How to Name Your Business
You have a great idea and you’re ready to start your own business. There’s only one problem – you don’t have a name. This setback is completely understandable. Names are important and choosing your business’s name is like getting married. It has to be The One. Take Google, for example. Their original name was BackRub!
Clearly, a name can make or break your company when starting out. It needs to be memorable, yet representative. Can you imagine using a search engine called BackRub? Names pack a lot of meaning and we’ve come up with a helpful guide to help you tackle the job of naming your small business.
Questions to Ask
The first thing you need to do is brainstorm ideas for your name. In order to do that, you need to ask yourself some important questions.
What Are Your Company’s Values? It’s important to keep your values in mind when thinking of a name because you might be able to incorporate them.
Let’s look at the website StumbleUpon. It’s a company whose mission is to reinvent the way people explore the internet and connect people to great content. Their name is reflective of that. You would never expectedly stumble upon something negative. What you DO stumble upon is a gorgeous, private waterfall during a hike, a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant with cheap, delicious food, or a brilliant, innovative idea for a business.
Who Is Your Audience? Audience is important to keep in mind in every decision you make. When picking a name, you want it be something that your target audience will react to and understand.
In Greek mythology, Nike is the goddess of victory. Nike, the business, is a sportswear and sporting goods company whose mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. What are top goals as an athlete? Victory, winning and being number one. Nike chose a name designed to resonate with and reach their target audience.
What Products or Services Do You Provide? The less explanation you have to give the better. Therefore, your name will work best if it reflects your product or service.
Take The Cooking Channel. Even if you’re a staunch Food Network loyalist who refused to watch The Cooking Chanel, you can deduce it’s a TV channel that provides shows and entertainment around cooking and food. This straightforward name choice makes them a genius in my book.
What Do You Want Your Name to Represent? Your company’s representation is something to definitely consider. You may have ideas for a name already; think about ways to incorporate the ideas you have with the information from the pervious questions.
When you begin brainstorming names, the first ideas will likely be similar to established companies. The best way to find originality is to develop a long list of potential names. Look for ways to combine, add, or shorten from your list to create something unique and impactful. Try looking at your products or company from different perspectives. Remember, while it’s a good idea to get creative, you also want to avoid making up or choosing words that are hard to pronounce or spell. Even though Google has come a long way—I can now misspell an entire word or phrase and it’ll still come up with the right “Did You Mean?”—simply spelled words make it easier for your target audience to find your small business online.
Narrow It Down
Once you have created a long list of potential business names, narrow your list down to the top five. Again, refer back to the questions you answered earlier to pick names that reflect the values and ideas you want your company to represent. This is also a great time to research your top choices to see if they’ve already been taken. You can do a simple Google search to see what other companies have the same or similar names.
Another important thing to do is to research possible URLs. Your URL may already be taken. If so, you can come up with different variations that can be used instead. Remember to keep the URL short. You can use something like ihop.com instead of Internationalhouseofpancakes.com
*Please note: You should purchase your URL as soon as you can, even if you do not plan to launch a site right away. This ensures your URL is available and eliminates the chance of another company using the same one.
Pick a Name That Leaves Room for Growth
The final factor to consider is ensuring your name choice doesn’t restrict your business. Don’t box your company into a name that doesn’t allow for growth or expansion. Specific names often have this problem. For example, if your small business has one popular product, don’t name your business after the product because this will limit your ability to expand to other products or services.
While your business design and tone can change over time, names is one of your most significant brands; they are hard to change once they’re in place. Take time to find the best name for your small business.
If you need further guidance on picking a name, contact the Juicers for more help.