Choosing your company's name can have a big impact on its success. When choosing its name, you should opt for something that sets you apart from your customers and, at the same time, represents the unique qualities of your business. So how do you go about choosing a name that captures the essence of your business and captivates your customers? Read the article and you will find out!
Method 1 of 3: Brainstorming
Step 1. Define your business
Before starting to think about the name, you need to be able to define the products, services and experience that your business will provide to its customers. Write down the main benefits of your products and services, as well as what will make your business unique. Write at least ten adjectives that will describe your business and ten characteristics that will make it unique.
Once you have a clear idea of what your business will be and will do, you will be better able to find the perfect word or phrase to define it
Step 2. Use your resources
Look in the dictionary, in magazines and books and in a catalog of business names to find the terms that make you stand out or do a search on the names of successful companies to try to understand what makes their names so effective. Why do Nike, Sephora, Old Navy or Victoria's Secret brands stand out? What can you do to distinguish your business in the same way?
Step 3. Have a brainstorming session
If you have a small group of people, schedule a meeting with all of your future employees or even your creative family or friends. For best results, you should sit down and dedicate your time "only" to identifying the name. Set a rule for the brainstorming session: everyone must suspend judgment on any suggested names. The key to a successful match is the freedom to create a list of inspired ideas in the moment, not to pick the perfect name right away.
Step 4. Brainstorming ideas must be closely related to your business
You should start with names that relate to the customer's benefit, characteristics, and experience - as you expand your ideas, you can start thinking more broadly. Use these features at first, but you can also think more abstractly. Here are some things to keep in mind as you expand your ideas:
- Begin a broader brainstorming session about intuitive and associative feelings related to customer benefit, functionality, and experience with visual, auditory, smelling, tactile, and gustatory connections.
- Ask attendees what imaginary or visceral associations come to mind when they think about the benefits of your business or product. For example, when you think about your product, do you see a cool calm sea? Do you hear a tiger? Do you feel a sense of relief? Think of a bitter taste?
- Use words that are real, easy to understand, or made up, but that are fun and easy to pronounce.
- Do not choose a name that is too close in sound or spelling to that of another company. "Nikey" might be pronounced differently from "Nike", but the names are too similar.
Step 5. Make a list of at least 100 names
Although some may seem silly or irrelevant to you, they can end up winning. At first, while you're suspending judgment, you should just write down as many names as possible, so you'll have more choice options to work with.
Be creative. You can come up with a name, like "Acura", that captures the essence of your product without being a "real" word
Step 6. Consider investing some money in a professional name search service (optional)
While such a service can be expensive and take anywhere from six weeks to six months to find the right name, it will still bring added value to your business and will be worth it. If you've tried brainstorming multiple times and haven't spotted anything you like, this may be an option, as long as you have some money to spare.
Method 2 of 3: Filter
Step 1. Eliminate overly complicated or cumbersome names
You want your company name to be easy to say and remember. You may think you are being original or clever, but if no one knows how to pronounce your name or can't remember it, you are in trouble. Here are some tips on how to start eliminating complicated names:
- Avoid nouns that are longer than 2 or 3 syllables.
- Avoid names with a long series of acronyms or numbers that will be difficult to remember.
- Eliminate any names that don't sound great. If it's not straightforward, it's not a good name for a business.
- Avoid funny word games. Unless the outside world thinks the name is funny and cute and that customers actually "play along," you run the risk of alienating your potential customer base.
Step 2. Eliminate names whose meanings are too broad and vague
While the company name should appeal to as many people as possible, at the same time it shouldn't be so general that it doesn't convey your specific type of business or what that service represents. The name should indicate the value, competence and uniqueness of "your" business, so it must be specific, but not binding.
Beware of names that limit the potential reach of your current and future business. If you call your grocery store "La Baracchetta del Caffè", you may be limiting the sale of other products
Step 3. Delete the names that are already registered trademarks
Once you have eliminated most of the names you are working with, it is worth checking to see if the name is not already a registered trademark. If the name has already been taken, you can run into a lot of trouble that can lead to bankruptcy. It is best to check first that the brand is available. If you are in the United States, you can use this search tool to find out if the name is available.
You should also ask a professional agency to make sure the name has not already been taken
Step 4. Delete the names that are not web ready
When you have narrowed your search, you should delete all names with no URLs available. Do not choose a domain name that is even slightly different from your company name, and do not buy a site registered to another user. It's easier to start from scratch. Just do a simple search to see if the name is available online.
Step 5. Leave at least five names on your list
These remaining names should be easy to pronounce, specific enough to convey the value of the company, and should not be a registered trademark. Once you've narrowed down your options, you can test these names to find the one that fits your business perfectly.
Method 3 of 3: Test Phase
Step 1. Do some consumer research by testing these five names with potential customers and see how they react
You can also talk to a focus group about it, to see how a group of people react to each individual name and to hear what they have to say about the feeling each word evokes. Hearing how other people respond to your name can help you find the right one for you.
- Make sure you only test names on who might actually make up your customer base. Different names resonate in a manner different with different types of people.
Step 2. Scribble each name
It may sound silly to you, but you can get a better sense of what works for each name the moment you write it, draw it, or even start scribbling a potential logo. Having an idea of how the word appears on the page can help you understand if this name looks good on your business card or on the sign hanging above your shop.
Step 3. Say each name aloud:
will help you figure out which word is easier to pronounce and which sounds best when said aloud. This can give you an idea of what your business name would sound like over the radio or over the phone.
Step 4. Choose also instinctively
If you've limited the list to 2-3 names that fit all your requirements, but can't make up your own mind on one, just think about which one feels right. What name would you like to have to represent your business? If you are not completely satisfied with any of the terms you have left, continue brainstorming. While branding professionals can take months to find the perfect name, all the more reason you will certainly have to spend more than a day or two on this difficult decision.