The name of your business is the first impression potential customers receive from your company and is as important as an in-person first impression. If you already have a few business name ideas, great! Choosing a great business name, however, is more difficult than one might imagine. While a unique name is essential, you must also check other factors before it’s good to go, i.e. is it legal? Does it fit your audience?
Follow these six rules and you will find a great name that fits your business:
1. Align The Name With Company’s Core Values
Write down what matters to your company. What are your core values? What do you hope to accomplish as a company? With your values and goals in mind, start developing name ideas that capture them. However, you don’t have to be literal. There are many business name types that you can explore, which will help you capture your brand in a unique and engaging way.
2) Pick a Productive Direction
With a detailed view of your core values, you will want to choose the direction your company is going to follow. Generally speaking, there are five brand styles that are effective for business direction.
Emotional: This style really makes you think. Emotive wording and ideas help create a deep connection with the company name.
Modern: These names are far more unique and off the wall than most. This is perfect for brands with a fresh new product or idea.
Clever: A play on words or other descriptive names are most often in this category. A great place to be if your company has a playful and fun vibe.
Intriguing: An unusual name that is often easy to recall. It may be an out-of-the-box name, but it's certainly memorable.
Classic: A more high-end name, elegant and perfect for an upscale or luxury brand.
When choosing the right style for your business naming project, think about the core of your brand. How do you want to be perceived from the moment that a prospect first hears about you?
3) Ask For Help
Gather up a team to brainstorm with! Friends, family, and coworkers can all lend a hand. Give them your name ideas and ask for suggestions. They may see a problem you missed or have a change that gets your ideation wheels in motion. Be sure to stay appreciative of all of the help and feedback you receive - you never know when you may need help again!
4) Check For Trademark Risks
The last thing you need when starting a new business venture is legal problems. Just searching your name ideas online may not be enough to assure that there is not a trademark conflict. Visiting the United States Patent and Trademark Office website is a good first step when checking the trademark status of your name ideas. However, working with a professional is always recommended.
5) Look Out For Linguistic Issues
If you’d like to go international with your company in the future, you must tread carefully. Check your name against different translations. What works as a perfectly good brand name in English may be highly offensive or send the wrong message in another language. Linguistics failures in business naming can be devastating to your plans for international expansion.
6) Work With Your Audience
Before you say “yes” to a business name, it’s a good idea to get feedback from your target audience as to what they think. This is a critical stage of business name development. Be prepared to go back to the drawing board if your audience testing fails. It’s great that you, your team, and your friends like your name, but unbiased feedback will help you make a smart decision as to whether the name will actually help you succeed (which is, of course, the true purpose of a great name!).
Even if you have to repeat these steps multiple times, don’t lose hope! Once you find the name that is legal, practical, and perfect for your business, you will find that the rest starts to fall into place.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp.com, helping entrepreneurs and marketers name their businesses (quickly and easily), create strong brands, and grow faster through a disruptive crowdsourcing process that connects them with the most creative people across the globe. Explore hundreds of winning business name ideas and get inspired!