How to Choose a Name for your Business
It’s not easy to choose a name that could very well spell the success or failure of your vision. The best names are ones that stand the test of time and reflect the ideals and idea your business stands for. If not both, at least shoot for something that gets across what you’re trying to sell. Abstract names might seem deep and mystic but they don’t tell a story and only leave a question mark. Without a compelling story your business will not stand out.
“In a world where people have a lot of choices, the story may be the deciding factor.” — Nick Morgan
Once you know your story, and how you want to tell it to the world, you’re ready to create a name. It helps to create steps for yourself so you can systematically choose the best name for you. Things to consider when choosing a name are:
- Domain name (If you are not considering an online presence—shame on you!)
- Will your name work well as a url?
- Is the name still available to be used as a domain name?
- Is there someone else in your industry or in an adjacent one that has a name similar to yours?
- Having others compare your brand to an already established company is not what you want in the beginning. Especially if you’re being seen as a “copy-cat.” A key word is “differentiate.” Stand out!
- Is it easily memorable?
- Are others able to remember the name of your company without you having to remind them.
- Does it evoke any of your senses? (Taste, smell, sight, touch)
- Example: Coldstone Creamery—invokes the sense of touch with cold and stone. Creamery invokes the sense of taste and touch in a taste bud invoking manner. Both are relevant to the product and help sell it.
- Is it simple to understand and relevant?
- Don’t be that person that chose a name for baseless reasons—because it sounded cool, I saw it somewhere; it caught my mood, etc.
- Once your product is out in the market you should not have to explain your name. If you still do then there’s something wrong.
- Example — Dropbox (once you know the product/service the name should make sense. “Dropbox” is clear and relevant)
- Is it extendable?
- It is helpful to choose a name that can spawn many other ventures.
- You never know the empire you could be building.
- Example – (Though this is a product name, it is a great example of a name that became infinitely extendible)
- iMac, iPad, iPod, etc
- Getting help?
- If you do decide to get help choosing your business name, it’s better to involve only key decision makers. The less people you involve in this process the better you protect your interests. A good thing to keep in mind when starting any business and involving external parties is that with an idea, “the more the merrier” is never a good idea. Before your idea forms wings, caution is strongly advised. Look up Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat.
A last bit of advice is DO NOT let choosing a name stall you from making moves on your business. A name should not keep you from building your strategy, putting together financials, even looking for investors and much more. Use a descriptor name and keep things moving till that perfect “ah-ha” moment when your name comes to you.
By Joy E. Johnson for the Pink Network