Trying to find the perfect brand name but finding it difficult? Are you coming up with what you think are unique business name ideas only to find out they’re taken? Or perhaps you’re lying awake at night thinking, “I need a company name!”
It’s frustrating for sure.
We know the stress and responsibility that comes with choosing the best business name. Even if the task seems daunting at first, you can find the perfect name for your company. You just need some support!
So if you’re fretting over the question “What should I name my business?” fear not. We’re here to help. This article is filled with valuable tips on how to generate business name ideas. Let’s see how to find a name for your company that both you and your customers will love.
Keep It Simple
The simpler the better. Always. When creating your business name, you may be tempted to take a “kitchen-sink” approach and cover everything that your business will offer. Resist the temptation!
Your business name must be easy for people to remember. If it’s memorable, it will stick with them. So, make it as simple yet distinctive as possible. We can’t all be named words such as “Apple” or “Target.”
Also, if people can’t spell the name or pronounce it properly, it’s not a good business name. It should be meaningful and memorable.
Here are some rules of thumb:
- Don’t make up new words. Try splicing together relevant words or altering the spelling of a common word. For example, Lyft turned its offering of “get a lift” into a brand name by subbing a “Y” for the “I.”
- Keep it short and sweet. Your official business name may be “Awesome Local Business LLC” but you can use “Awesome Local” as your brand name.
- Name it for your values rather than your services. Something like “Edward’s Organic Baked Goods” is a mouthful — and not in a tasty way. “Nature’s Noms” or “EcoSweets” is better.
- Avoid foreign words if they don’t relate to your audience or products/services. If you need a name for a Tex-Mex restaurant, a Spanish word makes sense. But if you’re naming a graphic design firm and don’t intend to target a Hispanic audience, a Spanish word is not the right choice.
Personalize, Don’t Plagiarize
Copying someone else’s name is never cool. The entire point of a business name is that it’s specific to your company and has a special meaning for your customers. This could also get you into legal trouble as many companies trademark their brand and product names. (And you should trademark your business name once you choose it!)
Also, if your name is similar to another company’s, especially if it is pronounced the same, the two will constantly get mixed up. If you’re in the same industry, this could cause huge issues.
You’ll likely also struggle to secure your desired domain name or social media handles.
And remember: the more relevant and valuable your business name is, the more it will resonate with people. It should still be simple, but adding some personality can make all the difference.
We know it seems like there are no unique business name ideas left, but trust us, it’s possible! With clever wordplay or spelling, plus a dash of creativity, you can find a name for your enterprise.
Name with Your Audience in Mind
Some business name ideas may be great in theory but fail to entice your target audience. Consider how the words you use in your name create a tone or express your values.
For example, many discount-store names use phrases such as “Dress 4 Less,” “E-Z,” or “Quik.” These suggest a “budget” brand. If you’re catering to a more sophisticated, upper-class audience, your business name should avoid such language.
Consider, too, how different words have different connotations. Here’s a cheat sheet for some common words used in business names.
Shop: Market, Emporium, Plus
Studio: Creative, Works, Agency
Firm: Agency, Solutions
Software: Tech, App
Premium: Luxury. Fine
Custom: Bespoke, Boutique
Fashion: Couture, Outfitters
Handmade: Artisan, Crafty, Homemade
Put Thought Into Your Domain Name
These days, you must have a digital presence. If people can’t find you on the internet, do you even exist? You need reviews, social media, and of course, a website. When choosing your name, consider which domain(s) you could use for your site.
Most people expect a company website to be at CompanyName.com or something similar. They may also type your name into a search engine or ask their pocket AI.
Ideally, your name is something that’s easily spelled and pronounced. That way, people are more likely to find your URL or your search engine listing. Don’t assume that keyword searches alone will bring your target customers to you!
Here are some tips for registering the perfect domain for your business name:
- If you can’t get CompanyName.com, add a verb. For example, Pocket’s URL is GetPocket.com
- If your name is long, abbreviate it, but not in a way that would be difficult to type or spell. For example, Bob’s Landscaping Design and Lawn Service is way too long for a domain name… but BLDLS.com is meaningless. BobsLawns.com would be a good alternative.
- Choose an alternate first-level domain, if it makes sense. For example, many tech companies use the ending .io instead of .com.
Think of creative twists on your business name to get a good domain name that isn’t taken and that you like. Need some help? Check out a domain name generator to explore your options.
What if I’m Rebranding?
You’ve probably seen quite a few companies rebrand. Usually, this is done after a scandal or some major screw-up. But other times, it’s just because the company’s first name choice wasn’t the greatest.
Of course, you’ll want to avoid this if possible. But if you find yourself having to rebrand and change your name, consider your options very carefully.
It’s never a good idea to name a company after yourself, even if the idea is tempting. If you’re directly tied to the name, it may be difficult to sell the company at a later date.
Another mistake is naming your company after one specific service or product. Your name should have enough flexibility to offer more than just one thing in case you add on in the future.
What Should I Name My Business?
The best name is rarely what you first dream up. Take some time to explore your options, brainstorm some business name ideas, and reflect on your brand’s values. Also, consider where you’d like your company to go. Your name must leave room for growth or a potential sale.
If you’re stumped, try a business name generator. Even if this doesn’t yield a winning offer, it can get those creative juices flowing. Build upon your results to find your perfect business name.
Ultimately, your best business name is short, memorable, and impactful. And of course, 100% distinctive!
Need some unique business name ideas? Run a naming contest at Hatchwise and get dozens of options from skilled copywriters.