When formulating a great brand name for your business or its offering, consider the role it will play in your branding efforts. The name you choose for your business will be an extension of your brand, as it reinforces the value you provide. This is why it must be memorable.
There isn’t a shortage of options when you’re developing a name for your business, brand, product, or service. However, picking a name that stands out in the market can be difficult. Most businesses prefer the following options when picking a name:
- Make up a new word – Google
- Describe an image or experience – Sprint
- Use the founder or inventor’s name – Hewlett-Packard
- Take a word out of context – Apple
- Describe what you do – American Airlines
The name you choose is going to represent your business and the values it stands for, which is why it is important that you put in some time and effort to pick a great business name. It isn’t going to be easy, because coming up with a unique name for your brand that is captivating and stands out from the rest in the market can be tough.
It is a crucial decision for a brand as well, since the entire identity of the brand revolves around the name. It is like naming your child, because the name is going to stick with your business forever. That is why it is recommended that all entrepreneurs and startup business owners make this decision after considerable deliberation, research, and testing.
The Challenge of Picking a Great Business Name
The process of picking a memorable name for your business is incredibly challenging. There are more than 35 million businesses in the United States, and their business names are protected by U.S. trademark laws. So, if you finally manage to pick a name you like, make sure that it is original and isn’t being used by any other business in any form or variation.
If you infringe on a copyright, you will be forced to change your business name, which will mean discarding your entire branding and marketing strategy along with it. That is a setback which can easily derail your business plans and throw your business operations in limbo. You must also focus on your online marketing goals, because you will need a URL.
There are over 900 million domain names registered all over the world. Most experts believe that 99.9% of the dictionary has already been registered as a domain name. So, how do you overcome the challenge of picking a great business name that stands out in the market? Here are all the characteristics that your business must have to stand a chance:
Descriptive: Make the name sell the brand’s identity
The business name you choose must be descriptive, so ensure it manages to describe the business goals, approach, attitude, and industry. A descriptive name doesn’t mean that it should list down your products or services, but it must capture the benefits, the experience and the essence of the brand in a suggestive or oblique manner.
For example: Amazon.com chose a name that signifies immense growth and a wide, comprehensive service.
Clarity: Don’t send mixed messages
The feel and sound of your business name, should clearly suggest what the brand is all about. For instance, if your business name is NomNom, it suggests food. You can’t be running a financial service company with that name as this will be confusing.
To find clarity in your business name, assemble a list of buzzwords relevant in your niche or industry. For a financial services company, that list may include buzzwords, like “books”, “accounting” spreadsheets”, or “numbers”. A mixture of relevant words will trigger you to come up with a unique and relevant name.
Short: It needs to be easy to remember
According to researchers, the human brain can’t hold a lot of information at the same time, even though the ultimate capacity of the brain is virtually unlimited. However, it still faces a challenge when processing, storing, and preserving bits of information all at the same time. You don’t want to burden the brain with too much information, which is why short business names work so well. This is because short names improve fluidity of speech, increase catchiness, and are memorable.
Memorable: It should be easy to identify
The human brain is extremely bad at remembering names, since it stores them in its working memory compartment. The working memory, only stores information we are working on actively or in the present time and disregards all the rest. This means that working memory doesn’t keep track of everything that is happening simultaneously, which is why people forget things.
To be memorable, a business name needs to counteract the easy-in, easy-out tendency of the brain, and this can be done by anchoring the name to another sensation, attitude, or feeling. Some examples include the name of world-famous brands like Apple, Buffer, IBM, and Uber.
Unique: Yes, it must be unique
A unique business name is more likely to stick in people’s minds, because the goal for a brand name is to attract attention. All businesses are fighting for mindshare among their target audience. Those that fail to catch their attention, fail completely. The existence of the entire brand depends on its unique identity, especially as brand signals increase in the digital marketing space.
That means you will not achieve high rankings on search engines if you choose plain, organic and boring words like “hammer” or “spark”. Your business must set itself apart from others in the market, and the easiest way to do that is by using joining words to come up with a unique name or creating a new word. Whatever word you come up with should be simple, short, and memorable.
When you pick a name for your business or brand, you should stick with it. Don’t attempt to change that name in the future, since the entire soul and personality of a brand is in its name. Change the name and you lose the appeal and charm of the brand. This is why you must pick a brand name that you love, and one that meets all the requirements mentioned above.