How to find the perfect name for your new business

In the internet age, securing a domain name is a key part of naming your new business.

By Grant Polachek

Naming your business is a crucial part of launching your brand. It is typically the first thing potential customers learn about your business. It should draw your audience in while summarizing your brand identity. With the three stages discussed out below, you can streamline your ideas and get the most out of your brand name.

Stage one: Mission and vision

Outline your brand

When choosing a name for your brand, it helps to get all your ideas in one place. Make a document that you can check back with throughout the naming process. Write down key elements of your brand like your values and how you want to be portrayed. If others don’t feel like you’re passionate about your own business, they will question why they should care about it.

Narrow down your list of eight to ten of your favorite names and then analyze them. Explore your favorite business name ideas to help get you started. Write a couple of bullet points about what you like about each name and why it works for that specific company.

Look ahead

Where do you want your brand going in five years? What about in the next ten years? If you’re planning on starting a company that might eventually grow into new areas, be careful not to choose a name that pigeonholes your business. In the beginning, you may be launching a brand of just selling socks, and you feel that the name SuperSocks could be a great fit. But if you plan to expand into other territories like hats and scarves later on, SuperSocks would no longer be a suitable name. Planning ahead with your business name can help you avoid a costly rebranding process down the line.

Stage two: Get creative

The essentials

Now that all of your ideas are gathered in one place and you’ve decided what kind of name you want, you can start brainstorming ideas.

The first step is to begin with the basic principles of a good name. A strong name should be easy to say, easy to spell, and easy to hear and understand. If people have a tough time sharing your brand, they won’t share it with their friends, stunting your brand’s climb to success.

Gather some names

Now, it’s time for the most fun part of the naming process. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box, and be sure to write down names you don’t like because you may like them later.

Start broad and worry about narrowing things down later. Some names are explanatory, abstract, emotional, or classic. You can merge words to form a name, or use two separate words to define your appeal. Write down a possible example for every business name type you can think of that could fit your business. This can help you see what type of name you are looking for.

Narrow your list

Now that you have created a broad range of ideas, start crossing off names that don’t work for you until you have a list of five or six favorites. This is a great opportunity to get some second opinions from your friends, family, and the target market of your brand.

Stage three: Check your boxes

Secure your domain and assess your risk

A strong domain name compliments a good brand name. Your website will be where many people will find out more about what you do, so it is best to have as close of a match as you can find.

Trademark validation for your business name is another helpful way to make sure your name is secure. Try running a trademark risk test to ensure that your name isn’t already being used by a similar business. If your name is too closely related to another name for a business that offers similar services, you could run into trouble with trademark law. Be sure to be proactive about trademark risk to avoid messy legal issues.

Conclusion

Creating a strong name is a daunting task. So much of your business rests upon a name. It is the summary of your brand’s identity. In addition, a brand name is the first point of connection for your audience. If you think that all the best names are already taken, or that you don’t have any good ideas, don’t worry. The perfect name for your business is out there.

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Grant Polachek is the director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the world’s #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these winning brand name ideas.

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