When you are brainstorming a name for your new business, it can be difficult to know how to select the best one, especially if you are initially drawn to a particular name. You might have numerous brand name ideas, and all of them work, but none of them seem like they’re the perfect fit. In terms of naming a business, love at first sight is not the best approach to finding the most effective name for your brand.
However, if you can’t rely on on your emotions, how do will you find the perfect name for your business?
Make sure that you step back and think about what the purpose of a name is. A brand name needs to serve as a tool that supports your business and matches the logical criteria to support your brand. The following criteria should help your name to serve as a beneficial and powerful marketing and branding tool.
Establishing your naming criteria
We all know that emotions are subjective, but it is preferable to select your final business name based on how it fits within the naming criteria you have established. Therefore, you need to create a typical set of naming criteria to follow before you begin brainstorming business name ideas.
Double check that your business name meets the following standards:
Easy to pronounce
A solid brand name makes the referral process easier. Any problems in brand memorability may stop your loyal customers from sharing your name with their family and friends. A name that is too difficult to pronounce will lower the chances that people will share it. Additionally, it will make it more difficult to remember.
Tip: If your business name can’t pass the crowded bar test, it may be a smart idea to choose another name.
Simple to spell
A name with an overly-complicated spelling will make it problematic for your audience to search for and find your business online. If they are relying on memory alone when searching for your blog or website, they might not be able to find you if your brand name is difficult to spell. You therefore risk losing potential sales with a name that is too confusing to spell.
Impossible to forget
By choosing a business name that’s memorable, you will help your potential customers easily recall your name when they want to further research you after hearing about your business. This will also help your customers refer others to your business, and this will help you with increased repeat business.
An embarrassing or cringy business name can hinder your future success. Be sure to check for any potential hidden meanings, uncomfortable sounds or bad translations of your brand name that might cause a PR disaster.
Your personal needs
Although the previously mentioned criteria are useful when naming your brand, you also need to establish parameters that are tailored to your specific business needs. This is why a project statement is a useful tool when creating your naming criteria.
After you decide on your tone and additional branding elements, you can write your project statement, which summarizes your company’s core concepts and beliefs.
Here’s is an example of a project statement for a brand that sells unique, vintage and upcycled shoes:
We need a unique, intriguing name for a boutique that sells artistically-modified sneakers and curated antique finds. The name should speak to standing out, art, being yourself, radiating inventiveness and quality.
Keep in mind that a name you’re really invested in may already be taken. A name at the top of your list may not be available due to trademark reasons. In the event this happens, you’ll have to move down your list of backup brand names, and that’s why it’s important not to get overly attached to a single name right out of the gate.
Making the decision
As you continue to brainstorm business name ideas and narrow down your options, think about which ones fit the criteria you outlined in the process above. It’s okay if you don’t love a name right away. It may take some time to realize that it fits with your brand in more ways than you imagined.
After you have cut down your list to four to five names, it’s time to do some testing to get feedback from members of your target audience. You may find that when you get to the audience testing step of this process, the name you love actually performs poorly with your target audience. This kind of feedback and disparity will be very helpful in making the final decision on the name of your business.
When push comes to shove, emotional attachment to a name is hard to figure out. It’s not a bad thing to love what the name does for your business. It’s good to be excited about how the name will help you launch your business, instead of focusing on how it resonates with your own specific preferences.
Originally published Feb. 17, 2019.