The name of your business sets the tone for all of your future branding exploits. A good name should establish a point of connection between you and your audience. In addition, the name should describe who you are and what values you represent.
Just as a strong name can benefit your brand, a weak name can create a disaster. There are several naming mistakes that slow the momentum of your business growth. Learn about what they are and why you need to avoid them as you begin the process of naming your business.
The most important rules of naming are that your business name should be easy to say, spell, and remember.
If potential customers have difficulty saying the name, they will avoid saying it altogether. Try to avoid confusing intentional misspellings in an effort to be creative. More often than not, overly complicated intentional misspellings will create more confusion than attention.
Think about your name in terms of the “crowded bar theory”. If you were telling someone the name of your business at a crowded bar, would they understand it easily? For example, a restaurant called Sam and Ella’s might sound like salmonella in a crowded bar, which both undesirable and unappealing. You want to make sure your name only has to be said once to be understood.
Names that are simple to say and spell are going to be more likely to stick in people’s heads. When customers tell their friends your business name, they act as agents of your brand. Choosing a simple, clean name simplifies their sharing process.
While it is always good to have a name that informs people about what your business does, overly-descriptive names are not interesting.
A great example is, Official Office Stationery Products LLC. This is a descriptive name. From the start, we get a sense of what products they sell and for what purpose. However, the name does not stand out in a crowd. It’s overly-descriptive and has a bland and generic sound. Names like this one feel antiquated and cannot compete well in today’s modern market because they don’t generate any questions or interest in the business.
A good name should hold a small amount of suspense without being too vague. When thinking of names, get creative. Your name should captivate your audience’s attention so when they see or hear it, they want to learn more.
When you examine startup names over the past few decades, some trends are revealed. For example, in the mid-2000s many popular names missing vowels like Tumblr, Twttr (which later became Twitter), and Grindr. Another name fad in the last ten years is named with suffixes like Spotify, Gamify, and Coworkify.
When it comes to trendy naming styles, certain names endure. However, you also run the risk of your name being limited to their era.
A very recent naming trend is giving software human names. Examples of this are Amazon’s Alexa or Bank of America’s Erica. This is done to humanize the experience. Usually, the technology is replacing work that could be done by a human, so giving the tech a human name can help it come across as warmer and less antagonistic.
Occasionally, it can be a good idea to take advantage of new trends to get your creative juices flowing, but be aware of the consequences. Fad names are just a product of their time, and if you hop on a trend too late, your business may already be falling behind in the fast-moving world of businesses startups. Check out this list of business name types for a better idea of how you can try out different types and trends to help you brainstorm names.
Long and cumbersome names present several challenges. The awkwardness of a long name is an automatic turn-off for many customers because they can be hard to remember. In addition, long names often mean long URLs. Be sure to plan ahead with your name and consider not only a URL but also any social media handles you may want to obtain. Twitter handles are limited to only 15 characters, so make sure your name is short enough to accommodate these limitations.
Not only are long names heavy and clunky they are quite difficult to remember and spell correctly. If there are too many words in your brand name, your audience may accidentally add or forget to add an article when typing out your URL.
The rule of thumb is that the longer a name is, the more confusing and forgettable it is. Try to simply shorten your ideas by removing any unnecessary descriptors, articles, and suffixes. If you still can’t think of a business name that is available, try browsing the internet for domains for sale –you might just find that the perfect name does, in fact, come with a perfect URL.
Although naming your business can be a challenge, the effort you put into the process will result in a strong, captivating name that draws your audience in and creates sales. Following these basic name guidelines of what to avoid will open your creative flow and help you find the perfect name.