Depending on how your brain works, the name of your new business is likely to come to you very early in the research process, or not until the end. Most people would suggest coming up with the name last — but, as long as you’re flexible and don’t make any commitments until the business is ready to launch, you’ll be fine either way. Here are five things to consider when naming your new business:
Do your research
If you’re starting a new business, you’re bound to be knee-deep in market research. It can get exhausting. Unfortunately, business ideas aren’t the only things you have to research. Names are important too, and you absolutely cannot skip this part. Ask friends, family, strangers on the street — get as much feedback when it comes to names as possible. You’ll also want to take a close look at the names of your competitors. Which do you like? Why? Which don’t work? Why not?
So what if it’s ‘got a nice ring to it’?
It doesn’t matter how good your proposed name sounds if it doesn’t say anything about your business. Some names will seem very clever, funny, or appropriate when you’re just starting to do your research, but will prove themselves completely unsuitable by the end. Don’t get attached to something just because it’s a brilliant pun or has a nice acronym. Go with what works, not what you’d like to work.
We’re talking domain names, social media profiles, and all the rest — make sure your chosen name is available. The last thing you want is to be @YourCompany22 on Twitter.
You’ll also want to check for other companies with similar names or initialisms. If there’s likely to be any confusion, pick another name.
Consider what it says about your business
Your new business is your baby, and you need to name it well. Give it a name that will stand the test of time and still be relevant in 20 years’ time. Market research should have given you a good indicator as to your target audience, and this should influence the decisions you make when naming your brand. Your name needs to be more than just a word people refer to you by — it needs to tell them what your values are, what you deliver, and what sort of organisation you are.
Coming up with a name that’s easy to spell is also very important — especially considering the amount of business that takes place online. You could be first on Google search, but if people can’t spell your brand name, nobody’s going to find you.
Don’t worry about the logo
If you find yourself getting excited about a name solely because you can work it into a good logo, be careful. The name needs to sound good, not just look it on paper. Ideally, the logo should come after the name has been chosen, and it should be left to a graphic designer. You don’t want to go with something because you like the logo, only to realise later on that the logo is clichéd or dated or misrepresents your company.
Photo credit: Thomas Hawk