Naming your business is a very important aspect to consider when you are launching your brand. It is typically the primary piece of the business that your potential customers will find out about your brand. A solid and effective name should captivate a target audience and draw in customers while also accurately summing up your brand’s values and identity.
Even though naming a business can be a challenge for many entrepreneurs, it should not have to be similar to metaphorically stepping off the edge of a cliff while you are blindfolded. If you can follow the three different stages described in full below, you will be able to streamline and organize your name ideas so you can get the most bang for your buck from your business name.
Outline your brand
When choosing a name, it helps to organize and gather all of your ideas in one central place. All you have to do is create a central document that you can check back to all throughout your naming process. Make sure that you incorporate all of the most important aspects of your brand on this document. Write down elements of your brand such as what you do and what your values and beliefs are. Additionally, you should write down the reasons why what you are selling or the services you are providing are important. If your customers or clients don’t feel that you as the entrepreneur are passionate about your own business, they will likely start to question why they should care about it either.
Jotting down a few existing business names that you think could potentially work for your brand can help you get started on the brainstorming process. Make sure you take notes on what you like about these names. Also, you should take note on whether or not you are trying to achieve a similar vibe to any of these names.
Create a list of eight to ten of your top existing brand names, so you can dissect them and decipher what elements are most successful for their respective brands. Jot down a couple of bullet points about what you like about the name and why it works for that company. Dissecting your favorite names can give you some helpful direction that can guide you through your naming process.
Consider your audience
It is always vital to keep your audience in mind when you are selecting a name for your business. For example, a clothing brand that is geared towards selling clothes to professional middle-aged successful women will sound vastly different than a brand-new fashion line that sells clothes to hip students. There is a good reason these brands sound nothing alike. Your business name should be about you more than just you, it should be focused around who you are selling to. Some of the best and most successful business names target a very specific audience are able to captivate their audience by bringing them in with values and emotions that they share with them.
A great example of a company that keeps their audience in mind during the naming process is the popular investing app Robinhood. Their investment app is has a direct focus on making the investment process as cheap and accessible as possible for the typical person, not only for the wealthy. The name of their brand not only encapsulates their values effortlessly by utilizing the story of the heroic bandit, Robin Hood. For multiple reasons, this name does a great job of appealing to a millennial target audience. The name is lively and young, and it perfectly aligns the company with the common millennial values of accessibility and fairness.
To what extent do you see your brand growing and expanding in five years? What about in the next ten years? If you are planning on founding a company that could possibly grow into new areas in the future, be careful not to select a name for your business that pigeonholes you into a specific area of business. At the beginning when you are creating your brand, you might be creating a brand of socks, and you feel that the name StellarSocks could be a great fit for your company, but if you plan to grow into other accessories later, taking on different clothing items like hats and scarves, StellarSocks would no longer be an acceptable name for you. Thinking ahead about the future of your business can really help you avoid a costly rebranding process a few years after you launch.
Try to summarize your business’s beliefs and values in a couple of short project statements like these:
- We need a name that shows our audience that we have a unique and interesting approach to selling socks.
- We need a name that sets us apart as a hip, young brand.
- We need a name that alludes to our eco-friendly business practices.
If you want to have an easier time in the brainstorming process you can get started by writing down a few project statements of your own.
Now that all of your ideas are in a singular place and you have figured out what type of name you want, you can start brainstorming different name ideas.
If you begin with the essential principles of an effective name. A solid name is simple to say, easy to spell, and relaxed to hear. If people have a difficult time telling others about your brand, they will likely share it at all, stunting your brand’s climb to success.
Gather some names
Now, it’s time for the most fun part of the naming process. Write down every single name you can brainstorm. Don’t be too worried about whether or not the name will be a perfect fit for your brand, just try to be creative when coming up with names! In essence, the more you have to cross off of your list, the better idea you will have of what type of name will work for you unique business.
Narrow your list
Now that you have gathered a number of different ideas, you can start crossing off the names that won’t work for you until you only have five or six favorite names remaining. This is an amazing opportunity to get some second opinions on your name choices from friends.
Secure your domain
A strong domain name makes the perfect complements to a solid brand name. After all, your brand’s website is where customers will find out more about your business, so it is smart to have it be a close match to your brand name.
Coming up with a solid name may feel like a daunting task at first. A name is the crux of your brand’s identity, and it is a connection between your business and your audience. Don’t worry if you don’t discover the perfect name right away!