What’s in a name?
If you’re running a business…everything. The connotation, formatting, and overall meaning of your business names leaves a powerful ﬁrst impression on your audience.
Choose wisely! Many people think about using their name as their business name, and in some situations, such as for photographers or lawyers, that works well. Other people combine their city’s or region’s name with what they offer, and sometimes that works as well. But if neither of those situations works for you, you’ll need to get creative.
Here’s how to come up with an amazing name for your company.
Sell the idea, not the service
How boring would it be if Nike called themselves “Fast Shoes USA”? Or Airbnb was “Rooms4Rent”?
What about Uber being “InstaRide”? Yuck. These sorts of company names used to be in vogue, but they now have an old-fashioned, uninspired taste to them. Today’s best-performing names sell an idea. “Amazon” implies a huge, diverse source of wonder. “Nike” is the Greek goddess of victory. “Uber” means “outstanding or supreme.”
These names suggest that you too can ﬁnd anything you want, achieve victory, and be outstanding.
Play with text styling
It can be challenging to get your website to rank appropriately in search results if you use a common word as your name. In the examples above, the popular company names are foreign words.
That helps, but enough foreign words have become part of English that even this trick doesn’t work all the time.
Instead, play with the spelling or format of the word.
For example, Lyft is Uber’s chief competitor. As the name suggests, they give you a lift. But by spelling the word differently, Lyft ensures that their business will come up in search results.
Keep it short and sweet
Unless you are a law ﬁrm or real estate agency, your name should be no more than three words long. People do not like having to memorize long names, let alone type them into their browser.
Think about how you can condense your name as much as possible. If you must have a long name, see if you can form an acronym that’s easily pronounced.
For example, did you know that Geico was formerly GEICO, the Government Employees Insurance Company? Now, they’re a one-name insurance provider with a series of quirky mascots (but that’s another story).
Don’t forget to test names. Brainstorm with your team, and consider pulling together a focus group who can give you feedback on the name options. You may even consider A/B testing the names in your pre-launch marketing. Remember, the most compelling business names speak to something greater. They express to the customer what they get when they do business with you. And that’s worth a little extra time brainstorming and researching names.