What’s one piece of advice you’d give a new entrepreneur about naming their business, and why?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Choose Something Memorable and Meaningful
A memorable name stands out, making it easier for customers to recall. A meaningful name reflects your business’s essence, aiding in brand identity and customer understanding. It’s a crucial part of your brand’s story.
2. Consider How It Aligns With Your Business Model
When naming your business, consider how it aligns with your specific business model and customer reach strategy. For instance, if you’re focusing on e-commerce and rely heavily on SEO, choose a name that’s likely to perform well in search engine results. The right name can resonate with your target audience and enhance your online visibility.
3. Get Feedback From a Diverse Group
Survey friends and colleagues for their feedback on your business name. Take a vote. Diverse perspectives can highlight potential misunderstandings, cultural sensitivities and market appeal. This will ensure the name resonates broadly and avoids unforeseen issues, crucial for branding success.
4. Highlight What Your Business Does
I encourage new entrepreneurs to choose business names that are, above all, descriptive. Someone who is hearing about your business for the first time should have a general idea of what you do. I think it’s also valuable to spend time making your business name short and punchy. Work on finding more and more compact variations of the names you like.
5. Try to Stick to a Single Word
Go with a single-word name that is easy to remember, as it may help you get more mindshare and facilitate a strong brand recall. So, avoid a name that’s hard to memorize. People come across a ton of promotions and marketing messages on a daily basis. Make it easier for them to remember you, as it will help you drive better results from your marketing efforts and score more sales.
6. Ensure It Translates Well in Other Languages
If you’re in the process of naming your business, make sure your business name translates well in other languages. Most brand leaders dream of going international, so it’s easy to see why this step is so important. For example, you don’t want to choose a name that translates to something inappropriate in another language.
7. Check Whether or Not It’s Trademarked
Use the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark search to make sure it is not taken. Even if it is, you are generally OK if the name is in a different class. You should consult with an attorney before the final decision though to avoid any legal issues down the road.
8. Work Backward From the Problem You Solve
Forget the perfect name; chase the perfect problem and work backward to find your business name. A catchy handle can’t save a business built on shaky ground. Find a pain point people crave relief from, and then name accordingly.
9. Prioritize Simplicity and Relevance
When naming your business, prioritize simplicity and relevance. A simple name ensures easy recall and pronunciation, which is vital for word-of-mouth marketing and brand recognition. Using a name relevant to your business or industry aids in immediately conveying what your business is about, making it easier for potential customers to connect with your brand.
10. Ensure the Name Is Available on All Platforms
When deciding on the name of your business, you should check for its availability on all relevant platforms. Not only should you check if you can legally register the name, but you should also check for the domain’s availability and see if you can create pages using the name on social media platforms you intend to be active on. This is important as it facilitates omnichannel presence and fuels better recall.
11. Steer Clear of Anything Absurd
Try not to go overboard. Being unique and trying to stand out is a good thing, but you should stay away from absurd names that have nothing to do with what you do. There may be a few exceptions to this; however, it’s always better to be safe and pick a name that resonates with the solutions you offer. This will make it easier for you to connect with your audience and get your message across.
12. Make Sure It Feels Right
Don’t rush, and make sure it feels good to you! Yes, SEO, name availability and other legal-ish things need to be taken into consideration as well, but just like when naming a human, it needs to feel right. Your business is your “baby,” and the name is an important part of success. Take your time, try out different names (before you launch) and then go with what feels right.