Choosing a company name is a crucial step in starting your business. It is the identity in which you build a relationship with your customers and reflect your brand. It can help you stand out in your space for years to come.
Determining a name for a business can be a real art, and you need to consider practical constraints as well, such as: B. whether the domain or brand is available. You may not get the exact name you imagined.
It’s similar to looking for an apartment. An offer for your dream home may have been accepted, but you will eventually find your next dream home. Then you will find your next dream home.
Here are a few steps you can take to find the right name for your business.
Determine the type of name you want
Many companies choose a name that immediately communicates what the company is doing. For example, Tripadvisor states that you can get travel advice. However, it is not easy to come across names that have not yet been taken, and available names can come with a significant premium.
Alternatively, you can choose a name that represents a value that your company believes in or an idea that resonates with your audience. Take Tesla, for example, named after Nikola Tesla, who helped design the modern AC power system. The name stands for a world that is powered by electrical energy.
On the other side of the spectrum are names that are catchy but don’t have obvious meanings, like Google or Yahoo!
Does it matter that your company name has meaning when you are thinking about naming your company? If so, make this an important consideration in your process. If not, more options will be created, but your choices can also become more difficult.
Split it up to reveal the core of your brand
Understanding what your brand represents is important. Write down what your company will do, why it exists, and how it will work. It may sound simple, but you will begin to understand the personality behind your business.
If you think of a company name without having a clear idea of what the company is supposed to represent, you will get stuck. As you go through this exercise, you will be flooded with words, ideas, concepts, and even feelings that will help you come up with names for your business.
Start the brainstorming session with a group session that can be attended by a co-founder or early contributor. Equipped with individual lists of the what, how and why of your company, each participant should share what they have come up with. Write everything down and work together to make a statement about who your company is.
Once you have the final version, suggest names. You can suggest all kinds of names. If you need to narrow your options down, limit them to names with meaning or value-driven names, for example.
The idea is that the names should refer to or be derived from the company statement. This means that your name ideas are well-founded and representative of your company, your product and your mission.
Enter all names in an Excel sheet. Over the next few days, you and your team can add more names if additional name ideas come to mind.
When you think there are a sufficient number of suggested names, have your team rank the names in the Excel spreadsheet so you can further narrow down the list of names that will get the highest approval.
Check domains, brands, and similar names in your industry
Once you have a list of finalists, you need to check what domain names are available, whether the names are already trademarked, and whether anyone in your industry is already using the name.
You’ll likely want a domain with a .com ending, but available ones can be hard to come by. If it’s a must, check out marketplaces like Alter, which are where you can find high quality .com names with brand potential. If you’re more open-minded, there is an easy way to check domain name availability using GoDaddy and Domainr. If the desired domain name is used, you will be offered variants similar to .io, .net, .tech and others.
The next thing to do is to look for brands, which you no longer want to do after registering the company. You can check if a trademark has been acquired by going to the US Patent and Trademark Office website.
Finally, do a Google search to see if other companies in your industry have the same or similar names. Companies in different industries with the same name may not be ideal, but they can be acceptable. However, problems can arise when companies with similar names are in the same space as you.
Get outside opinions
After you have a domain with an associated domain, you can make a final decision yourself with the group that helped you or ask additional people for their opinion.
A new pair of eyes evaluating the name has its advantages. At the end of the process, you are likely bound by a specific name and difficult to change your mind on your own. Because of this, people who have not been exposed to your naming process are great for understanding their raw reactions. You will get to know the name like future customers and their reaction will better reflect how your chosen name is perceived in the real world.
While these are important steps, choose a process that makes the most sense for you. For example, if you need a .com, then as part of your brainstorming session, check out the domain marketplaces to see what’s available. Choosing a company name isn’t easy, but these steps will prepare you for success.