October 13, 2021

October 31, 2018

Naming your Business

Strategy

October 13, 2021

Naming your Business

Strategy
If we could tell you one thing about naming your business it’s that a good name won’t make or break your business, but a bad one might.

That’s not meant to scare you, but it should make you consider a few things while brainstorming names for your business. A business’s name is an important piece of creative content that should be treated as such. In this blog post, we’ll look at the strategy behind choosing a name, things to consider and the process of claiming your business’s new name.

October 13, 2021

Naming your Business

Strategy
If we could tell you one thing about naming your business it’s that a good name won’t make or break your business, but a bad one might.

That’s not meant to scare you, but it should make you consider a few things while brainstorming names for your business. A business’s name is an important piece of creative content that should be treated as such. In this blog post, we’ll look at the strategy behind choosing a name, things to consider and the process of claiming your business’s new name.

What's in a name?

A name is the communication piece that will be used the most for your business. It’s the one thing that is always used to communicate who you are through word of mouth.

One reason you may be considering business names is if you are starting a new business. Another reason may be if your business is undergoing a rebrand and your existing name has become a communication hurdle. You may know you have a communication hurdle related to your name when you can’t properly communicate what your business is and what it does or there’s a misconception about what you do because of your current name.

A good name is brief and easy to pronounce and spell. Like any important piece of creative content, it’s not boring. Usually, a good business name is one that fits your industry and is relatively short. Just like a logo or other creative deliverables, a good name is backed by brand strategy. It aligns with brand values.

Part of the branding process

Your business’s name is part of its brand. Like any other brand element, a name should be chosen based on information from the brand strategy process.

For more about the “Branding Process” and the importance of brand strategy, read our blog post by clicking here.

After undergoing a brand strategy process, you should have a better idea about your business’s creative direction for deliverables. Long after the branding process ends, you’ll continue to use this information as a roadmap for strategic decision making for things like goal setting, company culture and other decisions.

Your business name is one of the first strategic decisions you will make based on the branding process.

Finding your name

When you get to the naming process, you should have a strong sense of your brand. That will steer you during naming.

When we take a business through our naming process, we start by creating a word cloud. First, we define categories based on information that came out of the brand strategy process. Categories can be things like “industrial,” “restaurant,” “nostalgic,” and “location-based.” Once we have our categories, we jot down all types of words that could be used for or help build mental a path to the name. No idea is bad. Write them down.

Next, using the words from the first step, we start generating name ideas. Names are placed in different groups: playful, descriptive and hybrid (mashups of words to create a name). When you have a good, healthy amount of possible names, start crossing out some. Whittle it down to your top five names.

Finally, evaluate your top five names based on 7-10 qualifiers, things like: Is it memorable? Is it easy to read/pronounce/spell? Compare each name against these qualifiers and give them scores on each, using a 1-5 scale (1=lowest, 5=highest). When you’re done, tally up the numbers and see which one has the highest overall score.

If you reach the end of this process and you still don’t have a name, try again. Start over and repeat the process with new names. Use the experience and knowledge gained in the last round to push through again. Naming is hard. Sometimes it is a stroke of genius, but most of the time it is persistence that brings out the best name.

Our blog post on “Creative Thinking Techniques” may help navigate the process, click here to read more.

I've got it! 

By the end of the naming process, you should emerge with two or three names that you like. Once you’ve found a name you like, try it out then do some research. Bounce it off friends and family to get their feedback. Do a quick online search to see what comes up. Next, search trademarks and patents. Check available URLs.

By this point, you should have a name that rises to the top. Once you feel confident with your choice, secure your chosen name with the Secretary of State and select and secure a domain name.

Congratulations, you have a name for your business! This is a big step.

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We’re always eager to talk branding with interested business owners.

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