A business name is more than just a catchy phrase or something that looks good on a business card. It’s a representation of your company or brand.
That’s why it’s important to put a lot of thought into choosing the right business name. Well, to some it’s easy; they just use a name-generating tool. While for others, they find the process daunting, so they pay someone else to do it for them.
Depending on your business needs and your budget, you might choose one over the other. But it’s not impossible to do it yourself. It just takes some research, testing, feedback, and a little bit of your time.
Read on to learn how to let your creative juices flow in brainstorming the best name for your startup.
What Makes a Good Company Name
While there’s no secret formula, there are common characteristics that make a business name remarkable.
- Distinctive: It’s unique, memorable, and stands out from your competitors.
- Short and simple: It’s easy to say, spell, and type — even if it’s a made-up word.
- Future-proof: It’s not limiting as your business evolves and expands.
- Meaningful: It communicates your brand identity and builds a lasting connection with customers.
- Visual. It’s translatable into design, like logos, icons, colors, etc.
How to Come Up With the Right Startup Name
Identify your brand identity
Before you give your business a name, you need to understand who you are and what you want to accomplish. To do this, start by identifying the following:
- Purpose. Why do you exist?
- Mission. What are you here to do? How do you do it? Who do you do it for?
- Vision. What do you aim to be when you achieve your mission?
- Values. What do you stand for?
When you combine these elements, you’ll get a clear perspective of what you want to achieve and help you narrow down a list of business names.
Research your competitors
Finding a business name is about understanding what makes your brand unique. The way to do that is knowing how other brands in your niche market their products/services.
Apart from your purpose, mission, vision, and values, there are many other aspects of your business that set you apart from the competition. You want to keep these unique qualities in mind as you go through the naming process.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want your business name to represent, it’s time to unleash your creativity. In fact, the more creative and free-thinking you can be, the more ideas you can come up with and options to choose from.
Run a brainstorming session to come up with as many business name ideas as possible. As you brainstorm, keep your brand identity in mind, but also allow your ideas to flow freely. It’s okay if they don’t make sense or don’t entirely relate to your company.
Some common brainstorming techniques include brain dumping, mind mapping, list-making, and word association.
Check domain availability
Once you narrow down potential names that feels right for your business, check its domain availability.
The .com extension is the safest option because it works for all types of websites. However, if your business name isn’t available in the .com form, you may choose other options, such as .net or .site. There are also niche-specific domains you can choose from. Let’s say you want to launch an ecommerce website. Then you might want to consider registering a .store domain name.
Also check if on social media networks if someone is already using your business name idea. This way, you can consistently use your business name across all platforms, improving your credibility.
Register your business name
Protect your business by registering your business name before someone else beats you to it. Register with the locality and state where you will establish your business. If your business operates under another name, you must file a “doing business as” (DBA) statement.
Though not required, you may also want to register your business name for a trademark to ensure exclusive rights to your business name.
Create a Business Name That Leaves a Lasting Impression
Choosing a business name can be exciting and challenging at the same time. But it’ll be worth the effort and time once you come up with the perfect name that resonates with your brand and sticks to your audience. Follow the five steps we covered in this article to help you get started.