How to name a company? This is one of the most basic yet essential dilemmas an entrepreneur faces when starting a business.
A good name not only is a cornerstone of a company but also an identity he or she would be identified with in the future.
Finding the right name for your startup will make a significant impact on your success.
It would be something that will make a considerable impact on your customers, and not to forget investors who you would need to impress so as to trust in your company.
When not researched or thought of correctly, the wrong name can do worse than just fail to connect with customers, it can lead you to huge legal hurdles.
Thus, it is very important to find a name that not only you and your customers can connect with, but something which makes your marketing and branding efforts a breeze.
Below are 7 tips on how to name a company successfully in your maiden attempt:
1) Avoid hard-to-spell names
According to Forbes, you don’t want your potential customers to get confused about how to find your business online.
A majority, if not all business are online these days and if you come up with a name that customers can’t even spell, forget about him/her trying to reach you online as he/she will constantly reach the wrong site.
Thus, keep it simple and something that is written exactly the way it sounds.
While names like FCUK might sound trendy and impressive to you, imagine going with that name to your investors or worse your customers constantly misspelling the name online and finding the “wrong meaning” while doing so.
2) Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows
When deciding – how to name a company, it is important to come up with a name that does not limit you.
While a name like “food online in Delhi” will help you connect with your customers who are looking for food on the internet and within the Delhi area, you don’t want to find yourself restricted to just one product or place when you expand in the future.
The above will only lead people to think that your product is limited to food items and that too just within the Delhi area.
3) Conduct a thorough Internet search
In this day and age it easier to find out if a name has been used before or is registered under some else.
When people ask others ‘how to name a company,’ the biggest drawback they are facing is that most of them are already taken.
Thus the best way to go about this is to search and eliminate.
Once you have zeroed in on certain names for your company, just a basic internet search would tell you if someone else globally has already thought of it and trademarked it.
Unfortunately, more often than not, you will find that someone else has already thought of the name and is using it.
While it might not be trademarked and you can still use it, it is still important to take a pause and think about the consequences before you decide if you still want to go ahead with the name.
Ten years down the line you don’t want to be in a position that you are fighting over the name or are forced to change your brand because someone else thought of it first and you didn’t do a basic internet search.
4) Get the .com domain name
While it’s important to register your company name as soon as possible, it is equally important to secure it online before anyone else does.
While ‘.co’ ‘.in’ or ‘.org’ gives a right ring to it, my personal thinking is that ‘.com’ will always have more impact as a customer would always think a ‘.com’ the name is of a more established business.
So try to secure the ‘.com’ a domain name for your business as soon as you can and if someone has already got your desired ‘.com’ name before you, try to negotiate with the domain owner and see if they are willing to sell their name to you for the right price.
While the above might sound like additional expenditure to you, think of it as a business investment as it will bring your company a huge boost.
You can always check on the availability of a domain name on sites such as GoDaddy.com and NetworkSolutions.com.
You can also use these sites to track down the owner of the domain name if it is already taken.
Besides the “.com” domain also don’t forget to make the desired business page on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
These days a customer searches your name on social media first and on search engines later.
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5) Use a name that conveys some meaning and/or is catchy
While it is a lot harder to get a name that is already not taken up. It is important to use a name that conveys some meaning.
A customer will always relate to a business if it has a logical meaning behind it.
In case you are not able to get a meaningful name of your choice and instead go with a name which is unique and something you just cannot get out of your head. Know it will stick with the customer but would be a lot harder to market.
There is no harm in going with a catchy name as long as it doesn’t harm your business or offends your customers.
There are plenty of examples of business names where the name itself has nothing to do with what the product does – Google, Coca-Cola, Apple, etc.
What these names do have is some appeal due to their catchiness. It may be easier to get a domain name with such kind of brand names, but it would also cost you a lot to brand and market it with your product.
Thus, it’s important to find a balance of things and find a name that is either meaningful to your product or is so catchy that your brand name gets associated with the product (example Kleenex – for tissues, Google for online search, iPod- for mp3 players).
6) Get feedback on the name
As mentioned above it is important to find a name that is meaningful and/or catchy. For this, you need to always assess if it’s catchy or meaningful to the customer.
Just because the name is meaningful to you or other owners of the business doesn’t mean it is appealing to the customer or your investors.
Thus, take feedback before you zero in on a name, make sure it’s not boring something that’s too “out there” and your employees are embarrassed to be associated it.
You don’t want your employees to be able to say where they work without hesitation, and you want your name to resonate with your target audience as well.
Thus, ask from a third point perspective, or come up with 5 or 10 names and then run them by other people such as your friends, family members, and trusted colleagues. If possible get feedback from your target audience and make sure that the name doesn’t have any negative connotations for your company.
For example, the car Mitsubishi Pajero was renamed to Montero in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries as Pajero in Spanish is a slang term for someone who masturbates.
7) Make sure you are personally happy with the name
Last but not least it’s important for you to be personally happy with the name. As the business owner, you will have to live with the name for a very long time and you don’t want to be unhappy with it. Yes, it is important to have a name that resonates with your customers but it is equally important that you associate with it and are proud of it.
Thus whenever the question – how to name a company pops into your head, take the time to get it right from the start and make sure to select a name that is right for everyone as it will have a huge impact on your customers, your employees and most importantly on you.
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