The right company name can make you the talk of the town. The wrong one can spell failure. In general, your name should convey the uniqueness of your product, its value and your expertise.
Some experts suggest that a good name should immediately convey what your business is all about. Some believe that memorable names are the way to go. So how do you choose a good name? As long as you have an appropriate marketing strategy, your name will work.
Today, we will give you a few tips on how to figure out the best name for your company.
Seek Expert Help
It might seem easy to come up with a good business name but when you really think about it, it can be a complicated process. You might consider asking the experts for help. Why? Firms that specialize in this service have an elaborate system for creating new names. They also know their way around trademark laws so they know which names are bad and which ones are good.
Take note, however, that this process is expensive. Aside from naming your company, they will also include graphic design and other identity work as part of the package. The cost is anywhere between $50 to a whopping $80,000.
Decide what you want your name to communicate. You may also want to develop a niche and a mission statement to help you come up with a name.
The more your name communicates your business to your customers, the less effort you need to explain it. According to naming experts, people prefer words they can relate to or understand easily. These are real words or combination of words. Numbers or initials are usually a bad choice.
Avoid putting a place in your company name because if you need to expand to another place or country, it wouldn’t make sense, would it? Another food for thought is expanding your product or service line. What if you want to offer more than just bags?
Descriptive names tell something about what you do, where you are located, etc. Suggestive names focus on what the business is about.
- Choose an appealing name that attracts the kind of customers you want
- Choose a comforting name that evokes pleasant memories so customers can respond to you on an emotional level.
- Steer clear of long and confusing names and especially puns that no one understands.
- “Inc.” or “Ltd” should only be used if your company is really incorporated.
Coining a name can be a good way to go but it can also be too hard for a naming newbie. If you have a hard time doing this, why not just change the spelling of an existing word? This is what NameLab did to name Compaq. The company was offering a new portable computer so NameLab came up with Compaq which was less generic and more noticeable.
At the end of the day, your company name should be memorable, easy to pronounce and has a special meaning to you.
Test your name
After you have a few names on your hand (three to five), do a trademark search. As long as your government gives you the go-ahead with a name, you don’t necessarily need to have it trademarked. You should consider seeking the help of a trademark search firm to make sure that your name does not infringe on another company’s trademark. Trademark infringement cases cost a lot of money and can leave your new company bankrupt so do the extra legwork and spend money if needed to avoid a potential problem in the future.
Look at your name from all angles. Think about how it will fit into your daily operations. How will others think and feel about it? Make sure you are aware of all the possible connotations that may influence how your business will be perceived not only by your customers but by other people in other cultures especially if you plan to expand your business internationally. Some words may have a totally different meaning in another language.
You should also ask the opinion of your friends, family, colleagues and even potential customers. Ask for their initial impressions and if they have any suggestions.
Check the competition
Make a list of your competitors’ names so that you can develop a name that really stands out from the crowd.
Think about your customers
Like we said, you want your business name to resonate with your target customers. Research your target market thoroughly so that you can give your business a relevant name. They should be intrigued by your name so that it will be memorable.
Visualize the whole brand
Your company name will be carried in your banners, brochures, websites and other marketing materials. Visualize how it will look like in different media and how it will sound like.
Use online tools
There are online tools that you can use to get inspiration. Just search for ‘company name generator’ and pick from the list.
Sleep on it
Put your list of names aside for a day or two and then go back to it with a fresh perspective. You may not like a name you previously loved. You may also have new ideas to improve your list.
So how do you make a decision? Recall your criteria:
- What is your objective?
- Is it relatable?
- Is it memorable?
- Is it easy to pronounce?
- Does it hold a special meaning?
Some entrepreneurs go with their gut feel to decide. Some take the scientific route and do customer research and focus groups. You can also just read the names aloud and pay attention to how they sound. Imagine how they will sound over the radio or TV. Try writing your company name on a piece of stationery or business card to see how it will look.
Take your time before deciding. Some professional naming companies take months to come up with a final decision. You probably won’t spend that much time but it’s still a good idea to spend at least a few weeks before deciding.
When you have decided, start building it. Your name and company identity will carry your business for many years to come.