Ohhhhhh, the naming game. It's one of the hardest things we do.
Think about it! We put so much care into what we name our kids because we know that’s going to be their name for life.
We think about the heritage, how kids can make fun of it, and how it sounds with our last name.
But, when it comes to naming our businesses, I’ve seen so many people quickly pick a name and move on.
This is a mistake.
Things to consider when naming your business
- Is the name easy to say and easy to understand?
- Can you own the domain?
- Can you own the trademark (check the USPTO database to see if it’s available. I’ve had clients receive cease and desist letters because they didn’t check this. Not good.)
- Does it represent your brand?
- How many other companies have the same name?
- What does the word mean in other languages (if you’re an international brand.)
- What does the word mean to other people? (Ask at least 5–10 other people and get their first reaction.)
- Is it adaptable for the future? Will it grow with you?
Be patient. Naming is hard. It feels like everything has been taken. Be intentional.
Warby Parker Cofounder Neil Blumenthal says it took his team six months and 2,000+ options to find the perfect name.
Tips to finding a good business name
- Brainstorm - Start writing down why your brand exists and what it represents. Don’t forget your values. The name should represent all of these things.
- Analyze the competition - Make sure you understand the competition and how you can differentiate yourself from them through your name. There’s nothing worse than picking a name similar to a competitor. Nothing.
- Different types of categories for your name:
- Descriptive - Think about names that describe what you do. This helps when telling people about your business. They understand immediately what industry you’re in.
- Founder - Does the founder have a unique quality to their name? Think about using that!
- Metaphors - There are a lot of brands out there that use metaphorical names that represent a bigger idea. These can be places, people, or animals.
- Acronyms - These aren’t my favorite, but can be used to purchase a URL or as a shortener for everyday use.
- Made-up Words! - Make up your own word. Acura did this basing it off the word Acu which means “accurate”.
- Now go through the USPTO database and conduct Google searches for each of the names. If they are taken, start over. It sucks. I know. You’ll get frustrated. You’ll fall in love with something only to find out 10 other people have the same name.
- Think about these 4 Ss - Sticky, Short, Easy-to-Say. and Straightforward.
- Once you find something, test it with other people.
Name Brainstorm tools
- Domain Name Maker
- Names and logos (make sure it represents what you’re really about.)
Remember, your name will represent your brand. When people see or hear you name, what will it represent? Be patient. Be disciplined. Keep grinding.
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