When browsing through Instagram, Facebook, or any other internet platform today, there’s a big chance you’d most likely be bombarded with advertisements for several businesses. And in this sea of advertisements, two things stand out in all brands, one of which is the brand’s name.
A strong brand name is the most important factor in getting stuck in your customers’ memories as well as making them love your company. However, in this important process, many entrepreneurs are unsure of how to come up with catchy business names.
Unlike past trends, you can’t just use your name and add an “& Co.” or “& Sons” to create an impressive business name.
Something to watch out for is whether your potential customers will be able to remember and be optimistic about who you are through your name. After all, it is the most important part of your brand identity. As a result, platforms are now solely dedicated to assisting you in locating a business name.
However, as important as this process is, it does not have to be overly complicated. We have done this over 35,000 times at Squadhelp, where we crowdsource company names. And yes, we can tell you with confidence that there are three key steps to naming a firm. And these steps are:
1. Understand Your Firm
The most important aspect of your brand is its name. As a result, there is no way to avoid thinking about your brand when establishing your business. Your brand name represents how you want your audience to perceive you.
As an example, consider Accenture. What springs up in your mind when you first see or hear the name? The name is undeniably classy, smart, and refined. For one of the world’s top consulting firms, this works extremely well. Yet, you couldn’t call a common and accepted tech product like the iPad or Alexa the same thing. The name would be inappropriate for who they are or what they do.
As a result, having an excellent brand imagination is the first step in naming your company properly. Remarkably, brand imagination is the most underused naming tool. And the best way to activate your brand imagination is to visualize your brand’s personality.
To do that, ask yourself:
- How does my brand appear and feel?
- What are its principles?
- What is its tone?
- What emotion does it hope to stir in its audience?
By answering these questions, you will be more ready to start a thorough business naming process.
Here’s another interesting example. SquattyPotty’s mission is to ‘promote bathroom health worldwide.’ And, despite the fact that the nature of the company is quite scientific and medically inclined, their name makes it clear that they do not want to be perceived in this manner. Furthermore, it is clear from their website’s use of bright colors and clever humor that they want to present themselves as a fun and playful brand.
As a result, it’s critical to know your brand and everything about it. And here’s how you go about it:
Begin by considering the three items listed below:
- Consider your company’s identity.
- What do you stand for in the hearts of your customers?
- Who are you in comparison to your competitors?
Answering these questions will assist you in developing your brand’s identity and how you want customers to interact with it.
The next step is to choose a tone that is appropriate for your company. You can choose to give your brand either a pragmatic, modern, emotionally powerful, fun and playful, or pre-eminent tone.
For example, the name ‘Louis Vuitton’ is luxurious and prestigious, and it perfectly describes what the business does and its target audience. Whereas the name ‘Slack’ communicates a modern and playful tone.
2. Consider Innovative Names
This is where things get interesting! Grab some markers and a whiteboard, gather your naming team (if you have one), let your imagination run wild, and start brainstorming great name ideas.
Remember, analysis is not part of the brainstorming process. There is no need to evaluate names at this time. Simply increase your creative flow and allow things to happen as they should. If you run out of ideas, don’t be afraid to seek help from a business name generator.
Don’t be afraid to record names that aren’t memorable. In fact, we strongly recommend you write names you are unfamiliar with. You never know what potential they hold. Here are some simple tools for improving your name-generation process:
- Symbolic names
- Words that rhyme
- Industry slangs
Feel free to come up with a great name using a few root words (basic words that can be joined to other words). According to our research at Squadhelp, the five major words among our clients are ‘door,’ ‘omni,’ ‘case,’ ‘gen,’ and ‘spot.’
Furthermore, involving people of various ages in your brainstorming process is beneficial because they have different ideas about practical vs. modern names.
In a 2021 poll, we discovered that while older age groups—45–65 years old—were more likely to embrace businesses with historical names, younger age groups—25–34 years old—prefer brands with fresh and modern names. The age range of 35 to 45 was in the middle.
As a result, having a range of ages allows you to consider alternative points of view.
Even if you only come up with 200 or so names by the end of the brainstorming session, that’s great because we’ll now focus on narrowing this list.
List Your Favorite Names
It’s time to match our brand tone and value proposition to the names you came up with. Your naming crew should have access to a note that contains your naming requirements and illustrates your ideal tone and what you’re trying to achieve.
You can rate names based on whether they reflect your brand persona, how they sound and appear on different platforms, such as social media and paper, as well as if they have an available premium domain name and how inspiring they are to you and your colleagues.
Get feedback on the vast number of the names that were generated, think about whether a name is memorable or appealing, and aim to have fewer than ten names left after this phase.
If you’ve decided that you want to be viewed as a pragmatic brand, try to keep emotionally charged names to a minimum. You can, however, experiment within a category. Even if you prefer a name that is pragmatic and solution-focused, you can experiment with different spellings such as Lyft or short names such as Zoom.
3. Review Your Selected Name
We all hope your top choice from the list of selected names was the fantastic company name you’ve been looking for! But before you can celebrate, your ideal name must pass a few crucial tests.
Validation involves determining if the proposed company name(s) you came up with is suitable for your business. To validate your brand name, ensure you get:
- Feedback from the audience: This is an important step in the evaluation of your business name. You probably wanted a name that would appeal to clients when you first started the process, especially if you planned to operate your business online. As a result, make sure the name you choose is compelling to your target audience.
The best way to acquire audience feedback is getting it from friends, family members, or even complete strangers you meet at a cafe or bar. Don’t be afraid to explain what you’re doing. Make a note of the audience’s feedback or even conduct a poll on social media.
At this point, it’s critical to separate yourself from the brand names, as the audience’s choice may not be your top choice. You should also conduct a language test to ensure that the name does not have an alternate meaning in another language and that it can be pronounced by anyone.
- Check if its Domain Name is Available: A website is a necessity for every business. As a result, you must decide if the domain name for the name you choose is available. Normally, you’d expect to have quick access to the nameofyourbusiness.com, but it doesn’t happen very often. Obtaining an EMD (exact match domain name) can be very valuable but, on the other hand, very costly too.
- Trademarks: This may not be your favorite step, but it will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run. The bulk of words in use have already been trademarked. You must determine whether your company’s name meets the trademark requirements. You can also seek the advice of a legal advisor at this point. If you fail to trademark your chosen name, you risk attracting a cease and desist letter.
Strong Brand Names are Game Changers
Brand names have the potential to change the game as they have the ability to enhance sales and have an impact on your company’s financial performance. A fantastic company name can arouse interest and, as a result, attract customers. Even a wonderful business strategy and product may fail on social media if not given the proper name.
As a result, you should spend the time and effort required to select the appropriate name. To accomplish this, you must first completely grasp your brand’s personality and the perception you want to express; then brainstorm excellent and terrible brand names; shortlist names after careful analysis; and finally confirm your top brand names using feedback from customers, domains, and trademarks.
You can be sure that employing this straightforward, thorough process will provide a name that truly captures who you are and catapults your brand to success.
About the author
Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients such as Nestle, Dell, Nuskin, and AutoNation.