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You are all set for the launch. However, there’s just one small thing missing – the perfect name for your product, startup, app, etc. Finding the right name can seem like a daunting task because it has to represent your vision perfectly in just a few words.
Fortunately, it is not hard to come up with the perfect name, but only with the right guidance. To aid you on your naming journey, here are the top 10 tips for creating a memorable and evocative name from a business that has been involved in the creation of close to 10,000 winning names:
Don’t Allow Your Name to Bore Your Customers
The average consumer of today is overwhelmed with products and companies all vying for his/her business and attention. Brands often have just a few seconds to capture the attention of customers before they move on. If you choose a dull name, you will be putting yourself at a disadvantage from the start – people will naturally be drawn to a catchy name for business, that resonates personally and deeply.
Take Context into Account
It is much easier to judge the power of a name if it is placed in proper context. As an entrepreneur, you are aware of the importance of defining the benefits, purpose and objectives of the project before naming it. A very important question you need to ask yourself is whether you want your brand to stand out or fit in.
Keep It Simple
You obviously want customers to be capable of remembering and pronouncing your name as well as encouraging their families or friends to look it up online or on social media. You have probably come across a brand or business name that you were unable to pronounce. Such names are usually very hard to remember. It might be hard to create brand awareness and recognition, but a simple name makes it easier and reduces your marketing expenditure.
Avoid Being Obscure When You Name Your Company
A witty brand can be quite appealing to the right audience. However, when it comes to naming, avoid going for an obscure metaphor that just a small percentage of your target audience will be able to recall quickly. A difficult name means that you could be losing a potential sale from a referral, thus affecting your bottom line in a negative way.
Seek Help When You Name Your Company
Avoid trying to come up with the perfect name yourself. Your chances of finding the perfect name will be increased if you brainstorm with others. If you are stumped, working with other people will help get the creative juices flowing and could mean finding the perfect name sooner. Explaining your mission, brand, and goals to other people will also help you hone the foundations of the project.
Check the Availability of a URL
The greatest naming roadblock faced by entrepreneurs when coming up with a name is the URL availability. Prior to settling on a particular name, ensure that a suitable URL is available for use in promoting your product, service, app, etc. Avoid letting the domain name dictate your business name. Alternatives are always available. For instance, www.apple.com might be already taken, but www.getapple.com could still be available. Name Mesh and Launch.co are great tools for finding alternative domain names.
Check the Linguistics
The naming industry is full of stories of international brands whose name turned out to have an offensive meaning in a different language. Even manufacturing giants such as Nokia have erred in this – The brand used the term Lumia for its cell phone line, which is a term for “lady of the night” in Spanish. It is obvious why names need to be checked for linguistic conflicts.
Research the Legality
When you develop an awesome name, don’t forget to keep the legal implications in mind throughout the whole naming process. Finding a name that’s currently in use not only negates your aim of being unique but may lead to legal problems later on. You need to consider hiring a professional to help you navigate various legal issues such as trademarks.
Don’t Forget About the Target Audience
The target market should always be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to brainstorming names. It is important to choose a name that your target audience will love using – avoid getting caught in the trap of attempting to appeal to everybody. Customize the name to fit the desires and personality of your target market. Designing your name to speak to the target market directly will have a significant impact on your company’s success.
Validate the Name with the Target Audience
Even if you have designed the name with the target audience in mind, it is still important to ensure that it appeals to them. After you narrow down the name to just a few options, run a poll online with the target audience to help you understand which name connects better with them.
The tips provided here will hopefully transform your naming process from a daunting struggle into an exciting, fulfilling, and perhaps even fun process. Creating an evocative name can have tangible benefits on the success of your startup as well as your bottom line in the future.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.