Startups communicate through their name. Your name must embody your product or service and the personality of your company. The name you chose will also have a tangible effect on your sales in the future – in fact, 77% of consumers make purchases based on a brand name. Ideally, your brand name will become synonymous with the product or service you are offering.
With all the weight resting on your business name, finding the perfect name for your company is an essential stage of getting your startup off the ground. While it may be easy to become overwhelmed by the daunting process of choosing a name, there are a few tried-and-true rules that will make the naming process easier.
Below, the team at the naming platform Squadhelp offers their top five insights on picking the right name for your company or business:
Make your name evocative
After helping nearly 8000 individuals find winning names, experts at Squadhelp concluded that being evocative was the most highly regarded naming characteristic. 90% of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously, so it is essential that your name connects on a deep level.
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 reaction. Whatever name you choose, it should be evocative in a meaningful way.
Look at your name contextually
It’s easier to judge a name's potential when it's placed in context. Context informs your answer. When creating your name, begin by defining the purpose, benefits, and objectives of your startup. Ask yourself, Do I want this brand to fit in or stand out?
For instance, you’ll notice that certain industries, like financial firms, follow certain naming standards. If you wish to align with industry norms, you'll use the pre-existing structures, like UK-based Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group chose to do. If you want to position yourself as a disrupter in your industry, you'll steer away from those customs and stand out with something different.
Make your name memorable
Your startup’s name should be easy to say, spell, and remember. Being memorable lies at the very heart of naming. 84% of consumers will purchase a product because of a referral, so people must be able to recall your name instantly. Name ideas that are in any way difficult to pronounce or spell must be eliminated from your list at once – they will likely cause referral and branding problems in the future.
Consider legal implications
The process doesn’t end when you find an awesome name – you must also consider the legal implications. You want to avoid cease and desist letters, so do your due diligence and make sure your name doesn't infringe on established trademarks. Partnering with a company to do a full legal review of your chosen name is highly recommended to avoid legal mistakes in the future.
Examine linguistic implications
In the naming industry, there are stories of international companies whose name turned out to have an offensive meaning in another language. Even manufacturing giants like Apple have erred – in Georgia, their virtual assistant Siri translates to slang for male genitalia. Before finalizing your naming choice, be sure to run your name through translators to avoid an embarrassing mishap when you expand internationally.
Name your company with your target audience in mind
Your target market should be at the forefront of your mind with brainstorming names. You want to make a name that your target audience will love to use – don’t get caught in the trap of trying 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.
While the idea of finding a perfect name for your startup might seem overwhelming, these tips will help make the process seamless and productive. An evocative, memorable name free of linguistic mishaps or legal barriers will set you up for success as your startup grows.
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp--transforming the way names, logos, and taglines are developed by combining an affordable agency-level brainstorming process with the unmatched creativity of “the crowd.” His ebook How to Develop the Perfect Name for Just About Anything is available to Business Case Studies readers for free.