Search online for resources to help you name your company, and you’ll be bombarded with articles stressing the importance of finding the perfect name for your business, and hundreds of experts weighing in on how to find the best name. The amount of information out there about naming your company or products is likely overwhelming and may leave you feeling nervous about the daunting naming process that lies ahead. However, the one thing that most of these articles don’t mention is that choosing a name for your company can also be fun!
While finding an evocative and memorable name for your company is essential, the process doesn’t have to be an arduous or stressful one. Coming up with a great name for your business or product is also an exciting, fun, and creative process. To help you begin your journey into the world of naming, check out these five insights on picking the right name shared by the team at naming platform, Squadhelp:
1. The name for your company should be evocative.
Online naming resources recommend catchy, unique, short and appealing names. However, after helping nearly 8000 individuals find winning names, experts at Squadhelp concluded that being evocative was the most highly regarded name characteristic.
A name should elicit a strong response from your target audience. It could bring up an idea in someone’s mind that’s relevant to brand messaging, or it could elicit an appropriate emotional reaction. Some names are effective because they are fun, and evoke a playful emotion among their target market. Bumble, a dating app, clearly had fun when coming up with their name – they even play on the bee theme in their marketing.
2. Look at your name in context.
It’s easier to judge a name’s potential when it’s placed in context. Names with obscure references are not usually recommended; however, for a niche brand, such a name may be appropriate.
As an entrepreneur, you know it is essential to define the purpose, benefits, and objectives of your project before you name it. A great question to ask yourself is “Do I want this brand to fit in or stand out?” Context provides your answer.
For instance, you’ll notice that certain industries, like companies that make toys for kids, generally have fun, playful names. If you wish to align with industry norms, you’ll use the pre-existing structures, like toy maker Step2 chose to do. If you want to stand outside norms, you’ll steer away from those customs, choosing to stand out with something edgier. Neither choice is right or wrong – each simply has a different effect.
3. Great names are easy to remember.
The best names are easy to say, spell, and remember. This foundational advice is often overlooked or forgotten. Being memorable lies at the very heart of naming. Names ideas that are in any way difficult to pronounce or spell must be eliminated from your list at once. These will likely cause referral and branding problems in the future.
Squadhelp’s analysis of submissions to its naming contests found that successful names are 1-2 syllables long. The easier information is to process, the more our brains are naturally drawn to it and the more we tend to like it. This theory is backed up by a study which found companies with simpler names tended to perform better in the stock market.
Bonus tip: When choosing a domain name, stay away from hyphens and numbers. These can be easily misunderstood when someone is dictating the name over the phone.
4. Check availability before settling on a name.
Squadhelp has found that URL availability is the biggest naming roadblock entrepreneurs face while developing a great name. As entrepreneurs, you know that the naming process is not only about branding. It also has major legal implications. Cease and desist letters are devastating, so do your due diligence and make sure your name doesn’t infringe on established trademarks. While this may not be a particularly fun part of your naming process, it is a necessary step to protect your company in the future.
5. Consider the linguistics.
In the name choosing industry, there are many stories of international companies whose name turned out to have an offensive meaning in another language. Even manufacturing giants like Puffs Tissue have erred. When expanding to Germany, they learned that “puffs” is slang for brothels in German. Make sure that your fun, evocative, name is checked for potential linguistic conflicts.
6. Names should appeal to a specific target audience.
Make a name that your target audience will love to use. When coming up with a name, don’t try to appeal to everyone. It’s likely you’ll end up with a something too generic or “safe”. Tailor your name to fit your target market’s personality and desires – designing your name to speak directly to your target market will have a major impact on the success of your company.
These tips will help make figuring out the perfect name for your company or product a fun and exciting process, not one fraught with stress. After all, it’s not every day you get to name a product or company that you’ve created!
Follow Grant Polachek and Squadhelp