Tips for Choosing a Great Business Name From The Experts

There are 334 million businesses in the world, and 33.2 million are in the U.S. Of these, a handful are so widely recognized around the world that the mere mention of their name gets an immediate response. For most, the name itself has been established so positively that it can be enough to prompt a positive customer or client action. Indeed, a business name not only represents a company and their brand, but can also set it apart from competitors.

While there may be no magic formula to come up with a business name that can promise success, there are ways to make the process easier and more effective. If you are thinking of starting a new company, or even just thinking of a Facebook or Instagram handle for social media marketing for your own business, read on for some business naming tips.

1. Brainstorm based on your brand story

Each company has their own story, and finding a business name should reflect that. It is important to know why you are starting the company, the message you want to portray, and who you are building it for.

IDCO Studio and Design Camp founder Anastasia Casey said, “Think about your target audience and the kinds of brands that they interact with. With that in mind, ask yourself what words or what kind of business name will resonate most with them.”

Once you have thought about your story and who you want to tell it to, it will be easier to find related names to best represent them.

2. Use a name generator

Building a team to work on branding can be a lengthy and costly process. If you are starting out, these resources may not be as readily available. Luckily, there are now many tools that can be used to make things easier when it comes to naming a business. The world wide web is a vast source of information that you can explore with the press of a key.

The business name generator at Namechk “can help speed up the brainstorming process by utilizing artificial intelligence to suggest hundreds of business name ideas to browse based on interest.” You can enter your keywords and it will come up with a multitude of suggested names.

Once you get results, you can easily narrow down the choices until you end up with the best one that suits your business. Even if you don’t end up choosing any result in particular, it can inspire you and get some ideas rolling.

3. Follow tried and true practices

A look at some successful names can reveal some similar traits that work. You can go for something short and punchy like Apple or play off a sound like Coca-Cola. Alternatively, you can popularize an acronym like Virginia’s own AOL.

The simplest rule that ties those popular names together is: make the name memorable, unique, visually evocative, or emotional.

There are also don’ts to remember. One of the “8 Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Your Business” is a “reference [that] is too obscure or too hard to spell and pronounce, [because] you may never have the opportunity to speak to customers because they’ll simply pass you by as irrelevant.”

You should also avoid words that are too plain to stand out, would be difficult to remember, or have negative connotations. As long as you check for positive brand name traits and avoid common mistakes, you can streamline the process of creating a great business name.

4. Test it out

According to Rob Myerson, the founder of brand strategy and identity firm Heirloom, “One of the hardest parts of naming a brand is ensuring that your ideas are technically viable, legally available, and that they avoid linguistic, spelling, or pronunciation challenges.”

Test your potential name out with different people to see how they respond to it. A good focus group can give you an idea on how various individuals perceive your brand based on your name. It can also reveal any inherent issues, like hard-to-pronounce or confusing names.

Once you’ve found a name you’re happy with that works with potential customers, make sure that the name is available by checking in with the right agencies within Virginia. Doing this can avoid legal troubles, including availability issues for web domains and social media handles.

For more tips when starting a business, check out our post “You Must Consider These 7 Factors When Starting A New Company”.

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