6 must-read naming tips for startups
It goes without saying that when starting out on a new venture, you want to get the name right. The styles and types of business names are wide and varied, so a good start point for identifying the right name is to avoid some of the common pitfalls.
So here are 6 straightforward questions to ask yourself when going through your list of ideas...
1. How does the name sound?
When you say the name out loud, for example when answering the phone, does it sound OK? Is the pronunciation obvious? Is it clear, or awkward? Does it sound credible, or maybe a bit dull? Does it sound quirky …or slightly embarrassing? Bear in mind that difficult-to-say names are also difficult to remember.
2. Is it future-proof?
Literal or descriptive names seem like a logical and safe choice at the outset, but can soon go out of date. Few startups ever predict the twists and turns their business will take in the future, so don’t choose a descriptive name that paints you into a corner from day one.
3. Is it short?
Short, single-word names – and short domains – are easier to remember than long ones, and are practical for an online world. Don’t make typing out your domain name and email address hard work for customers. (Shorter names make for better logos too.)
4. Is it too obvious?
Unfortunately, the names you first think of are usually the ones you should avoid. Using obvious, familiar terms means it’s highly likely that another business in your sector has the same (or similar) name – potentially causing confusion or even conflict. In any case, choosing a generic business name is missing a fantastic opportunity to build a brand.
5. Can you get the perfect .com domain?
Unless your business operates in an offline bubble, a great web address is pretty important. There are lots of reasons why a .com domain is still king, but perhaps the most compelling is that an available .com domain is a good indication of the rarity, possibly even uniqueness, of a business name. In turn this means humans – and search engines – will find it easier to find you.
6. How does it make you feel?
Whilst this question sounds cod-psychological, it’s arguably the most important of all. You don’t need to explain why you’ve chosen a name - it's your business! So, as long as it sits comfortably in the context of your market, “It just feels right” is a perfectly good enough reason for a name. Ditch cold logic, and go with your heart.
Answering these simple questions should help you filter out those 'so-so' names, and point you towards genuinely brandable business names that are distinctive, memorable, and have the potential to help turn a business into a brand.
Developing business names that could become brands is what Novanym is all about. Check out our collection of great business names - each with an available .com domain - that define 'brandable': Browse all names >