How to Come Up With the Perfect Business Name
Having a hard time coming up with a great business name for your latest venture? You're not alone. Choosing the perfect name for your business can be tough!
Whether you’re launching your first business or considering a rebrand, choosing the right name is vital. Your company name helps establish your brand identity and build a specific image in the minds of potential customers, ultimately leading to greater recognition and success for your firm. Here are seven tips for finding the perfect name for your business.
1. Make it memorable
Choosing a name is one of the most important decisions you'll make as you establish your business. A good name can help you succeed, while a bad one can sink your business before it even gets off the ground.
The perfect business name should be memorable, distinctive, and straightforward. It should suggest something about what your business is all about, without being too general or vague.
While you're brainstorming, you may find it helpful to ask friends, family, and colleagues for input on potential names. You can also test how memorable a potential name is by asking people if they can repeat it back to you in an uninterrupted fashion. The more easily someone can repeat the name back to you, the more memorable it is.
Ask them what they think about certain names and why they like or dislike them. When people can remember and pronounce your company’s name with ease, you are already on your way to success!
2. Keep it simple (to spell and pronounce)
Viral word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful type of marketing.
A good name is something you'll want to say aloud many times over the years, so it should be easy to spell and pronounce. After all, complicated names are harder to remember, much less type into an internet search engine. Your name should make your customers smile, not cause them to wrinkle their brows and ask for directions to someplace else.
A good rule of thumb is to choose a name that's simple enough for people to spell, avoiding numbers and other hard-to-use characters. This will help increase word-of-mouth virality as people share your company name, as well as make it easier for people inside your industry to remember you.
3. Keep it short.
If possible, try to make your business name one or two words at most. Not only will this be easier to remember, it’ll also help people find you in search results.
Starting a business is already hard enough—don't make it harder on yourself by choosing a lengthy name.
4. Make sure your name reflects what you do
You want your customers to be able to determine the nature of your business when they read or hear your company name. After all, if people don't know what type of business you're in, how are they supposed to decide whether or not they want to do business with you?
The best business names are short, catchy, and easy to understand. They should tell customers who you are and what products or services you offer at a glance.
If you want your company name to reflect what you do, think about how customers will describe it when they refer others to you.
5. Check for SEO
Do a Google search on your potential company name to see how well you will be able to compete in searches for your products and services. Ideally, your name will be well-suited for search engine optimization (SEO), the process of optimizing your website for online traffic.
Check out Google Keyword Planner for some suggestions based on Google searches. This will allow you to see how frequently people are searching for your ideal name. If it's too popular, try to come up with some variations on the same idea.
The first place prospective customers will look for you is in a search engine like Google. If your company's website doesn't show up on the first page of results for your business name, your business won't get many visitors.
If there are already sites out there with your name, that doesn't necessarily mean you're automatically doomed; however, it does mean you'll probably have to work a little harder to make sure your site ranks well for your domain name.
6. See if the ".com" is available
Is your business name available as a ".com" domain name? If not, can you find a good alternative?
According to Growth Badger: ".com URLs are over 33% more memorable than URLs with other top-level domains."
If the ".com" isn't available, don't worry—you still have plenty of options. Try checking if ".net" or ".co" options are available. For certain industries, you may be able to even use ".io", ".ai", or more recently, ".so".
7. Avoid any potential trademark issues
Make sure the name isn't already being used by another company.
The US Patent Office offers an online service where you can look up whether your potential business name is available for use or if it is in use already.
The last thing you want to do is choose a name that's already being used by someone else, or one that's too similar to an existing company. If this is confusing for your customers, it might be just as bad for your business.
The perfect business name is easy to market and aligns with your vision, brand, and personality. A good business name should make marketing your product or service easier—never harder.
Bottom line: you’ll likely have to spend a good deal of time thinking about your new business name, and you may even need help narrowing down your choices. But the good news is that with a little help, you’re sure to find the perfect name for your new business.
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