No doubt the business name is one of the most important aspects of the business and you should not compromise on that. As the same time, it is also quite difficult and more specifically frustrating to select a business name because of the obvious reasons. Here are some tips that may help you to come up with a cool business name.
Check the competition
Yeah, that’s right. You don’t have to exactly copy what others are doing but learning about your competition and their moves doesn’t hurt. Make a list of all the names your competitors are using and then come up with your own ideas.
If your competition is not doing things the right way then you should, and that’s the reason you are starting this business in the first place, right? Focusing on the target audience is very important for any business and this doesn’t need more explanation. It means you have to analyze what kind of name your customers would love.
Bring your creative side
Obviously the name should be easy to pronounce and it should be memorable but if you can make it unique then please do. It doesn’t have to be a fabricated word but you can combine multiple words to come up with a cool business name. It could be surprisingly simple too, don’t forget Apple. Thats a great story for another time but if you really want to read it… click here.
Brainstorm and get input
Regardless of how creative you are, make sure you brainstorm and get input from your friends and family. If you already have some names in mind then make sure you see first impression of people when they hear those names. Get suggestions and feedback from as many people as you can get.
Finalize the list of candidates you like the most and sleep on it. It could take many days or even weeks to decide the right name for your business. Sometimes a cool business name may sound snazzy and great to you but check with friends and clients first. They may see unintended meanings which missed you.
We all known enterprises spend tons of money on advertisement, marketing and developing their brand image but there are many examples of companies changing their names for different reasons. Let’s talk about such companies and why did they change their names.
We all know Apple and we all love its products, however Apple wasn’t Apple back then but it was Apple Computer. As the company was making only computers back then, it was a logical decision to choose Apple Computer as their business name because of two reasons. First, it shows what company does and second without the word “Computer” it would be a weird name for a tech company.
Things change when Apple got global recognition and billions of fans all over the world. In 2007, Steve Jobs decided to drop the word “Computer” from company name because the company started making other products like mobile phones, tablets, music players and other things as well.
Playboy was founded by Hugh Hefner decades ago and this magazine got overnight popularity because it was first of its kind. The founder had plans to name that magazine and company Stag Party but they received legal notification from Stag Magazine regarding copyright infringement. They changed that name to Playboy and the rest is history.
Ask.com was founded back in 1996 and it was named AskJeeves.com. It was the first search engine capable of answering queries based on keywords. The word “Jeeves” in its name refers to a character which was their official mascot. In 2006, company changed its name to Ask.com which is easier, more obvious and easily memorable name.
Facebook does not need an introduction; the founder named this company and website TheFacebook and they later changed the name to Facebook. Interestingly, they bought Facebook.com domain name for a whopping $200,000.
Are there different types of names?
Yes, there are many different types of names that you can use for your new company or products. Based on the available statistics, four types of names are popular among new startups; compound names, made-up names, tweaked names and blended names. Let’s talk about these types in details.
Compound names refer to combination of multiple words and most of the time two words are used to form a compound name. The idea behind such names is to use two primary keywords which are highly relevant to the company to form a single word name. Some examples are Facebook and YouTube. In some cases, two very different words are selected to give the name humorous tone, for example HipsterBanana.com and RottenTomatoes.
Made-up names are quite obvious and these are considered most difficult to find and most unique ones. People who prefer made-up names usually try to avoid resemblances with actual words so they could be unique in industry. Companies usually prefer such names because they can also register trademarks easily. Other than that, made-up names are usually short and sweet.
Some examples are Meebo and Zimbra; according to the founders of Meebo, they wanted a meaningless name and after some barnstorming they came up with the name Meebo. Fun fact, Google bought Meebo and shutdown the company after using its technology in its IM service Hangouts.
Tweaked names refer to actual words which are tweaked to give them a nice touch and uniqueness. It is quite challenging to come up with a suitable tweaked name because many things can get wrong and the more you try to make it unique the more it would get weird. Make sure you do not mess with the word a lot otherwise you’ll end up a strange company name.
However, you can select a relevant word to your industry or company and tweak it a little; some popular examples are Topix, Flickr, Zoomer and Digg.
Blended names are quite similar to compound names but as the name suggests, words used in Blended names are mixed to form a single name instead of using whole words. Sometimes company use two relevant words to form a single name and it is also possible to select two different types of words. Some popular examples are Shopify, Microsoft and Newroo.