When it comes to small businesses and startups, name matters a lot; the simplest reason is that people hear your business name as the first thing about your product, brand and the business. It has to be perfect, it has to be catchy and it has to be solid. “How to find great business name?” is a million dollar question that many entrepreneurs ask themselves but more important question is “what’s in the name?”
According to naming experts, business name plays an important part in the success of a business and unfortunately there are no such solid rules or formula to make a business name great because it depends on many varying factors like target audience, nature of your business, geographical location and demographics; yet there are some tips to come up with an interesting business name. We know how popular Pepsi and Nike are but the current trend favors real words or combination of words instead of fabricated or made up words.
It is still not a solid formula because there could be some exceptions; Italiatour is a name proposed by a naming firm for a touring company. As you can see it is not a real word but how it does represent the nature of business is purely amazing. It is not only memorable but also kind of exotic that brings excitement in potential customers or should we call them tourists. So when it comes to finding great business name, it breaks down to these basics.
- Make it easy to pronounce and easy to remember for a longer time period.
- The name should appeal people and it must represent what the business does.
- If the target audience is narrow instead of global, then it must be familiar for target customers or clients.
- It shouldn’t be confusing.
If you don’t want to get professional help then brainstorming is the key to come up with great business names. Don’t forget to get opinion from your friends regarding different names. Of course selecting a not-suitable name for your business is a mistake but not changing that bad name at the right time is a worse mistake. Many companies have changed their names in the past because of different reasons. Let’s see why and how they did that.
Softcard is not a company itself but it is a revolutionary mobile payment system designed by three tech giants; Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T few years ago. They named that system ISIS and as you can anticipate, they had to change the name for their NFC based mobile payment system for marketing and branding purposes. The new name Softcard saved their reputation in the industry.
AOL is a great name because it is short and suitable for a tech company but AOL started with a different name when it was founded in 1985. It was Quantum Computer Service back then and later the company changed its name to America Online because of the internet revolution. The name America Online worked for the company for years and finally they started using abbreviated version AOL which is way cooler.
Starbucks is a catchy and easily memorable name but the earlier name of the company was Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice. The name changing decision was a brilliant one that changed the company’s future and gave it an entirely new brand image.
Telstra is now the largest telecommunication company in Australia and earlier it was known as Telecom. That name worked for that for years but finally they changed it to Telstra because Telecom wasn’t a great name for international audience.
KFC does not need an introduction as it is one of the most popular fast food chains in the world. KFC refers to Kentucky Fried Chicken and it is one of the most widely used examples of name change that is taught in marketing and branding courses all over the globe.
Many people don’t know that LG was the first company which sold radios in Korea and now its consumer electronics like TVs, plasmas and phones are popular almost everywhere in the world. LG is actually shorter version of Lucky Goldstar which is the company’s old name. Now LG uses Life’s Good as it slogan to associate it with LG.
Millions of people in the world use McAfee as a security software on their computers and mobile devices. McAfee is a catchy name that is easy to remember and easy to spell. However, it was Network Associates International back then.
Reason behind choosing a bad company name
Most of the time entrepreneurs end up with a bad company name because they don’t consider naming process a part of their business plan. There are numerous reasons that could lead to generic, boring and bad company names. Some people try to find great name for their new company but they didn’t put efforts into the process and give up in favor of an unsuitable name.
As mentioned above, some business owners do not consider naming process an important part of their business plan and that’s why they don’t even allocate a reasonable budget for it. Finding and acquiring a catchy business and domain name could be costly depending on your industry and the type of name you are looking for. Shorter names and domain names sell for a much higher price than longer names.
For example, a four-letter domain name costs $500-$10,000 on average and 3-letter domain names are even more expensive. However, a 10 times catchier name with 10 times higher price tag is much better than a generic business and domain name because you’d be spending tons of money on advertisement and marketing. Interestingly, some business owners do not consider the name an important thing at all. They think the only thing that matters in a company is its products or services.
Ignoring your target customers entirely during the naming process is one of the most costly mistakes you could ever make. Among all the factors that help you decide a catchy business name, your target audience matters the most. Make sure the business and domain name you select appeal your customers.