This is a guest article contributed by Grant Polachek.
You’re ready to launch! Except there’s only one small thing missing – the perfect name for your startup, product, app, etc. Coming up with a perfect name may seem like a daunting task. After all, the name needs to perfectly represent your vision in just one or two words.
Fortunately, with a bit of guidance, creating the perfect name isn’t out of reach. Squadhelp.com has helped create nearly 10,000 winning names; and to aid you on your naming journey, we’ve outlined our top ten tips for creating an evocative, memorable name;
Don’t bore customers with your name
Today’s average consumer is overwhelmed with companies and products all vying for their attention and business. Often, brands only have a few seconds to catch a customer’s attention before they move on. Choosing a dull name puts you at a disadvantage from the start – people are going to be drawn to an evocative name that resonate deeply and personally.
Take context into account
It’s easier to judge a name’s power when it’s placed in context. As an entrepreneur, you know it is essential to define the purpose, benefits, and objectives of your project before you name it. A great question to ask yourself is “Do I want this brand to fit in or stand out?”
Keep your name simple
You want your customers to be able to remember and pronounce your name, encouraging their friends or family to look it up on social media or online. We’ve all come across a business or brand name that we have no idea how to pronounce. These names are very difficult to remember. Creating brand awareness and recognition is hard – make it easier and reduce your marketing expenditure with a simple name.
Don’t be obscure when naming your startup
A brand that is witty can be very appealing to the right audience. However, when it comes to a name, don’t go for an obscure metaphor that only a handful of your target audience will be able to recall quickly. A difficult name means that you may be losing a potential sale from a referral, negatively affecting your bottom line.
Get help when naming your company
Don’t try to come up with the perfect name by yourself – brainstorming with others increases your chances of finding the best name. If you’re stumped, working with others will get the creative juices flowing and may mean you find the perfect name sooner. Having to explain your goals, brand, and mission to others will also aid you in honing the foundations of your project.
Check URL availability
Squadhelp has found that URL availability is the biggest naming roadblock entrepreneurs face while developing a great name. Before settling on a name, make sure that an appropriate URL is available for you to use to promote your great product. DO NOT let a domain dictate your business name. There are alternatives… eg. www.apple.com may be taken but you could get www.getapple.com etc. Launch.co is a great tool for finding alternative domains and Name Mesh.
Look at linguistics
In the naming industry, there are many stories of international companies whose name turned out to have an offensive meaning in another language. Even manufacturing giants like Finland’s Nokia have erred in this department – their Lumia cell phone is a term for a “lady of the night” in Spanish. You can see why names must be checked for linguistic conflicts.
Don’t forget research legality
When developing an awesome name, keep legal implications in mind throughout the entire naming process. Choosing a name that is already in use will not only negate your aim of being unique but may also cause legal trouble down the road. Consider hiring a professional to help you navigate trademark and other legal issues.
Keep your target audience in mind
Your target market should be at the forefront of your mind when brainstorming names. You want a name that your target audience will love to use – don’t get caught in the trap of trying to appeal to everyone. Tailor your name to fit your target market’s personality and desires. Designing your name to speak directly to your target market will have a significant impact on the success of your company.
Validate your name with your target audience
Even if you design your name with your target audience in mind, you still need to make sure it appeals to your preferred audience. Once you’ve narrowed your name down to a few options, run an online poll with your target demographic to help you understand which name connects with them more.
With these ten tips, we hope to transform your naming process from a daunting struggling into a fulfilling, exciting, and even fun process. Creating an evocative name can have tangible benefits on your startup’s success and bottom line in the future.
Looking for more tips? See SquadHelp’s Ultimate Guide to Naming your Business
Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp–transforming the way names and taglines are developed by combining an agency-level brainstorming process with the unmatched creativity of “the crowd.” His book How to Develop the Perfect Name for Just About Anything is available to Just Creative readers for free. Follow him on Twitter.