Everyone instantly recognizes the big company brand names. Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Target, and Google are no strangers to the media or to us; since these names are so well regarded they’re at household item status. But the question is how did those companies get to be the huge, widely known brands that they are now? For established businesses and start-ups alike, it all starts with a name. A business’s name can oftentimes help to seal its success. A good, catchy name is a great way to get your business’s foot in the door when it comes to starting out on a successful note.
The science that goes into naming a business can be tricky stuff, especially since there are currently 252 million domain names registered online. There’s a lot of pressure in naming the thing you’re about to give 100% of your occupational life to and to do so in a way that is unique, easy to spell and sound out, and not already taken by another company.
I’m pretty seasoned in the world of start-up names so here are a few of my personal tips to help your business, and its name, stand out.
Pick a name that defines youWhen naming your business, you want a potential customer to look you up online, or walk by your storefront and instantly get a good idea of what it is you do and (more importantly) how you do it. If you’re in the business of building furniture, and you only do so from oak trees, that’s great fuel for a very specific name, even in a name as simple as Frank’s Oak Furniture (provided your name is Frank, of course). You should always strive for creativity and uniqueness as much as possible, but make sure not to be so obscure that your audience won’t even grasp what it is you’re conveying.
Make sure no one else has that nameOnce you pick out a name for yourself, pick four more just in case. Before you can finalize your business’s name, you’ll want to make sure the name you choose does not infringe on any third-party rights. This is good for you, as well as other businesses in your industry. You should contact a trademark attorney to conduct a thorough search and advise on possible trademark registration of your name.
Build your brandOnce you’ve established and protected your business’s name, the next step is to begin building your brand. It’s now your job to help your business live up to the name you’ve given it and you can do this through a series of different channels including outstanding customer service and the help of social media. Social media has created a special medium of communicating back and forth to your customers. It’s given your business the ability to have a voice and a personality. You have all the tools to give your business the best sort of voice possible, now it’s up to you to create that dialogue.
By mastering the science of naming your business (and trust me, it can be done!) you'll set yourself up for success.