5 Tips for Naming Your Startup

December 1, 2015

11:00 am

You’ve done your market research, written your business plan, and conquered many other tasks related to launching your startup. You’re confident about your products and services, and you feel as if you are headed down the path to success. Things are looking great, but there are still many details to be hammered out.

One of these details is the name of your startup. What are you going to call your business? It’s an important decision. After all, you can’t launch your website without a company name. It’s also quite difficult to put together marketing content, draw up contracts, and do many other tasks until you come up with a name. Your challenge is to come up with a name that is memorable and reflects your brand. This isn’t an easy task, but you can do it. Just check out these 5  tips for choosing the perfect name for your startup.

1. Write It, Read It, Say It Out Loud…

When you think of a name, put it to the test before you make a final decision. Write it out as a URL. Say the name out loud. Look at the first letter of each word. Look the business name up on Urban Dictionary. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Could somebody find something unintentionally funny or offensive in this name?
  • Could somebody confuse my business with another?
  • Is my business name too long to remember?
  • Is there a potential nickname that customers might use that is undesirable?

The point is this: don’t invest time and money in a name until you are sure that there is nothing about the time that is going to cause you problems or embarrassment in the future.

2. Make Sure It’s Available

There may be nothing less regrettable than investing in a name only to find that the domain name has been taken, or that another business is operating under the same or similar name. Consider using a service such as Popcentric to check the name availability and get some suggestions for your startup’s business name. This way, you will be certain that there won’t be any naming conflicts.

3. Avoid Net Speak or Slang

Stick with names that are spelled in a straightforward manner. Don’t leave users wondering if they should use ‘4’ , ‘for’, or ‘four’ when searching for your name on the Internet. Don’t leave out the ‘e’ if a word in your business name ends in ‘er’. By all means, avoid slang, otherwise your business name might be outdated in just a couple of years.

4. Google It

Try searching for your business name on Google, and check it out through Google Adwords. What you want to verify is that there isn’t another business or online entity with a similar name. If there is, this could cause confusion when people are trying to locate your business on the internet.

5. Don’t Do It Alone

If possible, work with at least one other person when you are selecting a name. They came help you brainstorm potential names, and provide you with feedback as you are working your way through your choices. Ideally, your partner in name selection will be somebody who understands your vision and your branding intent.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She’s slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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