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How To Name Your Startup

How To Name Your Startup
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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Have you ever heard people say, “What’s in a name?” Well, plenty if you consider that a name can convey personality and unique characteristics. The name is often associated with an image that you can relate to. This holds true for a brand name or in this case “the name of your startup”.

Naming is the first step towards bringing your business idea to fruition. Deciding on a name is often fraught with various problems. You find yourself scrambling to come up with a name that is accepted by the team and makes sure it is not being used by someone else. If you do manage to find a name you like, the chances of it being used or reserved by someone are quite high.

Yet finding the right name can make or break your startup. It has a tremendous impact on your success and a wrong brand can bring hurdles that may not get resolved. It’s quite possible that your brand name may fail to connect with your audience and convey a message that doesn’t align with your goals. However, picking up a name that is clear, concise, and powerful may connect with your audience easily, making your marketing and branding efforts a breeze.

Here are a few things to consider while naming your Startup.

Keep it short and sweet: Coming up with a name that can symbolize everything you want to say is not easy. To make it easier, all you need to do is keep it short, preferably less than three syllables. There are quite a few startups that are mega successes today. For e.g. Facebook, Twitter; Drop Box, Google, Tumblr, and others.

Opt for easy to spell names: Any name you pick should be easy to spell and remember. If your name is similar to another brand name, then it may create confusion in the minds of your customer. Brand recall becomes more difficult. It becomes tedious when you have to constantly correct the misspelled name. So keep it simple, concise and easy to spell.

Pick a name with a universal appeal: When you are looking for names, make sure they are not narrow in their focus, like “TraditionalwearGujarat or Ebooks.com”. Selecting such names would be limiting, and would not help you when it is time to expand your service offerings. It makes sense to avoid names that may enforce geographically or service option boundaries.

Research Thoroughly: Thinking of one name and a few options makes sense; however, doing so without proper research may do more harm than help you. You should conduct a thorough research of the names you have picked up over the Internet. Most often you will find someone else is already using the name for his or her business. This development may not be a showstopper, but should help you reassess your selection. You should also conduct a trademark search.

Get the right domain name: Industry experts find that .com domain names are the easiest to remember. Most potential consumers associate a .com domain name with an established business. This is not to say that other domain extension like .biz, .co, .org, and .net do not work. It is quite rare to find a .com domain not in use already, but for the right price you can always decide to buy the domain from the owner.

Check for domain availability on hosting sites such as GoDaddy.com, BigRock.com or NetworkSolutions.com.If the .com is taken, you can use these sites to track down the owner using the ‘whois’ tool. Do make sure you can have the same business name on popular social media sites.

Decide on a name that means something: Pick a business name that is meaningful and relates positively to your startup. Ask yourself, “Will my customer understand what my business is easy?” If you find an immediate answer then you have done what is needed. In some cases, abstract names may have some appeal as they are catchy, but your branding efforts may become a costly affair. A domain name like “Bookmyshow.com” is excellent as it conveys the meaning of the business instantly while being helpful in your search engine optimization efforts.

Get Feedback on your selection: Conduct a brainstorming session for names. Get feedback from friends and peers and your TG about various names selected and pick the most popular one that conveys your business idea instantly. Make sure your business name is catchy and appeals to your target audience with enthusiasm. 

Make sure you are happy with the name: All things said and done, as a business owner you should be happy with the name selected finally. The name you select is long-term and you will have to live with it, so do it right the first time.

Hopefully, you have considered the pointers above to come up with a name for your start-up. There are quite a few resources available online that help you with visualizing the look of your brand name. Try using tools such as VisualThesaurus, NameMesh, ShopifyBusiness, or Naminum to get the best name possible based on visuals, theme, etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edition: December 2016

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