If you think you have found the perfect name for your new business, sleep on it. Then, spend some more time brainstorming, test it with an audience, and put the name through other tests. Choosing the wrong name for your business can have big consequences — including financial ones.
From a negative connotation to difficult pronunciation, the way a customer views your company’s name will play a major role in its success. Don’t rush this process. Instead, take things slow so that your company can stand the test of time.
Now that you have a business idea, start with these guidelines as you narrow down the right name for your brand. You’ve got one shot at making a great first impression with your customers. Focus on a name that is not only true to your mission but also well researched.
Know your choices
What’s wrong with picking the first name that catches your attention? You may be skipping out on research. Did you know that brand names can be categorized by styles? Without spending time to research, you may not be aware of your choices: classic, clever, emotional, modern, and pragmatic.
Before moving forward, list the pros and cons of the styles. Although each style has its benefits, be wise with choosing one that best aligns with your brand and mission. What works for a competitor may be a mismatch for your brand.
Once you pick a style, stick with this choice throughout the rest of your branding journey. From picking a typeface to choosing colors, your brand identity should be cohesive and easily recognized by customers. Here’s another benefit of knowing your style: It’s easy to say “no” to ideas that don’t represent your brand.
Bring in different ideas
If you’re trying to find the perfect business name, you must be open to hearing suggestions from others. If you’ve already made up your mind, you are missing an opportunity to hear valuable feedback. Set aside a brainstorming session — or two — to get the conversation started.
Diverse perspectives help the brainstorming session take the right twists and turns. Once you’ve settled on these starting ideas, just keep jotting down ideas. Create different versions of your ideas, and keep these names somewhere where you can access them later.
To avoid getting stuck, don’t focus on one or two words. Instead, think about the things that make your brand unique or help you best connect with your customers. These parts of your brand identity will help you stand out among competitors.
Ask before you advertise
Before you prepare for your grand opening or big reveal, see how your target audience feels about your business name. This means that you must be willing to make changes to your name if you get negative feedback. Trust the audience. They may have perceived something you missed early on in the naming process.
While asking, don’t forget that you have a global audience. Ask people from different parts of the world about your brand name. Each person in your target audience brings their own experiences, so it’s important to listen. If you ignore them, you may be ignoring a larger part of your audience.
Trust us, you’d rather change your name before you’ve paid for marketing. On your launch day, know that a well-researched name has tremendous value. Be the company that is trending for the right reasons. Don’t be the company that is trending because of an insensitive name or for a name that has a negative connotation in another country.
Put it to the test
While your name may sound great when pitching it to your friends, how does it look in print? How would it sound when being announced in a stadium? Your business name should be functional. If it’s not, your customers can easily become frustrated and may move on to a competitor.
While deciding if your brand name is functional, remember that it should be easy to say after reading it, easy to spell after hearing it, and easy to repeat if overheard in a noisy space. You want people to be able to tell others about your brand. If they have a difficult time spelling it or pronouncing it, you’re at risk of having a brand name that is confusing with others.
From social media to word of mouth, make it easy for your customers to tell others about your brand. They shouldn’t have to go to your website to double-check the spelling. It shouldn’t be a challenge to say your name to others.
If you want people to know your brand name, spend the extra time to choose well. It’s worth your time — and your money — to do your research and listen to feedback from others. Move forward with confidence as you introduce your brand to the world.