Photo from Stock That Rocks
Choosing a company name is easily one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business. Whether you’re creating a name for a brand new business concept or you’re looking to change your name for a brand refresh, many entrepreneurs simply get ‘stuck’ at this phase.
Sure, choosing your brand’s color palette, photography style, or logo is a ton of fun, but without a name, it’s hard to get very far. You might be eager to jump full-force into the branding process, but it’s important to understand that all of these steps will follow after your name.
Now, we know what you might be thinking….if you’re a business-minded person, setting aside time in your busy schedule to ‘brainstorm’ for a name might seem a little silly and counterproductive. We know this to be true because we hear it from so many of our clients here at Bloguettes!
However, it’s so important to set aside this time to really hone in on what makes you unique and settle on a name that you’ll be proud to call yourself for years to come. The time you spend deciding on a name isn’t a waste–look at it as an opportunity to get in tune with your business!
As the Editor at Bloguettes, I’ve worked alongside our team to create brand names for several of our clients who have come to us for our branding services. Here are the questions I always keep in the back of my mind whenever we’re having a brainstorming session!
Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Brand Name
Is It Available?
The world we live in today is crazy competitive. With new businesses popping up left and right, it can be hard to keep up. There’s nothing worse than moving forward with a business name only to find that the domain is in use by someone else or the price is out of your budget.
Whenever having a brainstorming session for your biz, always have GoDaddy pulled up and handy on your computer. As names come to mind, type them into GoDaddy’s Domain Name Search to see if the domain is available for purchase.
If your desired name isn’t available, don’t let this discourage you. You might just have to get a little bit creative! This is a good first step to take to get a feel for what’s available to you and what isn’t. Plus, it can help to spur on new ideas!
Quick Tip: If possible, always try to secure the .com for your new business name. It’s the most common domain extension, which can give your business credibility.
Are There Any Conflicts?
Now, even if your desired name is available, there are a few things to still look out for. For example, does one of your competitors have a similar name? Having a name that’s a letter or two different from another company might not be enough to set you apart.
Do your research and discover what’s out there. I recommend always Googling your name choices to see what appears when you search…even if the domain is available, the name might be associated with something that you don’t want your business to be connected to. The perfect scenario is that when you Google the name, nothing appears that could be a potential threat to your business.
Another thing I always recommend is to check the trademark. According to Entrepreneur, if you have plans to brand your business on a nationwide (not just local) level, you’ll want to be aware of anyone else using the same or similar name. So, to be safe, check to see if the trademark for your name is available (you can always use a tool like Trademarkia). If you ever have any doubts, you can consult with an intellectual property attorney.
Is It Distinctive?
We don’t mean to say this twice…but the world we live in today is competitive. When it comes to business, you want to stand out from the crowd and be unique!
Your business name greatly impacts the first impression people form of your company, so you want to make it count. It’s important to choose a name that is unique to you, which will set you apart from the crowd. Think of it this way: when people hear your name, your company is the first thing you want to come to their mind!
Does It Have Meaning?
Choosing a name that has a meaning unique to your business is an amazing way to brand yourself. For example, maybe you want to choose something that has a personal touch and incorporates your name.
Or, maybe you want to base it off of a word that symbolizes what your brand is all about. A perfect example of this is the company Majka. The word ‘majka’ itself is derived from the Bosnian translation of ‘mother.’ As the company creates products that provide nutrition specifically geared towards new moms, this name is a perfect fit!
While choosing a name with meaning is great, it doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, many companies today have names that are created words that people are drawn to simply because of the way they look or sound. So, don’t put yourself in a box–get creative! If your name doesn’t have a complex meaning, don’t fret.
Does It Feel Right For Your Business?
Different types of words convey different types of emotions. When it comes to developing a company name, it’s important to choose something that fits the overall vibe of your brand. For example, certain words sound more serious and tough, while others can sound dainty, lighthearted, or soft.
So, take a minute to think about your brand’s personality. If you consider your brand’s voice to be fun, upbeat, and feminine, you want to choose a name that reflects this. A perfect example of this is The Everygirl–this name indicates who the platform’s audience is and does an amazing job of communicating the type of content you can expect to see from them.
Will Your Audience Connect With It?
We’re all guilty of getting too inside of our own heads. However, when we look outside of ourselves and take other perspectives into consideration, our world gets bigger.
When thinking about name options, think about your audience. What will they be drawn to? What kind of name will they be proud to be associated with and share with their friends? If your audience loves and connects with your name, your business will only grow.
If you’re totally stuck when it comes to choosing a name, a great idea is to hold a focus group with a few members of your audience. Structure it in a way that allows you to get their feedback and recommendations, because they’re invested in your brand just like you are! They might offer an idea you never would have thought of.
Is It Easy To Say And Spell?
This might seem simple, but it’s so important. Ever heard about a cool brand but weren’t able to find it online because you couldn’t spell it? We’ve all been there, and it’s frustrating!
While it’s important to be creative when choosing a brand name, don’t neglect things like spelling and pronunciation. If you have a hard time with it, chances are your audience will to. So, keep it simple. The shorter and easier to spell and pronounce your name, the better off you’ll be.
Now, we’re not saying to be boring. If your heart is set on a name but you know your audience will have a hard time pronouncing it, don’t completely rule it out. If people fall in love with what you have to offer, you’ll have the opportunity to train your audience on how it’s spelled and pronounced.
Is It Timeless?
We’re all guilty of jumping on the bandwagon when trends come around…but this is something to be especially careful about when it comes to branding in general. When creating your brand’s identity, you want it to be able to stand the test of time. Consistency is key, and if your brand is changing every time you discover a new trend, you won’t give your audience the chance to become familiar with you.
"Consistency is key, and if your brand is changing every time you discover a new trend, you won’t give your audience the chance to become familiar with you."
The same goes for choosing your brand name. Whenever coming up with ideas, think, ‘I love this now…but will I love it in 2-3 years? As my business grows, can it grow with me?’
Rebranding is sometimes necessary, but it should be subtle and kept to a minimum. When you’re first starting out, you want to lay a foundation for a timeless brand that people will come to know and love years from now.
Do You Like It?
Last but certainly not least…do you actually like the name? Will you be proud to show it off? This is not something to overlook.
Never settle for a name just because you were tired of looking and found something that’s available…and never choose a name just because someone else told you to! As the creator of the business, you know best…so trust your gut!
Bonus Tip: Get Others Involved
When it comes to branding, we always say to ask your friends (not your mom, because she’ll tell you you’re great) how they perceive you. They can give you valuable insight that you may never have thought of! So, when it comes to the naming process, ask your friends, colleagues, or coworkers for feedback. They might think of a word that sparks an idea for the perfect name!
And that’s a wrap! I hope these tips and tricks are helpful to you as you go about creating your brand’s name. I encourage you to use these questions as a sort of ‘checklist’ whenever brainstorming, as they’ll help you to stay on track!
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a name for your business. The process might seem overwhelming, but don’t’ fear! We offer a Name Discovery service here at Bloguettes, where we’ll take all of these factors into consideration when developing your brand name. To learn more, contact us!