You might think that you want to name your business something, but is it really a smart choice for the future success of your company? There are so many things to consider when choosing your company’s name that will have impact on your brand for years to come. Would it make much of a difference if Pepsi was called Fizzypop or if Apple was called Orange? Can we really place that much significance on a brand name?
Yes, we can. While it is not the singular factor that leads to your brand’s success or failure, it will certainly play an important role. Your company needs a name that will stand out in a crowd, remain in people’s mind and give them an idea of what you are about. It can’t be some impossible name that they can’t possibly spell to try to look up your company later when they are in front of their computer or have time to do some digging.
A bad company name can be a quick way to tank all of your best efforts.
Strategy Driven Marketing has experience naming our own companies and helping advise clients in doing the same. Here is what we have learned:
Trust Your Gut
You probably have some built in instinct when in comes to spotting a bad name or idea. Don’t doubt yourself much when it comes to editing names off the list or prioritizing some. If you think something is a bad idea, someone else (or a lot of people) will probably agree.
Don’t Solicit Too Many Opinions
Sometimes we feel too close to the situation to want to make a decision like this. We have dreamed, brainstormed and planned around this for some time and we just can’t seem to get out of our own way. Be careful to choose who you ask for advice. We all offer our own unique perspective, but asking for too many perspectives can be more confusing than ever. Keep your focus group small and try to choose those who can offer a perspective that can come from experience that can be of help to your overall success.
Don’t Copy Others
Don’t copy others. Don’t be obscure. Don’t be generic. Your name needs to be memorable, but you shouldn’t assume that since a name worked for someone else that it will work for you. Don’t be too random where someone wouldn’t be able to hear it in passing and remember and look it up later. The same can be said for names that are too general. Be memorable, but not too unique to confuse people.
What’s in a Domain?
Before you get too attached to a business name you are wise to look into available domains. Any time we are looking into naming a new business the first window we pull up is GoDaddy. The worst thing you can do is get married to a name that has no viable domain options. There are a lot of websites out there, so a surprising amount of the domains you would go after are taken. Make sure to keep your domain as simple and easy to remember as possible. Make sure it relates as closely as possible to your business name. Some companies go the non-.com avenue to get the name of their choosing, but we are strictly .com all the way. If we can't get a .com based on the company name we have been planning on we would rather choose another name.
We live and breathe by Google. Don’t know how to do something? Google. Don’t know how to spell something? Google. Want to freak yourself out with some minor medical symptom and find out you probably have a headache, but also may have a brain tumor? Google. Just kidding, but a major part of our process when choosing a new company name includes Google. This does a few things. It shows you if there are any competitors in your industry with a similar or the same name. Forget competitors, what other search results come up when searching your potential new company name. How much competition will you have for organic SEO and ranking? All of this plays an integral role in choosing a name.
Think about your company. Make a list of names that you have been tossing around. Get on GoDaddy and check available domains for each. Google your potential company names. Through this process we find that your list will be narrowed down quickly. Often, the names that you began with will be completely eliminated and you will have to get creative. Once narrowed, review your options and choose 2-3 names. Next step is running those names by your attorney or whomever you may be using to form your legal entity and verify your name is also available in the form of the legal business name you may seek.
We have started a few businesses in our day. We have learned a lot from good choices and also the bad. Let our lessons help you save some money and avoid some of the hassle. Let’s jump on a quick call to discuss whatever phase you are at and help guide you to making some smart choices for your marketing efforts that lead to growth. Contact SDM today!