If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur then you are probably well aware of how important it is to choose the perfect name for your business when launching your brand. The name is the very first thing a customer will learn about your company so it’s important that it fits your brand well. A good name should draw customers in and summarize the brand’s true identity. If you’re creating a company for the first time, don’t worry, choosing a brand name is easy and a great way to set your business up for success!
Although coming up with a name can be challenge for some business owners, it can be a really fun experience! Selecting a name is not like stepping off the edge of a cliff blindfolded, it should be a well-thought out experience. If you follow these three simple steps you will be able to organize your ideas and get the most out of your perfect brand name.
Step One: Mission and Vision
Decide on your brand
When selecting a name for your new business, it is useful to gather all of your ideas in one place. It’s a smart idea to save your idea to a place that you can look back on throughout the naming process. Make sure you start by writing down any key aspects of what you want your brand to be. Be sure to include what your business does, the values and why what you’re doing is important. If your customers can sense that you’re passionate about your brand, they will also start to care about your brand.
Once you’ve written about your brand ideals, then you can compile a list of eight to ten of your current favorite business names. After that, then you should begin to analyze them and choose your favorites. It’s important to do some research on your top business name ideas. Then, you should write down a few of notes about why you like about the specific business names and why you think it works for that specific corporation. This will help give you some direction for your own naming process.
Decide on your target audience
It’s important to ensure that your brand reflects your target audience of your new company. For example, a fashion brand for successful middle-aged professional women will sound nothing like a hip clothing line for students. There’s a good reason two different brands like that wouldn’t sound alike even despite being in the same industry. The best brand names specifically target your audience, and draw them in with values and emotions that your audience relates to.
Look ahead to the future
Think about where you want to see your brand at in five years. Now, where would you like to see your business in ten years? Thinking about the future can prevent you from choose a name that pigeonholes your brand into a specific service. At the beginning, you may be launch a brand of socks, and you think the name CrazySocks could be a great fit, but if you plan to expand into producing hats and scarves, CrazySocks would no longer an appropriate name. If you plan ahead with your brand name, you can avoid an expensive rebranding process down the line.
Step Two: Get Creative
Think of some names
This is the best part of the naming process for aspiring entrepreneurs! All you have to do is write down every name you can think of that could fit the brand you’re creating. Don’t worry or put pressure on yourself. Instead, feel free to think out of the box and get creative. Also, don’t be afraid of writing down names you don’t like. The more names you have on your list, the more you can cross off which will make it easier to narrow down the list to your favorites.
Make sure to start broad when brainstorming names. Some names can be obvious, abstract, expressive, or classic. You can even combine two or more words to form a new name, or you can use two separate words to represent your brand. Try writing down a brand name for every business name type. This exercise will help you see what names work best for your company.
Cut your list down
It’s time to start cutting down your long list of names. You can begin crossing off names that don’t work for your brand. Continue crossing off names until you have five or six favorites. This is a great change for you to get second opinions on names from friends, family, and members of your brand’s target market.
When you ask your family and friends about the potential names, don’t ask “Which of these names is your personal favorite?” You should avoid potential bias by asking something more vague like, “Which brand intrigues you?”
Step Three: Check your Boxes
Secure your domain name and assess your risk
Trademark validation for your business name is last step in securing your name for your business. Don’t worry if you’ve never created a business before, it’s quick and easy to run a trademark risk test to make sure that your name isn’t already taken by a similar business. If you discover your brand name is too similar to another name for a business that offers comparable services, you could run into trouble with trademark law later down the line. This is why it’s important to be proactive about trademark risk because it can help you avoid messy legal issues in the future.
While searching for the perfect name for your brand is a daunting task for some aspiring entrepreneurs, you now know how to break it up into three easy steps. Your name should be the sum of your brand’s identity, because it is the first point of connection between your business and the customer. If you’re stressed that all the good brand names are taken, take a deep breath. Don’t worry, the perfect brand name for your new business is out there, it just takes a bit of prospecting and brainstorming to find it.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning brand name ideas.