A Creative Guide to Choosing a Business Name
A good brand name can influence how a company grows and how customers perceive it. According to a 2018 academic study, investors place a higher value on concise, memorable, and easy-to-pronounce company names.
However, when starting a business, you may have think about how to come up with a business name. While you can hire a company to come up with a catchy name for your new company, you could also use the free business name generator in conjunction with our guidelines to come up with a name that works on both a marketing and semantic level.
Few steps of how to name a business:
- Make use of a business name generator.
- Make a mash-up
- Consider your audience’s interests
- Choose a scalable name
- Think about acronyms
- Trends should be avoided
- Tell us your story
- Make certain that it flows
- Try it out in front of an audience
- Verify that it is available
Make Use of business name generator
A business name generator can assist you in streamlining your brainstorming process. To begin, jot down three simple details: the type of business, a catchy word for the name, and how you would describe your brand.
As you brainstorm descriptive terms, consider what your company’s name should convey. Look for terms related to your product or service. Consider words like “raw,” “green,” “fresh,” or “organic” if you’re starting an online store selling natural products.
When you type in the words, the tool generates a plethora of options. Perform market research and draw inspiration from the best company names among your competitors to narrow down your options even further.
Make a mash-up
Combining two existing words can result in a unique, memorable, and appealing business name. Mash-ups (also known as portmanteaus) can creatively communicate your company’s larger mission and work surprisingly well for a business name. For example, Groupon combines “group” and “coupons,” and Instagram combines “instant camera” and “telegram.”
Make your own by writing down words associated with your brand. If your company has two or more concepts, use a portmanteau to ensure that your name encompasses both. Then, take out the last syllables of the first word and the first syllables of the second word. Write down your frankenword and read it aloud. “Is your newly invented word unsightly, or does it have personality?” Consider spelling variations for a more polished name, such as Netflix (internet and video).
Consider your audience’s interests
An effective name should generate interest in your company and its products. While your company’s name does not have to convey an obvious meaning, it should elicit a specific interest, memory, or feeling in your target audience. Take, for example, Whole Foods. Its name implies health and wellness to its target market while remaining broad enough to appeal to all food shoppers.
Whole Foods launched its private label brand—365, sending a clear message to customers: fresh food and a unique shopping experience are available every day of the year. Whole Foods’ senior vice president of global culinary, Jeff Turnas, stated:
“For the past 37 years, we have built our company by setting the standard for high quality and continuous innovation.” We are now looking forward to the next step in our evolution, which will allow us to reach a broader audience while complementing our successful Whole Foods Market brand.”
Choose a scalable name
As a new small business owner, you’ll need to plan for the future while getting your company up and running. Although you can’t predict how your company will look in the coming years, pick a name that won’t stifle your entrepreneurial growth.
Imagine if the skateboarding shoe company Vans chose a name that focused solely on footwear, such as “Sneaks.” It could have kept the company from becoming well-known for much more, such as clothing, fashion accessories, and backpacks.
As a result, avoid selecting a highly specific business name. For example, the hypothetical Nonna’s Gnocchi small business could easily offer other pastas, so having the word “gnocchi” in the name could stifle business growth. Similarly, names based on geography may not always work when expanding to other cities, countries, or continents.
Think about acronyms
Before you choose a business name, think about the acronym that will follow it, as well as how short and simple it will be.
A term formed from the first letter of each word in a phrase is known as an acronym. The public recognizes several multibillion-dollar corporations by their acronyms rather than their full names, including IBM (International Business Machines) and CVS (Consumer Value Stores).
Though you may not want to abbreviate your company name, customers or other businesses may refer to its initials anyway. To avoid an embarrassing outcome, thoroughly research the meaning of your acronym before going to market.
Trends should be avoided
Businesses that have evolved successfully over time have one thing in common: they have avoided trends. Consider the “drop the vowel” trend, which resulted in brand names such as Flickr, Grindr, and Scribd. While it may have seemed hip or cool at the time, the names now sound dated and are difficult to say, spell, or recognize around the world.
Tell us your story
Great storytelling elicits emotions and fosters personal connections. A good company name can do the same thing for its customers.
The global ice cream takeover by Ben & Jerry’s is the epitome of a perfect brand story. Today, the name honours its founders’ grassroots success, who never gave up on their dreams. According to its website, “Ben and Jerry opened their first ice cream scoop shop in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont, with a $5 correspondence course in ice cream-making from Penn State and a $12,000 investment ($4,000 of which was borrowed).” While the company grew to become a larger corporation owned by Unilever, the name Ben & Jerry’s evokes the hardworking story of its founders.
Make certain that it flows
Take note of how your company’s name sounds in conversation, video, and audio recordings. Begin by speaking it aloud as a practise exercise, then progress to using it in sentences and discussing it with your friends. Does it sound good on the tongue? If a person finds it difficult to pronounce your company’s name, they may avoid discussing it altogether.
Try it out in front of an audience
Contact friends, family, partners, and investors for feedback and to validate your business name. These discussions can either inspire you further or cause you to reconsider your name choice.
During these discussions, ask questions such as, “What feelings does the name evoke in you?” and Do you find spelling easy or difficult? Direct their attention to these points in order to receive more constructive feedback.
If you catch yourself explaining a long and complex story about your name, consider this a sign to go back to the drawing board. You want your company’s name to be on everyone’s lips, so it should be catchy, memorable, and stand on its own.
Verify that it is available
Check to see if you can own your chosen business name and if it is not already in use by another company. This will be useful when registering a business name. Check out the following locations to do so:
- The availability of domain names: As a business owner, you must maintain an online presence. When creating a website, your domain name should be closely related to your company name. Check to see if this domain is already in use.
- Search Engines: See what comes up when you search your name on search engines. Check for cultural references across countries if you do business internationally.
- Platforms for social media: Check social media to see if the name is available. Your Instagram handle, Facebook Business Page, and other social media branding elements can be just as important as your domain name for your business.
Choosing a business name is a creative task. One should thought of all the aspects before going live with the domain name as it affects the branding in first place.