Beginning a tech company is exciting, but there are dozens of variables you’ll have to consider if you’d like your startup to succeed. A lot of your time brainstorming will probably be spent considering things like how to reduce costs, the way to expand efficiently, and also how to construct the right team–but you’ll also need to take into account the nature of your brand, including your business’s name.
What is in a Name?
A company name might not seem like that big of a deal, however, it can affect the potential of your company in many ways:
- Identification. This is the name people will see when encountering your business for the first time. Is it clear how a company works? Is it clear what business you are in?
- First impressions. What kind of feeling do people have when they see this name for the very first time? If you are not careful, you can give people the wrong idea–and then turn them off from your business indefinitely.
- Memorability. If your business name is lengthy, complex, or too unusual, people won’t remember it — and they won’t share your name with different people. Very good names are “sticky” and easy to remember.
- Marketing opportunities. Your name will play a significant role in your business’s advertising too; it often dictates your choice of an internet domain name, your search engine optimization (search engine optimization), and almost all your other marketing and advertising campaigns.
Accordingly, your choice in company name can have a massive impact on your likelihood of succeeding.
Many new entrepreneurs simply don’t understand where to start. They may have thought up a few business name ideas on their own, based on intuition or loose inspiration from different companies before, but they are not sure how to create more ideas or how to narrow down the candidates for selection.
There are a few significant ways to get started if this is the circumstance. To begin with, begin researching different companies like yours. If there are any businesses currently in this space, what names do they provide? What attributes do all these names have in common? What features appear to be overlooking? Write down these so you may reference them in the future.
You will also want to create a list of company names you like, regardless of what industry they’re in. What is it that you like about those titles? What type of feelings do they provoke in you? Are there some ways you can change them for the better, or ways they can better match your business?
Next, use a tool such as TRUiC’s business name generator. There, you’ll have the chance to enter a handful of words, go for industry, and create a plethora of available company names. Any of these could eventually serve as the title of your company, but for the time being, you ought to think of them as brainstorming opportunities.
Key Factors of Successful Business Names
There is no surefire formula to define names that are likely to be successful or unsuccessful. But, strong business names have a few things in common:
- Unique. Arguably the most important quality, your startup’s name ought to be unique. If it sounds too similar to some other company, regardless of whether it is a direct competitor or a company in another industry, it’s likely to create confusion. That is the reason why many startups have attempted to devise new words completely or alter present words to make them seem more original.
- Short. In general, shorter titles are exceptional. They are simpler, they’re easier to spell, they require less time to write, plus they take up less space in ads. They’re also harder to misremember or get erroneous. Nevertheless, it is also more difficult to think of a concept for a short title, and they can be more expensive.
- Easy to spell. Lots of modern startups try to capitalize on a unique spelling or deliberate misspelling of a word to make themselves look more hip (or to get a brand name that would otherwise be quite common). There are several advantages to this, but you will also want to make sure that your business name is easy to spell out. If people listen to it for the first time, without seeing the term printed, they should be able to search for (and find) your company easily.
- Available as a domain name. Talking of searchability, a perfect business name should also be available as a domain. Domain names that match business names tend to be much more powerful, capable of bringing more traffic and reducing confusion among customers.
- Simple to write and say. Short, intuitive spellings will naturally be easy to write. However, your business name should also be simple to say. If a person sees your business name in print for the first time and struggles to pronounce it properly, you have a problem; you’ll also have a problem if the word is clunky or hard to get out.
- Relevant to your industry. Ideally, your business name should at least partly convey what your company does. A name like “Lyft” is a unique spin on “lift,” a word that can be applied to giving somebody a ride in a car. This isn’t a strict rule, but it can help you establish your industry with new clients early on.
- Workable to a logo. Most company names end up right directly integrated into a logo, and other branding collateral. This is a step that often comes after, but you’re going to want to keep it in mind when creating a business name. Does this name look like it “plays well” in such contexts?
- Able of evoking feeling. A fantastic business name should immediately convey some type of feeling or attitude. By way of instance, can you tell from the outset whether this startup is more serious or more playful?
- Free from negative relationships. You will also want to do some research to ensure this name is not associated with anything negative. For example, you won’t want to choose a business name that could be interpreted as a taboo word in a different language, or one even slightly associated with a historic tragedy.
After utilizing research and brainstorming tools, and assessing your job for the aforementioned attributes, you need to have at least a shortlist of prospective business names available. How can you narrow the list down?
You can work on yourself, but it is often more beneficial to seek feedback from external sources. As an instance, one option is to speak to a mentor, advisor, investor, or even another business owner you honor. Do these experts believe your name is satisfactorily distinguished? What was their first impression when they originally heard it? Can they think of any way this name could be misheard, misinterpreted, or associated with something negative? In many cases, you are going to find another person’s perspective illuminating.
If you have a few names which get the approval of your peers and mentors, the following step is collecting feedback from people who may one day be your customers. Ideally, you are going to use a pool of a couple of dozen to a few hundred individuals within your target demographics, asking them how they feel on your name in context. Ask them what they enjoy and/or do not like about each title, and make them as specific as possible.
If individuals do not appear to take well to your title, you may have to go back to the drawing board.
Finalizing Your Name Choice
Eventually, you will find a name that works well in every category; it’s easy functional, exceptional, and fits your brand. At this point, you’re going to be prepared to assign it to your small business. Trademarking the name should not be difficult if it is unique, and when that’s done, you can officially register your business in your favorite state of operations. From there, you’ll be able to experiment with the name by trying out different kinds of logos, different advertising angles, and more.