Are you struggling to find the perfect name for your new business venture? You’re not alone. Choosing a business name is hard. You want it to be catchy and memorable and reflective of your business – all at the same time. While it is challenging to find the perfect name for your business, do not despair. It is possible.
The following steps will take you through an effective process for choosing a business name.
1. Define your brand
Before you even start thinking about a brand name, it is important to have a clear definition for your brand. Consider all of the key components that your brand consists of. This is likely to include:
- Business purpose – why does the business exist and what does it intend to achieve?
- Products and services – what products and services does the business provide?
- Origin story – how was the business created? Is there a story behind its origin?
- Value proposition – what can this business offer clients? Why would consumers choose this business over a competitor?
All of these details are important because you want your business name to reflect your brand. It is difficult to determine whether or not potential names align with your brand if you do not have a clear understanding of what your brand is.
2. Understand your naming criteria
What do you want your business name to convey? How do you want it to express this message? Would you like your name to be fun and playful? Wise and educated? Intriguing and mysterious? This information can be used to create a project statement that creates clear boundaries for your business name. Essentially, these details are the non-negotiables for your creative process as your end result must reflect these elements.
3. Brainstorm ideas
Now that you understand your brand and the parameters of your business name, it’s time to get your thinking cap on. Begin a brainstorming process where you outline potential business names. Don’t be restrictive in this task and simply let the ideas flow. Even if you don’t have a fully formed business name, write it down as it may trigger a thought later on. The main aim is to generate creativity and see what you can come up with.
4. Seek help if needed
If you get stuck, don’t let yourself keep going around in circles. This is pointless and quite frankly a waste of time. Instead, seek help! When it comes to creativity more brains are always better than one and obtaining input from others is likely to lead to a better outcome. You might choose to seek advice from trusted friends or go down the crowdsourcing path by utilizing a brand naming agency. The choice is yours but there’s no denying that seeking help will be valuable!
5. Create a shortlist
Once you have a collection of potential business names from your own brainstorming and other sources, it’s time to create a shortlist. Take your favorite names and check them against your brand and naming criteria. Does it accurately reflect your brand? Does it meet all of your naming criteria? Eliminate the names that do not meet the requirements in both of these areas.
6. Validate your business name
When you have landed on a shortlist of potential business names, it’s time to conduct validation tests. We recommend running your names through the following checks to confirm they will be appropriate for your business:
- Check domains
In the modern age, it is vital to check the availability of domains before settling on a final business name. You may be completely set on a name but if your preferred domain isn’t available, you may have to consider other options.
- Check legal risks
Always do your legal due diligence before you finalize your business name. You don’t want to face any trademark problems or other legal issues down the track. While you legally require a business name to operate, it is not the same thing as having a trademark. This means that multiple people can have similar business names, but if somebody has trademarked the name this is when you will experience problems. You should double-check registered business names as well as trademarks before finalizing your own business name.
- Check name functionality
Finally, make sure that your new business name works against the CARE framework.
- Contextual – it is relevant and reflects your brand positioning
- Appealing – it is engaging and easy to say
- Remarkable – it is memorable and can be easily recalled by people
- Evocative – it stands out
7. Start using your business name
If you find a business name that checks all the boxes, the only thing left is to start using it! Create branding materials, add it to your socials and finalize your website. Sometimes the name is the hardest part, but once you’ve chosen one you can move forward with the rest of your business preparations.
There’s no denying that finding the perfect name for your business. It takes time and serious considerations, but with these steps, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful, memorable brand!
Guest post courtesy of Grant Polachek