Choosing a startup name is like naming a kid, you have to make sure it will still be good after 20 years. Many entrepreneurs ask themselves, “What’s in the name?”, “What are the factors I should consider when naming my startup?”, “Why should I focus on the name so much?” and “From where I can get the final name?” We know how frustrating it is to brainstorm for hours and later find out the name you have selected is already chosen by someone else or the relevant domain name is not available. Here are few things you should consider when choosing your startup name.
Prefer to go with a descriptive name, a name that represents the business, a name that is self explanatory. If you want to have online presence via website or social media websites like Twitter or Facebook then make sure the relevant domain name is also available and obtain Facebook Page URL as soon as you can. Even if you have plans to have the website in far future, get the domain name anyway because if might be unavailable tomorrow.
According to some naming experts, naming your company or startup is like having a tattoo because both are permanent and you cannot change that later. It means you have to put enough thoughts in the process before finalizing the name. Choose something that is catchy, that is meaningful to your customers as well as to you.
The name for your startup must be short, it must be memorable and there is an easy way to determine which name is easily memorable. Gather a list of few shortlisted names and tell them to your friends. Ask them about those names a week later and you’ll be amazed to see the results. If the majority of group remembers a particular name then you should focus on that particular name and relevant domain name.
How important is your target audience when it comes to name your business?
Surprisingly, your target customers play the most important role in the naming process but many entrepreneurs ignore them entirely that finally yield catastrophic results. Of course your business name must represent your core business philosophy and your business values but it all depends on your target audience how they perceive that name. For example, Colgate is a well known brand which is available all over the globe.
This is a catchy product name but it failed in Spain and other Spanish speaking countries because this word does not have pleasant meanings in Spanish. Other than the language, there are many other factors that influence the perception of your target audience and can affect your brand image; some of these factors are age, gender, geographical location, cultural values and others.
How important it is to get a catchy domain name?
Obtaining a catchy domain name for your business is as important as the business name itself. Even if you don’t have immediate plans to launch your website, you should get the relevant domain name anyway because short domain names are near exhaustion and you won’t be able to get a suitable domain name for your business later. Other than that, the prices of shorter domain names always go higher with the time because of increasing demand and decreasing supply.
Few years ago, 3 and 4 letter domain names were available for few hundred dollars and now such domains are selling for thousands of dollars. Making a small investment now could help you save tons of money later. Interestingly, you would be able to sell that domain name for a much higher price after few years.
How I can find catchy business name for my new startup?
Usually there are three ways to get your hands on catchy business names.
- You can brainstorm ideas yourself; although this seems difficult but many popular companies got their names because of their founders. You can also ask your friends and family for name ideas. Another great approach is to understand your target audience. However, if your company deals with customers globally then it is quite hard for you to identify the preferences of your target audience on your own without getting professional help in the research department.
- You can hire a professional or even a firm for the naming process. Though almost all enterprises and companies do that but it is almost impossible for small businesses to spend thousands of dollars on the naming process alone. You can hire a freelance professional for business name ideas, to check the availability of those names, to check the availability of relevant domain name and to perform background research.
- Another suitable course of action is to use online websites and services which are specifically designed for this purpose; Business Name Generator, Naming.com and many other online tools have been offering such services for years. Other than these specialized tools, you can also use Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush to understand your target audience. SEMRush also allows users to see their competitors’ strategies so you can learn about your target audience from your direct competitors.
What are some different types of business names?
We can divide business names into two categories; brandable business names and SEO-friendly business names. SEO-friendly names refer to business names which consist of primary keywords. Using keywords strategically in the business name help companies rank higher in search results. As you can anticipate, SEO-friendly business names tend to be generic, lengthier and boring. On the other hand, brandable business names are shorter, catchy and interesting.
Most of the internet based companies prefer SEO-friendly names because their target audience and most of the traffic comes from internet. Brandable names tend to last long, have much better impact on the target audience but also needs tons of advertisement and marketing budget to yield any result.
Another big difference between SEO-friendly names and brandable names is how they express themselves. SEO-friendly names are self-explanatory and they reflect business operations, products and services without any effort. On the other hand, brandable business names do not have this ability; for example, HP aka Hewlett Packard does not state what company does.