Starting a business is one of the best things anyone can do for themselves. It comes with so many perks and advantages if and only if you do things right. And one of the basic things that have to be done right is naming your company. It may seem like an easy thing to do, especially if you have every other aspect of your business figured out. But once you start brainstorming, you may discover you need some help on how to think of a company name.
Having a great business name can go a long way in influencing how far your business goes.
A great company name will bring several advantages and perks to your business, especially brand identity and awareness.
That’s to say, when you have a catchy company name, your clients or customers will easily remember your business.
This is why naming your company should not be taken lightly.
You should not be casual about this.
Neither should you take the easy path.
It would be very wrong of you to copy just any company name and then alter it.
You need to make sure your company name is as unique as possible.
And you can achieve this if you follow certain tips and guidelines when thinking of your company name.
Luckily, all these will be discussed below.
Tips on How to Think of a Company Name
When thinking of a company name, there are several options available to you.
For instance, you can take the easy path and simply get your company name from a company name generator.
But this is not such a great idea because your company brand will rely largely on its name.
It will be counterproductive to just take the easy way out without putting enough thought into this process.
Another option available to you would be to consult a business that offers branding services.
This is a great option only if you are willing to spend a lot of money.
As a new business, spending that much money on getting your company name may be the last thing on your mind.
Surely, there are other aspects of your business that will benefit more if you were to spend that much money on it.
But if you can afford it, this option is an easy path that will provide desirable results.
However, if you would rather not spend that much, then you have to put on your thinking hat.
You will need a lot of patience and thinking to arrive at the perfect company name.
But you can do it and the tips below will help you…
1. Make Sure it is Unique
Being unique is great for business.
You have to stand out from the crowd rather than blend in with everyone else.
People should not look at your company name and then proceed to forget all about it.
Rather, they should stop, look at your company name, and be compelled to know more about your business.
One way you can achieve this is to think of a name that is unique and sticky.
Sticky in the sense that it will get glued to your target audience’s subconscious.
Having a unique company name comes with many benefits.
Firstly, it will draw the attention of potential customers.
Another benefit is that it will help spread your company’s awareness.
When you have a unique company name, people who see it will become interested in it and trust us, they will surely mention it to people around them.
And if your services are top-notch, people will always attribute great services to your brand whenever it comes up.
Lastly, having a unique company name will ensure no other business will pose as your business to enjoy the benefits of your labor.
2. Be Original
Aside from being unique, your company name also needs to be original.
So, as you think of your company name, ensure you stay original.
You do not want to follow a common format that almost everyone uses to name their company.
But as much as you want to be unique, you should not go over the top with this.
Being overly unusual will make people look twice.
But it may be for the wrong reason; for instance, they may be confused and them taking note of it may be because they are wondering why the name is so absurd.
Your company name should be easy to remember, pronounce, and even write down.
So, it will be best to avoid deliberate misspellings.
A lot of entrepreneurs often make this mistake and they usually end up regretting it because of how it tends to backfire.
For instance, potential clients may be trying to reach your company via its official website.
But because they cannot properly spell your business name, they won’t be able to find it online.
Some people may keep trying until they finally get it.
But this is just the minority.
A lot of people would give up after a while and simply take their business to another company; needless to say, a company with an easy-to-type name.
Aside from this, when a name is too unusual that it’s difficult to pronounce, it may hardly come up in conversations.
Some people may even think the name sounds too unprofessional and childish.
You can do the following when thinking of an original name for your company.
Draw Inspiration from Books
If you are into books, then you can draw inspiration from them to get your company name.
You could flip through your hardcopy dictionary and write down some words that jump at you.
You could also check novels; you do not necessarily need to read them.
Just like with the dictionary, flip through the pages of your best novels and then write out words that you like.
These words do not even need to relate to your business.
At the end of the day, check the list of words you have and then select your favorite.
You can then tweak it.
There are several keyword tools that you can use to explore keywords to get ideas for your company name.
All you need to do is search for any relevant keyword (that is something that relates to your business) on the tool.
The tool will then bring up other words that relate to the keyword you searched for.
You can then draw inspiration from the words supplied to you.
You can achieve originality through wordplay.
Your company name will not just be original in this case, but it may also be humorous and easy to remember.
For instance, for a shoe repair company, the name Sole Man is quite catchy, funny, and original.
So, try some wordplay and see if you can get a clever and original name for your company.
3. Ensure the Name is Meaningful and Relates with Your Business
Your business name should convey some meaning.
It should not be a string of phrases that will leave people confused.
You want a company name that is unique, original and conveys a message.
You also want a name that is relevant to your business.
Imagine running a FinTech company but the name of the company is FinEat.
This won’t cut it and some people may think your business is a joke once they get to understand the business behind the name.
Sure, a lot of successful companies like Yahoo and Google have names that are not meaningful nor relevant to the business.
But they ended up successful because they were able to pump a lot of money into their branding efforts.
If you go with a name that is meaningless and/or irrelevant to your business, you would have to spend a whole lot of money on branding.
But a meaningful and relevant name can be so helpful for your SEO effort.
For example, the name OnlineTickets is simple, conveys meaning, and can be quite helpful for SEO.
4. Ensure its Future-proof – How to Think of a Company Name
Another thing you need to do is ensure your company name is future-proof.
Change is one thing that is constant in the business world and even the world in general.
Who knows, you may need to expand your business in the future.
The last thing you would want at that point is a company name that would be limited in scope.
For example, let’s say your company at this point is meant to make women’s clothes.
But you have a vision to eventually make men’s clothes too sometime down the line.
In this case, it would be quite limiting if your company name is something like “Veek’s Women Fashion World”.
