Naming a new business can feel like an even bigger challenge than coming up with an original idea in the first place. You need something that describes what you do, complements your goals and, most importantly, speaks to your target audience.
Deciding on a name is the first step towards creating a brand and establishing its identity. It will stay with you for the foreseeable future and, with a bit of luck, become something your dream clients recognise and relate to. It’s not exactly a simple task and it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed, so here are a few ideas to help you get started…
DEEP DIVE INTO WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO
If you want to come up with a name that reflects your brand in an authentic way, you need to start by asking yourself some key questions:
What do you want to communicate to potential customers?
What are the main keywords within your industry? (Think about the type of work you do and some of the services you intend to offer)
What makes your work valuable?
How are you different to competitors? What makes you stand out?
Who are you trying to reach? (Think about your ideal client and be as specific as possible)
How would you describe your brand’s personality? (Think of 2-3 words to sum it up e.g. fun, playful, sophisticated, elegant, modern, timeless, dynamic etc)
BRAINSTORM, THEN BRAINSTORM SOME MORE
This is the fun part! Using your answers to the questions above, play around with language, ideas and feelings. Make a list of words and mix and match them to create a name. It’s important to consider phrases associated with your industry AND think outside the box. Anything goes, as long as it makes sense to your ideal client.
Cast the net wide and seek out plenty of inspiration. As well as Google and Wikipedia, try leafing through a thesaurus, listening to song lyrics and reading poetry. You want your business name to be meaningful and positive. It should hint at what your business stands for and evoke an emotional response.
You need to give people a clue as to what you do, but it’s wise not to limit yourself. Think about how you’d like your business to develop and grow. Descriptive words are great, but you should be wary of fencing yourself in.
Keeping things simple, short and sweet tends to make them more memorable. It’s also a good idea to avoid trends and consider ease of pronunciation.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you settle on a name for your business, it’s absolutely vital you ensure there are no competitors (local, national or worldwide) that share the name.
You also need to make sure it’s available to buy as a domain (look out for weird URLs) and as a handle across all social media platforms. If it isn’t, you may need to get creative with an abbreviation or go back to the drawing board completely.
Finally, practice saying the name out loud a few times. You might want to mock-up a logo or create some stationery to see how your new name will look in print.