by Khalan Bridges
The spark of entrepreneurial inspiration can be a rush, but with it comes a slew of obstacles. Before opening the proverbial doors to your online business, the first hurdle that must be overcome is naming your business.
Though selecting business names may sound easy enough, there are many styles and approaches to consider (not to mention the contradictory opinions of just about every person you know). Don’t panic! Using these 7 Golden Rules For Naming Your Business will enable you to identify and objectively evaluate the most successful and memorable names for your business.
1. Keep it Short
We live in a fast-paced digital world where advertisements are prevalent, time is precious, and attention spans are truncated. In this environment, consumers are quick to ignore or to move on. Make it easier for your potential clients to remember you by selecting a concise name, small enough to fit neatly in their short-term memory banks.
Example: Kevin’s Long Island Fence Manufacturing Emporium >>> Fence Emporium
2. Make it Clear
In the online startup community, trendy business names with alternative spellings are becoming more and more predominant. It makes sense; many popular names are already in use. However, if taken to the extreme, this style of naming can actually harm your company by confusing your customers and making your business harder to find. To avoid this naming blunder, aim for no more than one spelling change or alternate pronunciation. If you need assistance determining if your selected name is too difficult to spell or pronounce, gather a small group of colleagues for input.
Example: Onlyn Biznouz >>> Online Biz
3. Give it Meaning
Your business name is the first glimpse your future customers will have into your particular style and service. Don’t waste this first impression by sitting quietly in the corner. Like that cool shirt you wear to networking events (the one with the palm trees and hula girls on it), use your name as an icebreaker to give your clients an idea of what your company is all about. Consider including words, pieces of words, or foreign phrases that provide insight into the unique qualities of your business.
Example: Teaching & Stuff >>> Illuminated Minds
4. Find your Catch
Advertising jingles may have irritating qualities, but they are also catchy. This is why you find yourself unintentionally singing about auto parts in the shower. To give your business name a similar catchy quality without the irritation, try employing a linguistic device. Some useful tools to improve the memorability of your name are: rhyming words, repeating vowel sounds, and matching first or last letters. Including industry-specific terms is another useful way of attracting desired customers.
Example: Packaged Things for Occasions >>> Gift Givers
5. Skip the Hip
Staying up-to-date with current trends can certainly enhance your startup’s exposure. However, since fads are ever changing, choosing a name that relies heavily on a current trend may negatively impact the longevity of your business. To avoid losing your cool or getting lost in the past, aim for a more timeless name.
Example: Hashtag Marketing >>> Social Marketing
6. Stay on Top
To give your business an extra advantage in directory searches, keep in mind that alphabetizing is the most common sorting method. A great way to improve the visibility of your brand is by selecting a name that begins with one of the first letters in the alphabet.
Example: Zack’s Guitars >>> Ace Guitars
7. Get the Domain
Like any business owner, you want to find a prime location to attract customers. You wouldn’t set up shop in the middle of an uninhabited desert or on the edge of a steep, jagged cliff; you want to be on Main Street. In internet terms, this means using the most globally recognizable extension — the .com. Acquiring the matching .com domain name for your business can greatly improve your chances of being seen and trusted.
Example: Any Business >>> AnyBusiness.com
With these rules as your aid, you are now prepared to make educated naming decisions. Now go forth, and name on! Please feel free to share your naming ideas in the comments below.
Khalan Bridges is a Sales & Marketing Associate for BrandBucket, the business name marketplace built for lean startups. Founded by entrepreneurs who envisioned a place where new businesses could browse for names specifically chosen for brand appeal, BrandBucket offers a curated list of memorable and pronounceable names that include a .com domain and a professionally-designed starter logo.