The answer you give them—your business name—can make or break the first impression your company leaves on the world. If the company name is great, people will instantly get a “feel” for your brand, and even a warm, fuzzy feeling.
But if your business name doesn’t work, doesn’t effectively connect with your brand, you’ve already started off on the wrong foot.
Definitely, you’ll do a service to both yourself and your customers if you start your online business with the perfect business name. Trouble is, picking a great business name is actually pretty hard. Or intimidating, to say the least.
In fact, we hear this all the time from really smart, skilled entrepreneurs who get so hung up on that one little decision: “Oh god, picking a name is the worst.”
For that very reason, we decided to take on this crucial, dizzying decision, head on. We’re about to show you how to come up with the best business name for your company.
WHAT SHOULD YOU NAME YOUR BUSINESS?
Your business name plays a crucial part in your brand positioning. By picking the right business name, you can position your company in the mind of the prospect in just the way you want to. Whether you want people to feel comfort, empowerment, happiness, or satisfaction, your marketing begins as soon as the prospect hears your business name.
Instead of having to explain your business every time someone reads your company name, people will know what it is all about. If they don’t get what you sell, they will get an idea of the “vibe” of your company; the identity, the core values, and the type of people you serve.
Do some research
Take a look at Nasty Gal. Not particularly informative, the name doesn’t tell you what they sell (women’s clothing), but it does signal the identity of its audience—young women who don’t want to play by the rules, who like to show their bold personalities through their clothing.
When Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal, started her next venture, Girlboss, she wanted to maintain that same branding power in its name. As she explained to us in an online interview:
“Girlboss is…the boss of her own life. … Girlboss is someone who’s in charge of her life and who’s defining success for herself. … Girlboss is a brand, a media brand, really just a conversation that we’re starting around reframing success together but for every one of our leaders or guests at our conferences to think for themselves and to define for themselves what success is.”
Ms. Amoruso clearly thought about the brand message behind her company and chose the right name from it. As you will see later, the process of finding your company name will follow a similar path as Amoruso followed.
Therefore, your business name shouldn’t be overly complicated or even descriptive; rather, it needs to explain succinctly what your business is about.
Look at the most the successful brands
Think about the names of the most successful brands in the world:
- Volkswagen (which in German means “people’s car”)
None of these companies tell you what they do, exactly. Rather, they give you a hint of what they’re about. When I hear BestBuy, I think about getting a good deal, regardless of the fact they focus mostly on electronics. When I hear Facebook, I think about my school network, which originally was the target audience of the company.
Your business name won’t be perfect, it won’t explain everything about your business, but it will show off a combination of your brand’s values, ideas, and audience.
At the end of the day, choosing the right business name involves taking some risks.
SHOULD YOU MAKE YOUR COMPANY NAME ORIGINAL?
More often than not, marketers recommend that you pick an “original” name. They wrongly believe that making a name unique will trigger a stronger response in your target audience.
It’s easy to understand why they say so; you want to stand out, so having an original name will help. Sadly, that’s not very useful advice.
Is “Ford” original? No, and it hasn’t really affected their business one bit.
Thus, your company name doesn’t have to be original to position itself with increased strength in your prospect’s mind; it only needs to represent your brand.
Don’t overthink or over complicate the name. The last thing you want is for the audience to be confused.
Brainstorm your potential business names, take some risks, and pick one. How hard can it be?
HOW TO BRAINSTORM COMPANY NAME IDEAS
There are three aspects you want to take into consideration when brainstorming your company name:
- Your company’s value proposition
- Your offers—the products or services you sell
- Your audience
Based on these three aspects, you can come up with a list of words that you can then mix and match to come up with the right business name. Alternatively, you can pick one that focuses on just one of these three aspects and go with it.
Take some time with it. Finding the right business name isn’t a process to be taken lightly or quickly. This exercise will get you closer to the final name that best represents your brand.
Using online tools could be helpful
With all this said, there are a few tools online that can help you brainstorm business names, some of which include:
Some of these outcomes will be admittedly goofy, but the advantage of using these tools is that they will give you a large list of ideas in a matter of seconds. They get the synapses firing. However, you may get a few solid ideas out of it as well. But, the problem is that they probably won’t quite relate to your brand.
Take the names as suggestions, but not too seriously. Then, you can mix the ideas you get with the brainstorming process and come up with a final name that’s both interesting and representative of your brand.
HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT BUSINESS NAME
After you’ve created the list of options, it’s time to pick your business name.
Take the list of names you came up with before and ask yourself how they compare with the previous points which you developed them from:
- How does the name explain your value proposition?
- How does it refer to your offers?
- How does it connect with your audience?
- How does it position your company in the prospect’s mind?
- How clear is it?
- How concise is it?
PICK A GREAT BUSINESS NAME, GET A GREAT START
Choosing a business name is one of the key exercises all entrepreneurs must go through to cross the bridge from wanting to become an entrepreneur and actually becoming one.
It’s tempting to overlook this process and pick the first one that comes into your head. At the same time, people also tend to agonize endlessly over this decision. You want to avoid either path, taking a few hours at least to pick the right name for your company so you can start your business out on the right foot.
If you have to choose, I’d say err on the side of moving fast. And if you’re one of those people who overthinks everything, then the exercises shown in this article will help you make a decision that’s useful and that still helps you move forward.
Also, when you post your project on the platform ideasvoice to find cofounders, business partners and investors, it’s an opportunity to gauge the reaction of the public and see how many visitors do you attract just with the business name of your startup.
Related article: How to Find the Perfect Business Name, https://blog.ideasvoice.com/business-name/