(This article is the first installment of a 3-part guide, “Failure Proof Plan To Name Your Business”)
Naming your business will possibly be one of the most challenging brand activities you’ll embark upon. It’s an emotional decision and one that will say a lot about who your business is. Before we go into an activity which my clients use to help them brainstorm, I want to point out some do’s and dont’s.
Generate lots of ideas before you stop to analyze them!
Come up with over 100 names before you stop to make a decision. I often see entrepreneurs come up with three to five names and stop there. Part of the creative process is to push yourself towards greatness. They say you have to take a hundred photos until you get a good one, the same is true with naming your business. The more you explore, the more confident you will be with the decision on your business name.
Get strategic and consider how your business name will support your longterm goals for the business.
Changing your name now could save you the headache of having to do it down the road. As an impact entrepreneur, you have better things to do than to return to the drawing board and re-naming your business when your business is taking off. I often see entrepreneurs naming their business for short-term goals which ends up limiting their potential revenue streams. Imagine if Amazon called themselves “the online book store” – they would have had to rename their business when they started selling products that weren’t books. Click here to develop a longterm vision plan.
Explore naming ideas that are NOT descriptive.
One of the most obvious types of business names is a descriptive one; however, descriptive names are the most difficult to get a simple URL for and also be able to claim the URL space. While descriptive names can easily communicate what your company does, there is also far more clutter in your industry around these types of names making it more challenging for you to differentiate your business name. Consider out-of-the-box, inventive names like Google, Twitter, Facebook and Lululemon.
Use a thesaurus to come up with lots of alternate words.
Open up a new word doc and let loose! Nobody’s watching you, so record every idea even the “bad” ideas. Once you have created an exhaustive list of words start exploring how you could combine those words to make up a completely new word like Skype which was derived from “sky peer to peer” or Lego which combines two Danish words “leg godt” (meaning “play well”).
Research concepts and different languages.
Use a Wikipedia to discover concepts that could tell the story behind your brand and use Google Translator to explore some of your words from the thesaurus list above in different languages like latin or greek. This is exactly how many of the most famous brands today have come up with their business names.
Pepsi comes from the word Pepsin which is a digestive enzyme used in the drink. Google comes from the mathematical term “googol.” Nike comes from the greek goddess of victory.
I will provide more examples in part two of this series.
Don’t pressure yourself to communicate everything in the name.
There are many aspects of a good name. Remember it’s what you do with your name that will make it great.
Don’t come up with three or four names and go with one.
Come up with 100 names! I’ll go into detail with how to brainstorm for names in part two of this series.
Don’t be shy to ask your closest friends for ideas.
Talking to your closest friends will jog your brain for ideas or help you narrow your choices.
Don’t make your business name so obscure that people won’t even know how to say it.
It’s actually more important for people to be able to say the name than to spell it. This helps the name become more memorable. Remember FCUK? Points for being an attention grabber, but how do you actually say it?
Don’t decide on a business name that is not trademarkable.
Is it available on GoDaddy? Can it get a .com, a .net, .me? Also, search for the name in trademark registries. Avoid any legal disputes. Consider consulting with a trademark lawyer or agent to err on the side of caution.
Ready to name your business? In part two of this series, I will show you how to brainstorm business names for a long lasting marriage, err, I mean success with a 9 checkpoint list. Be the first to receive part two and three in your inbox and get my free impact method roadmap that includes the 14 ingredients to create an impactful brand.
When you’re ready, schedule a free consultation with me.
Want to know more about naming your business, branding your business, re-branding your business, branding a startup, creating a tagline, creating a manifesto, creating a vision statement, creating a logo, or anything else about getting your company where you want it to be? Please contact us today!