If you want your business to grow from an idea into a success, it’s important to take the time to come up with strong brand name ideas. To help you take your company to the next level, we’ve highlighted the dos and don’ts of naming a business, brand formatting to consider, and a useful step-by-step process to inspire company name ideas.
The dos and don’ts of choosing a business name
Knowing how to come up with a business name can be tricky. However, the difficulty is usually quickly forgotten when it comes to finally naming a business you can call your own. To help you on your way, we’ve outlined the dos and don’ts when it comes to choosing company name ideas.
Make sure your business name ideas are original
When considering business names, it’s important that you choose something original, rather than follow the predictable patterning of your competitors. This isn’t always easy, but creative business name ideas are almost always worth the effort in the long run. There are a host of benefits to thinking up imaginative company name ideas. For instance:
- Not only will an innovative name reflect the individuality of your company, and the ethos and personality of its people, but favouring originality will also help you to stand out from industry rivals. Additionally, consumers are more likely to remember your name and brand if it’s unlike any they’ve heard or seen before.
- You can have all the creative ideas for business names you like, but if there’s already a company with similar branding as you, you’ll find it more difficult to assert yourself in the competitive marketspace and break through to your consumer base.
To combat this, simply give your proposed business names a quick Google search and analyse the results. If there are pages upon pages of companies branded similarly to your vision, it could be worth reconsidering your angle and taking time to come up with another string of good company names.
Choose a name that reflects the customer base you’re targeting
Just as your pool of business names should be original and reflective of your company, you should also consider how your target consumer base will respond to your branding. Conduct market research while choosing a business name, considering the habits and personas of your potential customers and clients, to come up with something they’ll love as much as you.
Try to tap into the psyche of your target market, and think about what might motivate somebody to shop with or work alongside you. Get inspired by the emotional connection you want your customers to have with your business, and translate this feeling into crafty ideas for business names.
Don’t overcomplicate your company name ideas
When naming a business, it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to be too clever. Instead, aim to come up with business names that support your brand image through simplicity. Not only will a more direct approach make recognising your brand easier, but customers will also find it easier to connect with your company.
Offer a realistic reflection of your brand
Just as it’s important not to overcomplicate your brand name ideas, you should also avoid overinflating the stature of your company. That isn’t to say you can’t be ambitious, but remain realistic. There are two key reasons you should bear this in mind when choosing a business name:
1. You might think you’re making a powerful statement of intent by matching up with the big brands, but what you’re really doing is alienating your target market who are more likely to be interested in your company because of your relatively intimate size.
2. In the early stages of your company, you’re not likely in a position to compete with the goliaths of your sector, so you’ll struggle to capture any business at that level.
No matter how quickly you anticipate growth, the important takeaway when naming a business is to choose brand name ideas that consumers can relate to at every level.
Futureproof your business name ideas
Scalability is a common ambition in startups, so it’s important to come up with brand name ideas that reflect this. Avoid tying your business name ideas to a particular trend, product, or area, or you might find it difficult to expand your range or offering later down the line. Futureproofing your company means finding a name that works no matter your size, location, or value.
Good company names make for memorable branding
Coming up with creative business name ideas is important, but it’s also crucial to consider the glitz and glamour of your company: what would your branding look like? While you might expect (and hope) for word-of-mouth references, you should also prioritise creating a brand that has a strong visual presence.
This doesn’t mean enlisting the help of a professional designer, but you should take a step back and visualise your name centre stage on your website. If you’re finding it difficult to imagine crisp and dynamic branding, it could be worthwhile reassessing your company name ideas.
Make sure you love your business name ideas
It should go without saying, but the most important factor in choosing a business name is picking one you love. Because, after all, how can you fully invest your time, energy, and money into a brand you don’t fully support? You’ll know you’ve got a list of good company names when they sound amazing out loud!
Find a business name format that works for your brand
Each of your business name ideas should reflect the personality of your company. However, presentation is just as important as creativity and originality, so consider the form and appearance of your company name ideas.
Use your name for a personal touch
Naming a business after yourself is classic, tried and tested, and offers a personal touch. Benefits include:
- Consumers and clients know that you’re at the forefront of the business, in its early stages at least.
- Named branding is timeless, and effortlessly survives growth and movement. No matter what you offer or where you’re based, your company name remains relevant.
However, there is one downside to naming a business in your own image: it might be more difficult to sell down the line, as another company may need to cover the costs of rebranding.
