Naming Your Star-Tup.
When you are starting up a business, you need to find a name that really gives off everything you need to say about your business. But, how do you do that?
You know in movies, they always open the film with a wide opening shot that sets the scene for where the movie is based, what kind of feel it has, the genre, and so on? Well, the name of a company is like that wide-opening shot in a movie.
It sets the scene.
Your company name should say everything you need it to. However, it is not the easiest thing, and so many entrepreneurs would rather just focus on building their company than take the time to pick a name.
This doesn’t work. The process of picking a name is not based entirely on creative ability. In reality, there is more to it. The process is actually analytical, and very customer-focused.
Hence, today we will introduce you to 10 easy steps to get you well on your way to naming your business.
Your company name should have a few key characteristics. It should be easy to remember and spell, and it should describe your niche, your benefit, and how you are different from others.
But there is more to it than that, so, let’s get down to those 10 important steps!
#1. Naming Psychology.
Naming your business is about more than just picking a good name. There is a psychology to being named.
Names speak for you when you are not there, and so what people think of when they first hear the name of your start-up really does matter.
What feeling do they get when they hear your name, and what do they relate it to? Does it make them think of positive things or negative things, and in what way?
When you are naming any company or start-up, you need to remember, there will always be negative nellies raining on your parade. Having a few people not like the name is nothing to worry about.
You can even have a rugged name if you think that you are that type of company, and you want to be easily identified. However, make sure to know where the line is.
While a few people not liking the name is okay, if most of them don’t like it, this is not good.
#2. What Is Not Good To Do.
There are a few things about naming you to need to know to help you narrow down names.
- Do not name your company something that is hard to say. If no one can say it, no one is going to be interested. Can’t say it? Avoid it altogether. Imagine you are saying the name to a friend in a crowded place. If it is easily understandable, great! If not, try again.
- You need your name to be unique. If it is not unique you could end up getting confused with other names. However, you should also keep the name descriptive and to the point.
- Keep it short and sweet. A name that is too long will be a mouthful – it’ll be harder to say, and often come with long URLs. If you want to have social media too, a long name could prevent this, although acronyms do come in handy for this.
#3. Your Mission.
By now you should’ve defined a mission and purpose for your business as well as what your ambition is for your consumers. This could be anything. But here are some examples.
- [Company name] for [domain]. Walmart for young moms, Tinder for the elderly, etc.
- [Company name] helps consumers complete [insert problem] with this [solution].
#4. Researching Your Target Demographic.
Think about your buyers. The people who will be purchasing from you.
A company targeted at young men will be very different from a company targeting elderly women. Think about what your customers want, what they like, and how they typically spend their time.
It may sound like stereotyping, but these stereotypes can help you.
- The consumer history, sex, age, role, income, and so on.
- Their typical interests and hobbies.
- Long-term, and short-term goals.
- What are their challenges on a daily basis?
- What are they afraid of?
- Where will they be most marketable?
Now you want to start listing keywords based upon your demographic and what your company is all about. Play with words, create new ones, and transform them.
You could get two relevant words and bring them together to create a new word or even use acronyms, onomatopoeia, and the like. Think of ‘Twitter’, which is onomatopoeia, and it is also relevant to what Twitter is.
We recommend sticking to 2 syllables, as these are easiest to remember.
You can have an explicit or implicit name. Explicit would be like ‘Facebook’ literally face and book, which makes it easy to know what they’re about. However, an implicit name is harder to figure out; a good example could be ‘Tesla’ or ‘Apple’.
#6. Create Names & Break It Down.
Got some names? Well, once you do, create a list. You might want to open up a document and create a table for this. If you like visualizing things, it will help you break down what works.
It is best to score names on certain criteria; visual (how does it look?), sound (does it roll off the tongue?), emotional (how do you feel when you hear it?), and intuitive (relation to a business).
Score each name on these criteria, and you will be able to shortlist the ones with the best results.
#7. Try Out Name Generator Applications.
If you hit a roadblock, you can try out name generators to help you. Similarly, you could look at Blog of Tom, a site that can help you generate names.
Not everyone can come up with a good list of names, and name generators can take the stress out of it. These are tools that can throw together the best name based on what parameters you put in.
#8. The Legal Part.
You will want to structure your startup under a corporation or LLC, so you will need to search Secretary of State records to ensure that your name is not too close to another name already registered.
If the name is too similar to another it may not be allowed. If you are concerned that the name may be used in another market, do a trademark search.
#9. Ask The Audience.
A great way to get feedback on a name is to ask your audience. You can also ask friends and family. Try out an online survey to get feedback on the name.
While testing out the name with family and friends is useful, make sure that they are willing to be critical and honest with you. Being nice about it won’t help you.
#10. Grab Your Name, Domain, and Trademark!
Finally, once you have your name, you now need to buy the domain. Visit your ideal registrar and purchase the domain. We recommend a .com domain as these are common.
You will also want to register on social media too, use the same name for this as well.
Finally, once this part is all done, register for a trademark. You can usually do this online by filing an application in just a few minutes. The cost can be in the hundreds of dollars, and you will need to fill in all the information.
This should be easy to do without a professional. Once the process is complete, you are set and ready to go!