Your New Business Name Should Be Memorable, Spell-able and Available

Your New Business Name Should Be Memorable, Spell-able and Available

Ah, the thrill and challenge of starting a new business! Choosing the perfect name for your venture is a crucial, yet often stressful, part of the journey. It’s about more than just a label; it’s about capturing the essence of your brand in a few catchy words. While it’s tempting to think all the great names are already taken, with a bit of creativity and strategy, you can find something that not only sticks but also stands out. I’ve worked alongside many small business owners, and I’ve picked up some stellar strategies for crafting a name that resonates. If you’re embarking on this exciting venture, here are some essential tips to guide your brainstorming session.

1. Know your brand promise

It’s easy to get caught up in the functionalities of what your product or service does, but let’s shift the focus a bit: How do you want your customers to feel when they think of your business? That’s your brand promise. Think of it as the heart of your brand, something that connects on an emotional level with your customers.

Get creative with a mind map to jot down everything that relates to what your business stands for—think descriptive words, emotions, and experiences. Take inspiration from the founders of Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, who, over a few beers, scribbled down words on cocktail napkins that resonated with their vision. Their choice? “Wood,” highlighting their method of grilling over a wood fire, and “Ranch,” evoking a sense of all-American, down-to-earth timelessness. Just like that, a name that embodies their brand’s essence was born.

2. Pick something that’s easy to say, spell, and remember

Your new business name needs to roll off the tongue, be a cinch to spell, and stick in the mind. Complexity can be your enemy here, especially if your business name includes uncommon spellings, numbers, or abbreviations. Remember, you want potential customers to easily find you, not struggle to recall or type your name. Consider the transformation of GotVMail into Grasshopper, a virtual phone solution. They opted for a change to ensure clarity and ease of spelling, particularly important since they frequently advertised on the radio. “It’s crucial that when people hear our name, they get it instantly,” they explained. This kind of thinking is what helps a name not just be heard, but remembered.

3. Gather Feedback from Your Target Audience

Once you’ve crafted a shortlist of potential names, it’s time to see how they resonate with your target audience. Stepping beyond the familiar circle of family, friends, and co-founders can provide invaluable insights. After all, these are fresh eyes and ears, unbiased and unaware of your product or service’s details. Rachael Miller, the creative mind behind Go Sports Jewelry, tapped into an intriguing group for feedback—NFL wives. She presented them with three different names and gauged their reactions on memorability, relevance to her jewelry designs, and how likely they were to remember the name in a noisy environment. This method not only tested the appeal of the names but also how they stood out in a real-world scenario.

4. Think Big: Choose a Scalable Name

It’s easy to pick a name that reflects your current offerings, but what about your future plans? A name too narrow or specific might hinder your business’s growth. Avoid names that are tied to a specific geographic location or product category, limiting future expansion. Melissa Kieling, the CEO of PackIt, faced a similar challenge while naming her freezable lunch bag company. Although her product featured innovative cooling technology, she chose a broader name to accommodate her vision for the brand’s expansion beyond just cooling solutions. She recognized that a name with wider appeal could better support her aspirations for the brand’s growth.

5. Ensure Legal Availability and Trademark Protection

Before you finalize your business name, make sure it’s legally available and can be protected through trademark. This step is critical to avoid future legal complications. Start by checking with your state’s secretary of state office to ensure no other registered business has the same name. Many states offer online databases for this purpose. Alternatively, consider using an online legal service to conduct this search.

Next, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to check for any existing trademarks or pending applications that might conflict with your chosen name. Finally, complete a thorough name search—either through an online service or by consulting with a lawyer—to discover any unregistered uses of the name at the state or county level. This comprehensive approach ensures that your business name is not only unique but also legally secured, paving the way for a strong and disputable brand identity.

6. Optimize for Online Presence

In today’s digital world, having a name that performs well online is as crucial as having one that’s legally available. When brainstorming names, consider how your choice will fare in search engines and on social media platforms. A unique and distinctive name can help ensure that your business pops up first in online searches, free from confusion with competitors.

Start by conducting basic Google searches to see what comes up with your potential names. It’s also wise to check major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to ensure your preferred name isn’t already in use. This can affect your brand’s visibility and marketing strategy.

Additionally, try to secure a domain name that matches your business name. A clear and direct domain name not only strengthens your online identity but also makes it easier for customers to find and remember you. Tools like domain name checkers can help you explore available web addresses that align with your chosen business name.

Check out the rest of the ‘Updated Ideas‘ site; there are some cool articles waiting for you! Fancy writing for us? Just give that contact button in the top right a tap. Cheers!

Your New Business Name Should Be Memorable, Spell-able and Available
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