One of the hardest things when starting a business is coming up with a great business name. Its also a very important step, since your business name will be the foundation of your brand and company image.
Although a brand name can be created with a proper marketing campaign over time, most successful companies will tell you that a properly created business name can bring immediate value to your brand and recognition.
Your business name is the first thing people remember when they think of your company, which makes it extremely important that you get this step correct.
Because of my passion for marketing, I have read and researched over 100 companies on how their business name has influenced their success.
Using what I have learned, I will show you a few simple techniques that will help you come up with the perfect business or product name. I will also tell you about some things to avoid.
Are you ready to create a business name that people will remember forever?
Keep reading and I will show you how…
Things to Avoid When Choosing a Business Name
Before I show you how to come up with great business names, lets first look at some things to avoid. Whether you are naming a blog, product, or start-up, there are some things you need stay clear of when coming up with a name.
Don’t make it complicated – Do you recognize this name; Computing Tabulting Recording Corporation? Well, that’s one of the early names behind the popular technology company IBM, short for International Business Machines.
It is impossible to know what would have happened if the company had stuck with the old name instead of IBM. But I am willing to bet that they would have had a harder time establishing a brand name.
Can you imagine telling your friends, ”Hey, I just bought a Computing Tabulting Recording Corporation computer!” I don’t know about you but I think I like “IBM” a whole lot better.
Keep your brand name short and simple. This will help others recognize and remember it the next time they think of you.
Don’t change the spelling or use numbers – Another thing to remember is to make sure the name spells exactly as it sounds.
I have seen many people fail because they make the mistake of naming companies things like “FishingBokz”. You will spend half your day explaining to your customers how your name is pronounced Fishing Box but with a K and Z instead of an X.
People remember names with words they are familiar with and know how to spell. If you change that, it will make it hard for them to remember and you’ll get a lot of customers buying from your competitor FishingBox.com instead of your site, FishingBokz.com
On the same note, try to stay away from using numbers. Naming your company “Pictures 4 Ever” could cause some issues. What would your website be?: pictures4ever.com, picturesforever.com picturesfourever.com…. you get the point, it’s confusing.
Now that you know what you should avoid, lets take a look at what you must do.
The Secret to Creating a Great Business Name
There are 3 great ways to come up with great business names; alliteration, thought activation, and neologism.
Never heard those words before? Don’t worry, I’ll explain what they mean and show you how to apply them to create a great name.
The Power of Alliteration
When naming a company, one of the most important things to keep in mind is ease of memorization. If its not easy to memorize, then it will be hard for a customer to recommend you or even find you.
Alliteration is the repetition of syllables in a series of words. Here are some examples: Coca-Cola, PayPal, or Gorilla Glue. Try saying those names out load and you’ll notice how they roll right off your tongue.
Names that use alliterations are very easy to memorize and sometimes even fun to say.
Names like these make your brand more memorable and easier to promote. You customers will always remember you and it will be easier for them to identify you in the future.
The Magic of Thought Activation
If I say the word “work” you might automatically think of long hours, money (or lack of), getting fired and things like that. By using certain words, we can trigger and connect feelings and images to other names.
Sometimes words can be so powerful that we can physically feel them, specially when they bring back old memories.
When you think of the word “happy” your brain might think of traveling, relaxing, and family. A daycare company with the name “Happy Daycare” would suggest that your kids will be happy there and it gives you a general sense of ease. “Wild Daycare Center” on the other hand, could suggest there could be danger because most people associate wild with misbehavior and danger.
For a pool company, Perfect Pools is easier to remember compared toAlligator Pools and it suggests the service is perfect.
For a software company, Simple Software is easier to remember compare toAdepta Software. Again, “simple” describes what their software is like, and “software” lets you know that its a software company.
BestBuy implies that the company is the best at what it does.
Thought activation is a very powerful way to create business or product names by using the power of words to bring up feelings.
The Science of Neologism
Neologism is the creation of new words or combining existing words to create a new word.
Many companies have created great names by using neologism.
Google is not a dictionary word, its actually a term created by the company using creative spelling of googol, which is a number equal to 10 to the 100th power. The name Google is now so powerful than many of us use the term “googling” as the action of searching the web”.
Other companies like Wikipedia, Twitter, and Flickr have use these same methods to generate successful business brands.
If you are interested on using this method, check out a tool called Wordoid. It works by creating hundreds of made up words after you suggest a specific word.
Secure the Domain Name
There is one last but VERY IMPORTANT step you must take before deciding on a business name. Since your internet brand will be very important in the success of your business, you must verify that the domain name is available.
I personally use Ipage to register my domains and hosting but you can use any service you prefer. Do not skip this important step.
Your brand is incredibly important and the last thing you want is to have some kid from China creating a porn site under your business name.
The most important aspect of a business name is that its easy for customers to remember. Our memory is very limited and filled with millions of other thoughts, so it is important for you to create something easy and memorable enough for me to remember.
Don’t concentrate on just one name. Get a piece of paper and fill it up with hundreds of possibilities and then start separating your favorites of the group. Ask your friends and family for suggestions and pay attention to which names are easier for them to remember. Keep reducing the list until you have the name that speaks about your business, is easy to remember, and stands out the most.
Don’t forget to check for trademarks to make sure you don’t have legal issues later on. Also, make sure to keep available domain names in mind. Don’t name your company Epicster because you are not going to be able to register epicster.com because its all mine Look at the list of your name options and choose the ones that the .com domain names are available.
Try to use one of the 3 strategies above or combine them all together and I’m sure you will come up with a great business name.
Do you have a name in mind? Leave me a comment below and I’ll give you my opinion on it.