We’ve assisted in the process of naming quite a few businesses and products over the years for our clients and it’s not as easy as it seems. Out of the box, there are a few strategies you can use to come up with a name for your business, including:
- Use your own name – This can be a simple and effective way to name your business, especially if you are a sole proprietor or freelancer. This was how I came up with the name of my parent company, DK New Media… DK being my initials, and I knew there would always be new media. One key here is to research your name before using it for business… you may be shocked at the results where criminals shared a name, sensitive company names, etc. Customers will search your reputation so you don’t want to get your results confused with some questionable ones.
- Describe what you do – Consider including keywords in your business name that describe the products or services you offer. I rebranded Martech Zone for this reason… Martech had become the dominant term for sales and marketing-related technology so I knew I had to evolve the name of this publication. Additionally, using keywords was an incredible way to optimize for search, too, but I do believe that’s not as critical as it once was.
- Use a play on words – You can create a fun and memorable name by using wordplay or puns. When we named Highbridge, we wanted a play on digital transformation and how we could bridge the gap between companies and technology.
Overall, though, the most important thing is to choose a name that reflects your brand and resonates with your target audience. The folks at Squadhelp use a methodology called the CARE checklist. When crafting your brand or business name, make sure it’s:
- Contextual – Does your name make sense with your brand and positioning? A name’s potential impact can be determined by placing it in context. View your name through the filter of your brand, positioning, and mission to judge its power.
- Appealing – Is your name pleasant to see and hear? Many times, in a quest to be unique or edgy, companies will select a name that is challenging to pronounce, awkward to spell or write, or lacks appeal with the target market.
- Remarkable – Today’s average consumer is constantly bombarded by companies and products vying for their attention and business. It is important to stand out from the competition the way Apple did with its business name when facing companies such as IBM and HP.
- Evocative – a name should inspire a potent response from your target audience. It could bring up an idea in someone’s mind that’s relevant to your brand messaging, or it could elicit an appropriate emotional reaction.
The process for naming your business should also include:
- Keep it simple – A shorter and simpler name is easier to remember and fits better on business cards and marketing materials.
- Consider your target audience – Think about who your customers are and what they might be looking for in a business name. When we’ve developed names for companies and products in the past, we’ve always handed the information over to market research organizations who provided tons of feedback and insight from the target market on the name.
- Get creative – Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with a unique and creative name for your business. One method that’s extremely useful here is translating a word into multiple languages to see if there’s a unique term you can use for your company name that has a great meaning in another language.
- Ensure it’s not trademarked – One of our clients we’re working with had an established brand and was sued by a company in the same industry that shared a similar name. The result was a lot of legal wrangling followed by negotiation to rebrand. The rebranding has cost them millions due to the brand equity and search authority they’ve built. Ensuring there’s not a company in your industry that’s competing with a similar name is a must!
- Ensure it’s unique – With global commerce and billions of domain names and social accounts, it’s absolutely worth the time to research if someone else already owns. There’s nothing worse than going through a series of ideation phases that result in some great names… only to find out the domains and social media handles are already reserved!
How To Find A Great Business Name and Domain
If you’re not the creative type and want a headstart into naming your next business, head over to Squadhelp where you can discover over 150,000+ ready-to-use brandable domains selected by branding experts OR you can launch a naming contest on their platform and receive hundreds of custom ideas from the world’s largest community of naming experts. This includes rapid brainstorming and validation tools.
If you’d like, you can also deploy a logo contest… it’s as simple as this process:
- Start Your Contest – Complete their fast, easy project brief template, and they’ll share it with our community of more than 70,000 Creatives.
- Ideas Start Pouring In – You will start receiving name ideas – created specifically for you – within minutes. Dozens of contestants work for you at the same time! A typical naming contest receives several hundred name ideas. All ideas are automatically checked for URL availability.
- Collaborate and Communicate – See all your submissions from your contest dashboard. Rate entries, leave private comments, and send public messages, leading the process towards the perfect name.
- Validate – Choose your name with confidence. Our unique validation process includes domain checks, trademark risk assessment, linguistics analysis, and professional audience testing.
- Pick your winner! – Once your contest ends, announce the winner – and register the name. You can even return to Squadhelp to launch a Logo Design or Tagline project for your name.
Squadhelp is consultant-led, crowd-powered, audience-tested, and even has comprehensive trademark screenings on your shortlist of names.
Disclosure: Martech Zone is an affiliate of Squadhelp and we are using our affiliate link in this article.