoo”, and “Google” that tend to be appealing because of how catchy they sound, these types of names will cost more to your brand.
You need want to choose a name that will expose and reveal what your company is all about. Keeping the name of your company expressive and meaningful is key here.
6). Brainstorm on different ideas
In knowing how to choose a name for your company, you need to come up with various name types. There are several ideas for coming up with names for your company that has already beam mentioned in this post.
You could create mind maps, make lists, or think about whichever brainstorming ideas might be effective to you. Then you will need to give yourself some time to ponder over your options.
Making a hasty decision in choosing a name for your new start-up might prove to be a costly decision.
You could choose a name for your company, only to realize later that you do not like how it sounds or you have started offering an unrelated service or product.
You could choose a name today and the next day, that same name will; become dry, uninspiring, and boring. You might want to sit on a name the moment that you get it.
On the other hand, do not expect to come up with the perfect name for your start-up. Most of the time, the brand name that you have chosen is something which you will need to like overtime.
Since it has a connection with your bigger company brand plus everything that your company stands for.
As your start-up venture begins to grow, the brand name that you have chosen tends to be a lot more familiar to both you and your targeted audience.
Certainly, this usually happens in the long run, therefore, you should not expect to get an instantaneous sense of approval and internal fireworks for the name that you have eventually settled in for.
7). Conduct an intensive search on the internet
The moment that you have seen a name which you might like, you will want to perform a “search” on that name. Most of the time, you usually see that some other person has begun using that specific name for their company.
Whereas this doesn’t mean that you get to stop your name search, this should make you think properly.
8). Using available resources to brainstorm on suitable names for your start-up brand
Most people still do not know how to choose the best names to help convey what their branding is all about.
However, to help you choose the right name that will convey what your branding is all about, numerous resources help cater to this notion.
Thankfully, this is done over the internet through several websites, like:
- Naminum.com is a website for start-up branding that allows you to create names of your start-up with the use of a theme.
- Namemesh.com is a business branding website that creates a name for your new start-up company by using an automatic name generator.
- Shopify Business Name Generator is a start-up branding website that is used to create start-up name ideas and options. Furthermore, you will also be able to check if the domains of the name you chose are also available.
- Visualthesaurus.com is a website that is used to create a name for Startups through the creation of visuals with the use of a simple keyword. This keyword is often related to ideas or names that border around your business branding.
9) Checking the availability of the chosen name
Now that you know how to choose a name and have subsequently chosen one for yourself, you will need to check on the availability of your option.
After choosing a catchy name for your new start-up, the next thing will be whether you can get a suitable domain name for the website.
Are there available Social media handles with such names?
Then again, it is also best to check whether you have competing businesses that use a similar name or a similar design of a logo and all that.
You should perform a search on google to see if anything shows up.
10). Using the domain name
In choosing a domain name for your start-up, you will have to careful.
Most people strongly prefer the “.com” domain extension for their start-ups instead of choosing every other alternative like the .biz, .org, .org, .net, or some other possible start-up domain extensions.
Most customers will usually associate any domain name with a brand that has more reputation and integrity than those with other domain extensions.
Then again, in some scenarios, somebody might have chosen the desired domain name that you were you were looking to pick up for your start-up.
But most of these owners of existing domain names will sell these domain names to you if you offer them the right price for it.
11). Perform a search on the trademark of the name
Depending on your location in the world and how new start-ups are registered and listed.
You might want to perform a search on the name through a government-owned portal to know if it is possible to get the service mark or the trademark.
12). Test your chosen name for usability
Besides choosing the fact that the name is available for you to choose, there are some other important things that you need to consider.
- You should check whether the name is prone to get misspelt.
- You should also check if the name sounds good or if it can be pronounced easily.
- Also, you will need to check whether it informs the audience correctly of the things that they should expect or whether it sounds misleading.
- You will need to check whether it stands out of all the names of the competitors out there.
- You should check if there are any types of negative connotations connected with the name that you have chosen. This could mean the use of different languages.
13) Try to check if you have selected a catchy name
Certainly, you do not want to end up choosing a name that you may not like for your new start-up.
Then again, you want to make sure that you avoid choosing something that “gimmicky”. You need people to be able to pronounce your name without having to make any hesitations.
Then again, you also need your name to make the best impression among your prospective customers or demographics.
14). Get feedback on the name that you have chosen
What you need to do is to choose or create between 5 and 10 names that you will run by your trusted colleagues, family members, or friends.
You might also be expected to get some sort of feedback from your prospective audience too.
You will need to ensure that the name that you have chosen does not mean anything negative or become associated with something bad and negative.
15). Make sure that you like the sound of the name when called out aloud
At times, some names might look fine when written on paper, however, they might sound not too well when they are said aloud.
Then again, if you say your name out loud, you should ensure that it does not confuse people on the way that it is spelled.
16). You should choose a supportive tagline to match the brand name that you have chosen
It is important to always choose an important tagline to go with your chosen name.
This has nothing to do with the brand name that you have chosen. The taglines are meant to help you to send a message to the audience.
Therefore, for instance, maybe you could be thinking of a brand name that does not explain explicitly what services/products you offer.
Then this means that you will opt for a clearer and nicer tagline in combination with the brand name. This will clear up any misconceptions and confusion.
Alternatively, if you are choosing a brand name for your business that does not effectively explain the products/services that you offer, you might want to choose a tagline to highlight an advantage.
Or you could use this to elaborate more on the type of personality that your brand looks to portray.
17). Choose a name that you will be happy with
Choosing a name for your business means that you have to consider your long-term strategies and branding plans.
You will need to choose a name that you will be happy with several years down the line.
Taking the right amount of time to get the right name from the beginning, will ensure that you choose the right brand name that strikes the right chord with your customers.