How to come up with a great name for your new business

 

You’ve got the perfect, million-pound idea. You may even have the most user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing website to match, but what about the name of your new venture?

Every business needs a name, and if you’re going to grab people’s attention then you need something punchy, memorable and relevant to the service or product you offer. It may sound easy, but why is it so hard to think of a great name for your business?

Google, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram all have catchy names that are short, sweet and very memorable. So how do you go about getting a great name like one of these? If you’ve ever listened to Gimlet’s Start-Up Podcast, you’ll know the perils and pitfalls of naming your beloved startup, so here are a few tips to help you hit the big time! 

Think simple

You don’t need a long, convoluting name for your business; something short, snappy and with just a few syllables will be the key to getting your name to stick in people’s heads, making it easy for people to say and remember.

Don’t use a mash-up

It may have worked for Pinterest and Instagram, but when it comes to combining a series of relevant words, we would advise you to stay away from this process. The result is usually a complicated, hard to pronounce mash-up that is so far removed from the original words that it’s hard to decipher what they were even meant to be. 

Stand out from the crowd

Okay, so this is a tricky one. You want a name that is unique, that is a little ‘out there’ and memorable, but you don’t want your brand name to be too obscure, too hard to pronounce, or too strange, so that people won’t be able to remember anything about your business, apart from the fact that it has a name they can’t remember.

Keep it broad

A pitfall that many businesses and brands fall into, is picking a name that is specific to one type of service or one geographical location. This may seem like a smart idea at the time, but in a few years when you want to expand and diversify, your name will no longer match what you are trying to sell. A great example of this, is ‘iTunes’, which was originally created as a music library, but Apple has now diversified to movies, podcasts and much more, so actually the name no longer fits.

Check the domain

Once you’ve come up with your winning brand name, the most important thing you can do is check to see if you can get the domain name that matches your brand name. For example, if you name your company ‘Fresh’, you’ll want to own ‘Fresh.com’. If this name isn’t available, then avoid variations like ‘Freshbrand.com’ and try to come up with a new name for your brand. It may sound like such a small detail, but when a potential customer wants to search for your website, they will automatically assume that your website is ‘Fresh.com’ and you will lose customers to the frustration of being difficult to locate.

Ask around

The final step to any new brand name is to carry out some focus groups to see if people like your name, and if it portrays the right message. You could have your heart set on a name, but in real life it’s one that is hard to remember, doesn’t give your brand the right image, or conjures up a totally different image in your customers’ heads. The public will be your potential customers, so their opinion matters most.

Of course, if you find yourself well and truly stuck for a name, you can always enlist the help of fivesquid. You'll find freelancers who'll not only give you ideas for naming your business, they'll even find available domain names and create a slogan for you. So what are you waiting for?

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