Name a business after your values
A consumer’s first impression of any product or service is the branding, so consider how your company name ideas can reflect your business’ values. This will help to set your company apart and build positive sentiment around your business.
Additionally, especially as a startup, word-of-mouth marketing comes from choosing a business name that prospective customers and clients can build an affinity with, and what better way to connect than through your principles.
Combine your company principles and offering
For complete uniqueness, consider amalgamating two or more terms to generate creative business name ideas that represent the originality of your brand. Whether you’re merging values and principles or combining your multi-offering, knowing how to choose a business name that draws intrigue is a powerful first step to success.
Give your business a quick and easy acronym
If you’re struggling to think up business name ideas that are both succinct and descriptive, you could always consider an acronym. There are two ways you can approach naming a business in acronym form:
1. Take a term that perfectly reflects your company’s offering, and look to find words that fit the letters.
2. Take your brand name ideas in their current form, and abbreviate into a word or letter combination that rolls off the tongue.
There are plenty of companies worldwide that are known by their acronym, but the following business names have been particularly popularised in their short form:
Well-known car manufacturer FIAT is actually short for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which, as far as business names go, is a little too complex. Naturally, FIAT is more accessible.
Instead of naming a business Tom A. Swift Electric Rifle, Taser stuck with the short-form acronym, which is now one of the best-known business names across the world.
Good company names are easy to remember, and MAC is a prime example. Short for Make-Up Art Cosmetics, get inspired by the simplicity of MAC when choosing a business name acronym.
How to come up with a brand name you love
It’s no secret that naming a business is a big deal and requires important care. To take some of the weight off your shoulders, however, we’ve outlined a helpful step-by-step process to help you come up with brand name ideas.
Covering how to choose a business name, we’ve also highlighted the importance of each stage. So, what goes into choosing a business name?
What do you actually want your business to achieve?
To begin with, simply sit down and consider what you want your company to represent. Start by answering the following:
- Do you want your company to evoke any particular feelings in your customers or clients?
- What key values do you want your company to be known for?
- Does the length of name matter in the industry you’re hoping to break into? If so, concentrate on short and snappy business names.
Brainstorm as many creative business name ideas as possible
After deciding what your naming priorities are, begin to jot down all the ideas for business names you can think of. Importantly, nothing is off the table – no idea is a bad one. Even if they don’t quite sound or feel right, note all your brand name ideas down as they could help to sculpt the final idea.
Give yourself a break to let your mind recharge
Coming up with ideas for business names can be tiring work, so don’t be afraid to give your mind a break. If you don’t, you could quickly overwhelm yourself, which actually makes it tougher to think of good company names.
You might feel under pressure to think of brand name ideas quickly, but stepping back allows your brain to recharge and get inspired by the day-to-day.
Do any names stand out?
Once you’ve enjoyed a break away from the brainstorming table, sit back down with your list of business names and see if you’re naturally drawn to any in particular. If so, great! If not, don’t worry – simply go through the previous processes to refresh your imagination; you’ll be thinking up more creative business name ideas in no time.
Similarly, see what your friends and family think about your business name ideas. Can they pronounce your brand name ideas when written down? Can they spell your business names when they hear them aloud? The likelihood is that, after mulling over your ideas for so long, you’ve lost fresh perspective, so outside help can be priceless.
Confirm availability: how to check if a company name is taken
Thinking up the perfect company branding is one thing, but cementing it as your own is another. Once you’ve got a business name that you’re happy with, it’s time to see if it’s available. Here’s how to check if a company name is taken:
1. Type your potential business names into Google. Hopefully, when browsing the search results, there’s little to no competition. If you’re noticing other companies with similar branding, it could be worth tweaking your business name ideas slightly.
2. If you’re confident that you’re brand name ideas are unique and original, check to see if the relevant website for your top choice is available through a domain name search site.
3. If a domain is available, congratulations! If not, try to find an address that closely resembles your branding. However, don’t be afraid to head back to the drawing board if you’re not convinced by the alternatives.
Once you’ve confirmed the availability of your first-choice name, you’re good to register the domain and begin your online presence! Congratulations – by this stage, you’ve successfully completed the process of naming a business.
Your brand name ideas reflect your offering, so make sure to take the time to find a business name that does your company justice. Once you’re happy with your name, find out the next step in your business journey.