Imagine when you eventually expand your business into the men’s fashion world with this company name.
Therefore, take your time to ensure your company name will stay relevant even if your business goes through changes.
This will include not using product categories, particular geographical locations, and so on in your company name.
5. Be Simple – How to Think of a Company Name
Simplicity is necessary when thinking of a company name.
When you have an overtly complex company name, it may be difficult to remember, spell, or even pronounce.
And this can have a big negative impact on your business.
So, ensure to keep it as simple as possible.
Avoid making the name too wordy.
When it’s unnecessarily long, people will have a hard time remembering it.
If it’s possible, make the name just two or at most four syllables.
Also, avoid using special characters.
This is because special characters may affect your searchability, and this would impede your brand awareness.
6. Ensure It’s User-friendly – How to Think of a Company Name
It does not matter whether you made up the name of your company or it’s a word that is already in existence.
One thing that matter is whether or not the name is user-friendly.
So far, it’s been mentioned here and there that your company name should be easy to remember, spell, and even pronounce.
This is what it means for a company name to be user-friendly.
You need to be sure that your customers will be able to find you without having to think too much about how to spell your company thing.
Do the following to ensure your company name is user-friendly.
One sure way to ensure the general public will be able to comfortably use your selected company name is to ask those around you.
Tell some of your close and trusted family and friends and see how they react.
If you tell them the name(s) and they give you a confused look, burst out into laughter (because some people would), ask you a million questions about the name, or out rightly tell you that they do not think it’s such a great idea, then you may need to rethink using the name.
However, do not make your decision based on the reply of just one person.
If one out of five people thinks the name is a terrible idea, then maybe it’s not a bad idea.
But if three out of five people tell you this, then you do not even need to keep considering it.
Plus, you should also make sure these people give you an honest opinion.
Tell them how important it is that they speak the truth.
Encourage them to give their unbiased constructive criticism without being scared of hurting your feelings.
Test the Name Using Different Mediums
You need to be sure of how the name ideas sound and also look.
And the only way to properly do this is to test it using different mediums.
Speak out the name, put it in sentences, and listen to how it sounds.
Put your name ideas on your company logo design; if you have one already, and if you do not, simply create a mock design and see how it looks.
Write it out on a piece of paper.
Draft an email and add the name to it.
All of these will make your name idea feel real and this can help you decide whether or not it’s a great fit for your company.
Translate it into Other Languages
A company name idea may mean something wonderful in your language.
But in another language, it may mean something bad.
So, before deciding on a name for your company, ensure it is user-friendly by translating it into other languages.
A simple Google search can help you with this.
7. Ensure It’s Available
It will be quite sad and even frustrating to finally decide on a company name just to then find out that some other business has taken it already.
This is why availability is another important factor you should consider when thinking of a company name.
Do your due diligence and be sure that the name you are considering is still available.
Make sure the name has not been trademarked.
Your online presence is also important in our present world.
So, you also need to make sure the name you are contemplating is still available as an online domain.
8. Ensure You Love it
As much as your company name is meant to resonate with your customer base, it has to also resonate with you.
You should be able to look at your company name and be filled with pride.
If you choose a company name that you do not like, let alone love, it may affect how you see your business.
And this would in turn affect how you operate your business.
Take your time to brainstorm and make do the necessary research before you finally decide on your company name.
This will make you feel proud whenever you see or hear the name.
It will also serve as a source of motivation.
Whenever things get rough down the road, looking back at how you came about the business idea and name can prompt you to keep pushing on.
Therefore, do not take shortcuts when thinking of a company name.
Rather, patiently go through the necessary procedure till you arrive at what you’d come to love and be proud of.
Types of Company Name – How to Think of a Company Name
There are six types of company names that you can pick from when thinking of a company name for your business.
People’s Real Names
Some entrepreneurs named their company after themselves and you can try it too.
You can use your family name, your name, or even that of your spouse as your company name.
Some popular businesses named after people include McDonald’s, Air Jordan, and Taco Bell.
You can create your business name by joining two words together.
Examples of businesses with compound names include Airbnb, Coinbase, Paypal, and FroYo.
Abbreviations and acronyms are quite common when it comes to company names.
Some popular ones include BMW (Bavarian Motor Works), AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph Company), and MAC (Make-up Art Cosmetics).
So, if you have a lengthy-phrase name idea, consider making it shorter and catchier by abbreviating it.
Matter of Fact
You can make your company name clear by simply coming up with a name that addresses the purpose of the business.
But this can be tricky if you intend to expand your company later on.
So, if part of your business vision is entering a new market or niche down the line, then this may not be such a great idea.
Examples of companies with matter-of-fact names are Car2Go, Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts, and DoorDash.
You can simply make up a word from your imagination as your business name.
Several big companies have coined words as their names like Google, Skype, Kodak, Etsy, and so on.
But keep two things in mind if you choose this option.
One, ensure you consider all the tips discussed so far and ensure your coined word meets up to them.
Simply put, ensure the word is easy to remember, spell, and pronounce.
Secondly, know that you may need to spend more money on branding if you want to use a made-up word as your company name.
Finally, on the list are misspelled names.
This is done by deliberately spelling a word wrongly or by just skipping a vowel or vowels.
Good examples of this are Tumblr, MNDFL, and Xero.
But remember, this may not be the best option for your business because names like these are often somewhat difficult to spell and pronounce.
So, if you are going with this option, ensure you keep things as simple as possible, a good example, in this case, is Lyft.
Thinking of a company name may not be so easy.
But with the right tips and guidance, it is possible.
So, ensure you take advantage of the tips discussed in this article to make things easier for yourself.