Are you sitting on a million dollar business idea but you haven’t launched it yet because you haven’t figured out a business name?
Torn between the options of creating a personal brand or a business brand?
Naming your business is an important decision that you should not rush into.
Your business name is a key component of your brand and there are long-term implications to consider. A well-crafted name will save you having to change your business name later on, something that can be time-consuming, extremely costly, and not to mention, frustrating.
In a sense, naming your business and marriage share similarities; and having to change your business name can feel like a divorce.
One of the main mistakes businesses make is that they fall in love with the first business name they come up with because they get overly attached to the name. Doing that is like marrying the first person you fall in love with, which doesn’t always work. I invite you to do it right the first time and be patient until you find a name that satisfies off our 9 step naming formula here.
I encourage you to consider the following these 9 checkpoints that will help guide you to creating a better business name for your brand.
Achieving internal clarity starts off with your brand’s vision. Going along with my marriage analogy, does the future you personally look aligned with your significant other’s?
Within the context of your brand, consider this: where do you see your brand in five years? What about ten? Get clear on your long-term vision, and make sure your business name aligns with it. And remember, don’t limit yourself to where your business is at right now and base your business name off of your short-term strategy. It’s important to set up a business name for your envisioned future.
Stand Out Factors
The next consideration when coming up with a brand name is originality. Branding is about how you stand out! Don’t redo something that someone else has done just because it worked for them. If one of your competitors has created a personal brand, it doesn’t automatically mean that it is the right choice for you. Instead, carve your own path, and think about how you can go out into the market and be different. Therefore, make sure that your brand name is unique, and tailored to your brand’s personalized vision.
The third thing to consider is your brand architecture. I go more in depth into this topic here, so to summarize: your products and services are created directly as a result of your brand, so how well are they in alignment? Apple is the perfect example of this; the consistency in the names of their products – like the iPhone, the iPod, the iPad – demonstrate how brand architecture has been considered early on.
A likeable brand name starts of first of all by being memorable. Ask yourself: is this a name that people are going to remember in a few days? What about a few years?
When you’ve come up with a memorable business name, put it through the “spell test.” That is, tell someone the name of your business and get them to spell it out for you. Do they spell the name the way you want it to be spelled? When people type your business name into Google, you want them to actually be led to your website rather than another brand’s. Creative spelling may work against you in this instance.
Say It Test
Similarly with the “say-it test,” are people pronouncing your business name consistently the same way? And is that the way it is supposed to be pronounced? In the case of international fashion brand Zara, most of us have apparently been saying the name wrong this whole time!
This final stage in creating a stellar business name relates to how your name compares in the competitive landscape of business.
You’ve got your name; it aligns with your vision, and has a nice ring to it. Now it’s time to do your due diligence with some good ol’ research.
Online Search to Avoid Confusion
First of all, type your business name into a search engine like Google… what pops up? What brands are associated with the name? Try to avoid having a name that is very similar to competitors within your industry.
Developing an online website for your brand involves choosing what URL, which is why your next step is to consider what domain name you’d like to pick and choose as your own. Get the dot-com without too many dashes or fancy symbols that will make it hard for customers to get to your site. Keep it simple!
The final consideration in the business naming process relates to trademarking. In today’s global marketplace, your business can turn global overnight, which is why it is important to make sure that your business name is legally protected.