A name has always been the quickest way to identify a living or non-living thing. With just a name, our brains can sort through years of gathering information to find a particular thing or person.
After creating your business, it’s necessary to create a means of identification for it so customers can distinguish and identify you in the market.
A great name is essential in creating a successful brand that’ll draw in customers to purchase from it.
A good name for your brand is one that is memorable, easy to pronounce, and evokes the right emotion. And it should also capture the essence of your company and convey the right message and positioning.
However, choosing a name is no easy task, especially since it has to be in perfect sync with your business. At Squadhelp, we understand this and therefore decided to create a comprehensive guide to help you get the best name your business needs.
Steps to Finding the Perfect Business Name
When broken down, finding the perfect name for your business can take several steps. And though everyone has their own idea of how it should be done, today we’ll be looking at the steps we’ve followed that have kept us in business with satisfied customers over the years.
- Match Your Name With the Positioning of Your Brand
Your brand is an important part of your business; some may even argue that it’s the most important part of it. It’s even been said that your brand can make or break your company. And that is just right.
Your brand positioning is how you present your brand and your items to your customers. Do you present your products as luxury, affordable, or modern goods? Is your brand high-end and glamorous or professional and sophisticated, or neither?
For example, Apple is a company that stands for innovation and creativity. The name was inspired by the story of Isaac Newton sitting below an apple tree and discovering gravity.
Similarly, Amazon’s name is symbolic of the vastness of the Amazon river and the limitless possibilities of their online store.
When choosing a great brand name, the first step is to understand your brand positioning and consider how your name would affect it. Think of the values and message you want to convey to your customers, and use those to lay the foundation for your business name.
Remember, your brand name is an extension of your brand, and it should capture the essence of your company in order to be an excellent fit for it.
- Look into Metaphors, Imagery, and Feelings
Once you’ve identified your brand positioning, it’s time to start brainstorming names. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be done alone.
You can choose to brainstorm with family, friends, and colleagues and use books and the internet. You can also create a team or use a business name generator.
When brainstorming names, consider using metaphors, visual imagery, and emotional words, as this could help evoke a sense of your brand.
For example, the brand name ‘Nike’ is also the name of the goddess of victory from Greek mythology. The visual imagery of the name aligns with Nike’s brand to convey a sense of sportsmanship, excellence, and strength.
Considering metaphors, imagery, and how each possible name feels can lead you directly to the door of your precious brand name.
- Brainstorm as Many Name Possibilities as You can
When coming up with potential names, brainstorm as many ideas as possible. Don’t limit yourself to one or two ideas—explore as many different ones as possible. To help generate more ideas, consider crowdsourcing or other creative ways to generate names.
In addition, you can look to other brands for inspiration. Take a look at the top ten brands and analyze their names.
For example, Coca-Cola combines two words that evoke a sense of refreshment and energy. Similarly, the Nike brand is a metaphor for the goddess of victory, and Starbucks references the story of Moby Dick.
List all the names you come up with in a notepad. Even the ones you feel aren’t good enough. This is because criticizing the names you come up with at the brainstorming stage can ruin your creativity.
Focus on gathering many possible name ideas. Enough name ideas allow you to consider a variety of options before settling on the best one.
Once you’ve created enough names, let’s say around 150 suggestions, only then can you start screening the list of names you’ve made.
When evaluating the names, take into consideration how well they fit your brand, the tone, and the emotions it gives off. You wouldn’t want a name to be out of sync with your brand in any way.
- Validate Your Names With a Trademark Search
Once you have generated a list of potential names, you need to make sure they’re available. Carry out a trademark search to ensure the names are not already taken. This process is especially critical if you’re considering a name similar to an existing brand name.
Companies such as Apple and Nike have been known to send cease-and-desist letters to companies with similar names and logos.
And a major drawback of infringing on another business’s trademark is the need to rename your brand, even after you’ve established yourself with the name in question.
It’s, therefore, advisable to do this step meticulously and make sure your business name idea is unique and entirely yours.
- Use Your Audience Opinion to Make Your Final Decision
Once you have thinned down your list of names, it’s time to do some audience testing. This is important to ensure that your chosen name resonates with your target audience and potential clients.
However, be careful what questions you ask during your poll—your questions should be about which names draw attention and inspire action and which names best align with your brand ideas.
You could do your audience testing via an online poll or physical contact. Either way, make sure to sort out the outcome in an orderly fashion.
Be sure not to hold any preferences, as their choice might not align with yours. Only make sure that the names you’re giving your audience for testing align with the other criteria we’ve listed above.
Matching Domain Names are Critical for Success
The need for a business to own a website is becoming more necessary as the days go by. With every step we take towards a more digital future, more business enterprises should consider integrating their business to function online.
As an entrepreneur looking for the perfect name for your business, you should, in the same way, also consider the perfect one for your domain name.
Luckily, if the name meets the right standard for a premium domain name, you could also use your brand name as a domain name. These types of domain names, called exact match domain names, are highly beneficial to your business.
Therefore, in pursuing a great business name, make sure it is short, easy to spell and pronounce, memorable, and, most importantly, is available as a .com domain name with social media handles on social media platforms.
By doing this, you’ll be able to make the most of your chosen brand name.
Just a try Away
Naming a brand is no easy task, but with the right strategy and a bit of creativity, it’s possible to come up with a great name for any business.
Align your name with your brand positioning. Consider metaphorical, emotionally impactful words and visual imagery; brainstorm as many ideas as possible; validate your names with trademark research; and use audience testing before making your final decision.
With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to choosing a great brand name for your business.
Grant Polachek is the head of branding at Squadhelp, a 3X Inc. 5000 company that creates clever, engaging, and attractive brand names for Fortune 500 corporations and early enterprises. As one of the world’s leading crowdsource naming companies, we’ve analyzed over a million company names and compiled a thorough list of exciting domain names online.