Last Updated: January 27, 2014
Sure there are unusual names like “Apple” that are great brands now, but even “Apple” started with “Apple Computer” first, then slowly dropped ‘computer’ to go into more lifestyle products.
There are many trains of thought to naming a business, and I’m going to share with you what I think should be taken into consideration. Definitely it is possible for ANY name to succeed eventually if your business model is superb, but why not give yourself the slight advantage of a memorable name and get started on success faster?
These are the tips to look out for when naming your new business.
The last thing you want to do is create a name that already exists in your country. If you’re going global, then you need to check the global names as well. It’s important to check online first and verify taken domain names, trademarks and with the local business registration authorities whether your selected name is already picked.
You also want a more unique name that isn’t just a generic word, like ‘Furniture Company’ or ‘Seafood Importer’, because in this day and edge, everyone searches for things online and your common name is competing with a dozen over websites that use the same generic words.
Unless you are really confident with Search Engine Optimization to bring your page to the front of the search, I highly advise naming your business something different. People don’t remember you as well if using a generic name.
Shorter names are easier to remember. Any name longer than 4 syllabus gets confusing and tends to turn off people actually pronouncing it, as it involves more work on their tongue. Famous brands that have 4 syllabus or less include: MacDonalds, Burger King, Walmart, Apple, Sainsbury, Coca-Cola and the list goes on.
You need to be unique but also be easy to recall, and easy to spell when people want to visit your site or search for you online.
This is pretty straightforward but so many businesses tend to skip it. First brainstorm a few names, and test it with your targeted consumers. Which do they prefer? What emotions or feelings does the new name evoke in them?
Sometimes names might be a slang to another country/person and you really need to check that with the locals before committing a ton of resources, then realizing your company insults their mother.
Don’t choose names based on what you like, but use actual consumer preference to ensure a higher degree of likeability. It’s the mass market that’s buying in the end, not you.
Picking a name that relates to your business is debatable by many experts. On one side you can go crazy and be unique, but on the other you lose the familiar first impression. Technology based companies especially, have periodically picked names that seem to be random alphabets pieced together.
Most of the times though, a relatable suffix is still attached at the end to communicate what they actually sell. Like ‘Verizon Communications’ or ‘Apple Computers’.
I recommend for new brands to have a name that lets consumers know what you sell from one look. It gets confusing for consumers if they don’t understand what it is you do, and rarely will they take extra effort to seek out more information for an unfamiliar product/service.
People are generally resistant to change, and always need that essence of familiarity to get them started. My favorite tactic is to use wordplay on a common term and turn it into a personal brand, like ‘MakeShake’, which is a play on Milkshake.