You can't have a business if you don't have a name for it! However, coming up with the ideal business name that is both memorable and communicates your company's mission is no simple process. Businesses have failed in the past because of a bad name, so it's critical to get it right this time.
If you want your business to be successful, you need to pick a decent name for a business that will set you apart from your competition. Customers identify a company's name with the value they receive.
The name you choose for your startup can have a big impact on its success. A bad name can cause more problems than just failing to connect with customers; it can also lead to insurmountable business and legal obstacles. A clear, powerful name for a business, on the other hand, can be incredibly beneficial to your marketing and branding efforts.
The Significance of Picking a Strong Business Name
In its most basic form, the name for a business is a type of signature that credits the creator of a certain work or service while distinguishing it from others. Two of the most essential functions of brand names are:
• Differentiation: To distinguish a service or product from others of the same or comparable sort.
• Authentication: Ascertaining that a product or service is genuine or desirable (as opposed to a generic or knock-off).
It's similar to how artists sign their paintings, journalists obtain a byline, and designers use a company emblem on their work.
Whether it's a work of art, a movie series, a TV show, or a cheeseburger, consumers use the name of a brand to assess the provenance and legitimacy of the things they buy.
Characteristics of a Good Business Name
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A successful name for a business should include the following characteristics:
- It should be unique and one-of-a-kind.
- It should be able to be expanded.
- It should be easy to say, recognize, and remember.
- A summary of the product's characteristics and benefits should be included ( Swift, Quickfix, Lip guard).
- It should be simple to translate into different languages.
- It should be registrable and legally protected.
- It should make a product or service category recommendation (Newsweek).
- In other areas, it should not depict negative or erroneous interpretations.
How Do You Pick a Name For Your Company?
As previously said, the primary goal of a business name is to explain the services you provide while also being easy to remember and, if feasible, unique. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
1. Be Descriptive Without Being Too Broad or Vague
Select a name that is neither too broad nor too narrow. Generic names, such as Melbourne Painting Service, are not only tedious to remember but also difficult to pronounce. Furthermore, it does not distinguish itself from other providers. Consider the name PhotoBucket: it's detailed enough, not boring, and unlikely to be forgotten.
2. Be Inventive With Relevant Words
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Don't make the mistake of stuffing keywords into your company name. Using simple keywords like General Motors is no longer effective. However, if a slightly changed version of linked keywords reflects what your business is about, it typically performs effectively.
Using alternate forms of common terms relevant to the service you're delivering is a smart method to come up with a catchy, memorable business name. The name Attensa, for example, is ideal for a content aggregation platform.
The name is a pun on the word "attention," which is a good fit for the service. Digg (dig), Flickr (flickr), and Compaq (compaq) are some more instances (compact).
3. Keep Things Straightforward
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Make sure your name for a business isn't too long or difficult. Keep in mind that your company name should be appealing to your customers. It should have a pleasant, familiar tone to it and elicit favorable sentiments. It should also be simple to say and remember.
Consider the name Zippil, which is not only difficult to pronounce but also obscure. It's probably not a good indicator if you have to explain your company's name. It's fine to be a little clever, but don't go overboard.
4. Don't Try to Be Like Your Competitors
Choose a business name that isn't too similar to the names of other businesses in your field. It can make you appear unoriginal, which is bad for your brand's image. It could also mean that potential customers mistake your company for one of your competitors, making it more difficult to earn repeat business.
5. Do Not Use Your Own Name
Avoid utilizing your own name unless you have a well-established brand. Your company's name speaks nothing about it and is worthless to potential customers. This could generate issues if you ever want to sell your firm or expand it.
However, there are a few instances where incorporating the owner's name into the brand name might be beneficial. Automattic (named after its inventor Matt) and PageRank are two examples (named after Google co-founder Larry Page). PageRank, on the other hand, is an algorithm, not a company name.
6. Pick a Name That Can Grow With You
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Choose a business name that will help you grow your company. If you only sell books, for example, you might eventually expand to include stationery and accessories. In addition, if your service is based in one city, you may expand to other cities. As a result, use a broad name or a business that will allow you to expand in the future.
7. Double-check That You Have a Connected Domain
After you've narrowed down your name choices, double-check that the name you choose is available. Check to see whether the name has already been trademarked or if it has been purchased by another company. If you intend to have an online presence, which you should, you should conduct a domain name check to ensure that the desired domain is available.
A domain name can impact your internet presence and your marketing activities. However, just because an exact domain isn't accessible doesn't mean you should discard a fantastic business name. You can also consider the following :
- If it's a parked domain, think about purchasing it. It will almost certainly cost you money, but a search-friendly, memorable domain is well worth it.
- Modifiers should be added to the name. Let's say your business is called Sleepytime and you offer pajamas, but the domain name sleeptime.com is already taken. Then search for domain names such as sleeptimeonline.com or sleeptimepyjamas.com.
- Use your imagination when choosing a domain. Businesses nowadays employ various top-level domains to make their URLs more memorable. Pistachio, for example, chose the domain postach.io for their blogging platform. They went with a ccTLD (.io), which is a natural extension of their company name. Del.icio.us is another well-known example.
8. Avoid Acronyms As Much As Possible
Many large corporations, such as IBM and KFC, use acronyms for their business name. However, acronyms will only confuse your potential clients at the start of your business when your goal is to develop your brand. Furthermore, there's a good chance that your company acronym may be confused with someone else's, making it difficult for you to rank in search engines.
9. Determine Whether the Name is Memorable
Obviously, you don't want a name for a business that's too "out there," but you also don't want something that's too "boring." Your employees should be able to boldly state where they work, and your brand should be recognized by your target audience.
10. Seek Input On the Name
Make a list of 5 or 10 names and run them by friends, relatives, and trusted coworkers. Also, solicit comments from your intended audience. Also, make sure the business name has no negative implications (for example, when GM named its new automobile model the "Nova" without realizing the word meant "doesn't go" in Spanish).
11. Check to See If the Name Sounds Good When Said Out Loud
On paper, some names look OK, but when spoken aloud, they sound terrible. If you're going to say it out loud, make sure everyone understands how it's spelled.
12. Make Use Of the Resources to Come Up With Unique Business Name Ideas
There are several websites that can assist you with an ideal name for a business, including:
- VisualThesaurus.com is a website that provides a visual dictionary (gives you a visual around a keyword)
- Shopify's Business Name Maker (generates ideas for business name and checks domain availability simultaneously)
- NameMesh.com is a website where you can search for a name (provides a startup company name generator)
- Naminum.com is a website that provides information on Naminum (allows you to generate names based on a theme)
13. Double-check That the Name You've Chosen is Something You Like
As a business owner, you'll have to live with the business name for a long time, so be sure you enjoy it and believe it'll resonate with your customers. Take your time and make certain that you get it right the first time.
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Building branding websites is both rewarding and exciting when you have the correct inspiration and materials. You may create a brand website using Strikingly. All you have to do now is create an account and you'll have full access to everything it offers.
Final Words of Guidance
When you're starting a business, picking a name can be difficult, but it's not anything to stress about! Remember to seek feedback and suggestions from friends, family, and even potential clients. Getting a couple of diverse perspectives is always a good idea.
A business name is merely the first step in creating a brand. It's up to you to match client expectations and drive your firm to success, even if it makes a nice initial impression.