Among the many decisions to make when starting a business, choosing the right name is one of the most important. A great company name attracts customers and sets your business apart from the competition. But how do you come up with a great name? Here are six steps to help you get started.
Think About the Message or Feeling You Want to Exude
First, start with brainstorming. Write down every word or phrase that comes to mind. Don’t censor yourself—just say anything, even if it seems silly or unimportant.
What do you want your company name to say about your business? Do you want it to be memorable, clever, or funny? Or are you just trying to describe what the business does?
We call this stage “Discovery.” This is when we meet with you and evaluate your business and mission to gain clarity on your background, goals, and audience. Our ViviScape team surveys your existing materials and competitor branding if available. During this time, we present visual examples for feedback to set a design direction. This research phase sets the direction for the future design work for your logo and brand kit.
Words that Fit the Feeling
Once you know what the feelings or emotions you want the name to convey, think of words that fit those feelings. Break out the thesaurus! If you want people to remember it because it’s unique, try an unexpected word.
Think of Keywords
Once you have some ideas for keywords, try searching for them on Google Keyword Planner and see which ones get the most traffic. This gives you an idea of which names are already popular (and therefore more difficult). Then narrow down your list based on how easy each word would be for someone to spell and remember.
At this point, we recommend testing all of your potential names by putting them into a survey tool like SurveyGizmo or Survey Monkey. This will give you an idea of which names are easiest for people to remember and understand, as well as how much they like them. It’s important to put these words into a survey because it helps eliminate bias based on your own assumptions about what people will think about your product.
Make Sure It Doesn’t Already Exist
When you’ve come up with a list of potential names for your business, the next step is to make sure that none of them are already in use. You can do this by using a domain name search tool like Who.is or ICANN to see if the name is available as a website address. You can also use Google to search for the name on social media and other websites to see if it’s being used by someone else. If it is, you’ll need to come up with another name.
Make sure it doesn’t infringe on someone else’s trademark or copyright
The last thing you want to do is choose a name for your business that someone else has already trademarked or copyrighted. To avoid this, you can search the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database to see if there are any registered trademarks that match your proposed name. If there are, you’ll need to come up with something else.
You can also do a Google search to see if there are any businesses that are using a similar name to yours. If there are, you may want to consider changing your name so as not to cause confusion.
Do a Google search for similar names in your industry or region
Do some research on similar businesses in your industry. Are there any other companies with similar names? If so, find out more about them by visiting their website and checking out social media profiles (if applicable).
Try Out Different Combinations Until You Find One That Works
The last step is to narrow down your list of ideas and choose the best one. Start by eliminating names that are too general and words that are too long or complicated. Ask yourself if you can remember the name and how well it fits with your brand identity and goals.
If you’re looking for help naming your business, or if you need assistance creating a brand identity that will resonate with customers, ViviScape can help. Our team of branding experts know how to create brand names that stand out from the competition. Contact us today to learn more about our services and see how we can help take your business to the next level. Check out our branding packages!
Do you need help with branding? Let’s talk!