Finding the perfect business name is a key part that all entrepreneurs should focus on when they are launching a brand. It is typically the first aspect of the business that potential customers will interact with. A name will help people learn about your business as well as your mission and values. It should attract people to your startup and summarize your brand’s identity.
Though naming can be a challenge, it shouldn’t have to feel like walking off the edge of a cliff while blindfolded. With the three stages described below, you can organize your ideas and find the best name for your unique business.
Stage one: Mission and vision
Outline your brand
Start looking at a couple of existing business names that you think are effective for your brand. This step will help you when it comes time for you to brainstorm names.
Write a list of eight to ten of your favorite names, then pick them apart. Write a couple of notes about what you like about the name and why it works for that specific brand. Analyzing your favorite names can give some helpful direction to your naming journey.
Look ahead to the future
Try to summarize your company’s mission and vision in a couple of short project statements like these examples:
- We need a name that captures our joyful, upbeat approach to selling soda.
- We need a name that establishes us as a unique, hipster brand.
- We need a name that hints at our environmentally-friendly business practices.
Get started by writing down a couple of project statements for your own business.
Stage two: Get creative
Gather some names
Now, it’s time for the most enjoyable part of this process. Write down each possible name you can think of that might work with the unique brand you are creating. Names generally come in five different styles: modern, descriptive, classic, emotional, and fun. Brainstorm business names by writing down a few examples for every type on this list. This can help you see what you’re looking for in a brand name. The more names you have to work with, the better final name you will come up with.
Narrow your list
Now that you have collected a number of different name ideas, start crossing off the names that don’t work for your brand until you have only five or six names left. This is a great time for you to also collect some name opinions from your friends, family, or target audience members.
Stage three: Check your boxes
Assess your trademark risk
Trademark validation for your startup name is a final useful way to secure a small business trademark for your name. If you’re not sure about your name, all you have to do is run a quick trademark risk test to make sure your name isn’t used by a similar business.
If your name is too similar to another business with similar services, you could get into trouble with trademark law. Make sure that you are proactive to avoid any of this future hassle.
Brainstorming a uniquely effective name for your brand can feel like a daunting task. So much of your success rests upon finding the perfect business name. It should summarize your brand’s identity and connect you to your target audience.
You might think that all the top names are already in use, or that you don’t have any good ideas, but the perfect name for your business is out there just waiting for you to find it.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company Squadhelp, the world’s #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations. Get inspired by exploring these winning names.
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