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10 Tips to Find the Perfect Name for Your Business

Julia RichardsDecember 2020
10 Tips to Find the Perfect Name for Your Business

Knowing how to find the perfect name for your business is crucial to ensuring your business’s future success. Not only must the name be memorable and catchy, but it also needs to be checked against words in other languages to ensure that it doesn’t express something silly.

For example, one of Vauxhall’s first vehicles was called the Nova. The car was manufactured in Spain but the word “Nova” in Spanish means “Go slow” or “Not working”.

Finding a name for a business is not only about brainstorming a business name. You need to ensure that you have gone through all possible business name ideas, and had them vetted against trademark infringements, as well as put through a language filter.

In this article, we will give several tried and tested tips to find a name for your business.

Think long-term

The goal of any business is to grow.

Many times, a business will start off in one area and then expand over to multiple areas.

Google is an excellent example of this. They started out as search but now offer email, mobile phone software, mapping, etc.

Montblanc has a similar story. They used to sell pens and only pens. Now they sell various luxury gifts for male and female business executives. If Montblanc’s name had been “Mont Pens”, they would never have been able to expand into the broader product range as they did.

Avoid hard-to-spell or long names

A good company name should roll off the tongue.

These days, a company name should also be something that people hear and can then type into their browsers, simply adding a “dot com” to the end of the name.

Dot Com still dominates the world of web addresses by far. If your name is too long or difficult to spell, people won’t be able to intuitively visit your website to know more.

Ensure the name has a ring to it

The name must “sound” good when people say it.

Consider these brand names:

  • Twitter
  • Google
  • Nike
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Mitsubishi

Every one of them has a unique feel and flavour to it. Every single one of them has a certain pleasing sound and ring to it.

Sure, much of that has to do with the fact that many of these brands are household names, and we’ve grown accustomed to their sound and meaning.

But part of their growth is the fact that their business names were well chosen.

Check the meaning of your name in other languages

Whether you’re IKEA or Reebok, not knowing what your brand or product name means in other languages can have catastrophic (and sometimes hilarious) consequences.

IKEA released the “Fartfull” desk once upon a time.

And Reebok thought that “Incubus” might be a good name for women’s running shoes. (Say what!? Yes, you heard that right. And that awful name meant they had to eventually take the shoe off the market.)

This is bad enough for product names. It is completely devastating for brand and company names. To be entirely safe, you might want to get some help in naming your business.

Check the availability of the name on the internet

Ideally, you need to name your business in such a way that the domain of the business can be YourBusinessName.com.

This might mean coming up with slight spelling variations, but it is critical to have a domain name which matches up with your business name.

Some people get around this by looking for a .co.uk or other ending for their domains. While this is indeed an option (and should be done anyway), it is not a great one.

A rule of thumb is that, if the .com domain does not exist, you might need to consider a different name.

Yes, that reduces the options a lot. But our next tip might help you with that.

Brainstorm multiple company names

It’s better to choose a name from many options than from only one or two.

Call some friends and family over and have a brainstorming session together. Bring out the snacks and get the creative juices flowing.

Or, if they can’t come over because a lockdown or other reason, have a video conference.

Ask an expert for assistance

It can indeed get overwhelming, which is why sometimes it’s vital to ask an expert for assistance. Our business naming service is one option for finding a name for your business.

Use a name generator tool

If you don’t have time, try using a name generation tool such as Shopify’s tool or Naming.net.

This website has other choices.

Of course, you do need to triple-check names from automatic naming tools to ensure the name is not already being used by someone else.

Convey a positive meaning

It’s important to convey positivity with your name.

Even if people don’t buy from you the first time they see an ad of yours, they will start to adopt an idea of your business from the advertising you do. It’s important to build a positive image in people’s minds regarding your brand to make them more amenable to purchasing from you in the future.

Having a positive meaning in your business name goes a long way to ensuring this.

Think visual

Finally, try and imagine what your name will look like visually. How might it appear on a business logo or banner ad?

Designing banner ads and business logos is something best left to the pros, but that doesn’t mean you should completely disassociate yourself from it.

Try and, at least, visualise how that name might look on your branding materials when coming up with the business’s name.

About author
Julia Richards
Julia Richards

I am the head content writer at Start My Business with over ten years of experience in copywriting and content research. I specialise in writing topics for SME's, finance and digital marketing.

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