Finding the perfect name for your business that embodies your values and sets you apart from your competition can be a stressful process.
Naming your business it’s definitely something you have to get right.
You do not want to end up having a weak, overly descriptive, flat name that raises eyebrows then quickly fades away from consumers’ memory.
That’s why picking a name for your brainchild is something you shouldn’t take lightly.
As a startup looking to beat the odds in a crowded market, you’re likely willing to be a little bolder in your name choice.
But how can you choose a catchy, memorable, attention-grabbing name for your business without the risk of having the exact opposite effect of its intended purpose?
In this post, I’ll explain why your business name matters and give you some great tips for choosing a unique and creative name for your future but not yet hugely successful startup.
Note: Your business name does not necessarily need to match your domain name.
In fact, picking a business domain name requires a slightly different approach. Read this post all the way to the end to learn when your business name should (or shouldn’t) match your domain name and how to pick a surefire domain name.
Table of contents:
1. Why Your Business Name is Important to Success
It’s amazing how much small business owners can smooth their path to success if they harness the sheer power of names.
Your business name plays a monumental role in your brand’s identity and perception.
Think about brands you purchase from regularly: Apple, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Disney, McDonald’s, Nike, Zara, and so forth.
Do you know how famous companies got their names? Do you think they would enjoy overwhelming success if they had bland, boring, and forgettable names?
Going down memory lane, you would come across famous companies that originally had different names.
For example, Google, the world’s number one search engine, was initially called BackRub. Nike was formerly known as Blue Ribbon Sports. Yahoo started out as Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web before it became a search engine.
These are just a few examples of famous companies that started out with completely different names. Then, they have revamped their brand and picked a different name that appeals to consumers.
As you can see from these examples, a business name can make a brand or it can break it.
That’s why your business name is more than just words or marketing gimmick. If you try to build a successful business using a bad name, you just won’t make it. Period.
Here is why your business name matters a lot:
- Helps you stand out from the crowd
- Builds brand awareness and recognition
- Creates an emotional connection with consumers
- Sets the foundation for your business in terms of branding
- Makes it easier to attract talent
- Helps you create a lasting impression on customers
- It sums up everything your business is about
- Helps you communicate your business strategy and brand’s tone of voice (e.g., funny business names communicate an air of fun and enjoyment)
With that being said, let’s explore the best practices for picking a memorable or even intriguing name for your business that grabs consumers’ attention and makes them want to learn more about you.
2. 6 Helpful Tips for Naming Your Startup Business
- Decide whether you prefer a dictionary or a non-dictionary word
There are pros and cons of naming a business using a dictionary word vs. out-of-the-dictionary word.
For example, short dictionary words are incredibly easy to remember. On the flip side, dictionary words are more expensive in Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC) when using your brand name in Google Ads.
On the other hand, out-of-the-dictionary words (e.g., LinkedIn, YouTube, Hipmunk, etc.) can highlight your differentiation and enable you to easily secure a domain name.
However, you need to wisely choose a non-dictionary word for your business name as some fabricated words are easily forgettable and sound fake.
There is no right or wrong decision when it comes to choosing between a dictionary or a non-dictionary word to name your business. It depends on your product, industry, and personal preferences.
- Pick a short, easy to spell name
Consider how many times you’ll have to provide your business details verbally (especially over the phone).
Ask yourself, “Is my business name easy to spell and pronounce?”. “Will people understand what I’m saying?”.
When picking a business name, it is extremely important to keep it simple – choose a name that it’s easy to pronounce and spell so that customers can understand it and find you online.
Expert tip: Make sure your business name is also familiar to your target market. For example, Wesabe is a former Personal Finance Management system. The company was a market leader before Mint launched.
Marc Hedlund, Wesabe’s co-founder, shared that one of the main reasons why Wesabe lost to Mint is because Mint had a more appealing name that was more familiar to the audience.
- Align your business name to lasting attributes
Avoid names that could become an issue at a certain stage of your business’s growth.
For example, words such as “Australia”, “USA”, “wholesale”, or “agency” bind you to a specific region or business sphere.
Consider that your business might expand and undergo changes. This means that you may not offer the same services and products as at the beginning.
That’s why you need to avoid geographic and descriptive references when naming your business. You should focus instead on aligning your company’s name to lasting attributes.
- Choose a name that tells a story
As I explained above, each famous company has a hidden story behind its name.
For example, “Adidas” comes from the nickname of founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler. Nike was named for the Greek god of victory, and “Starbucks” comes from a character in the story of Moby Dick.
When picking the right business name, it is important that you think about a memorable story that creates interest in the brand and builds an emotional bond with consumers. Find a name that conveys something positive and meaningful related to your brand.
Remember, storytelling enables you to build a deeper connection with your audience and create relatable experiences for your customers.
- Pick a name that’s consistent with your brand
What makes your business truly unique? Is it your product? Great, personalised customer service? Your knowledge and expertise?
No matter what makes your business stand out from your competitors, it is important that you pick a name that’s consistent with your brand.
For example, “Park n’ Wash” and “Luxe Car Wash” describe the same type of business, but they target different types of consumers and convey different images.
Note: There are company names that have nothing to do with their products or services. Even so, these names generate emotions and evoke positive associations in people’s minds.
For example, a brand name like Apple makes you think of something fresh, healthy, and tasty – which are all positive associations.
- Check your business name availability
Once you’ve come up with the perfect name that best fits your business’s identity, it’s time to check whether any other business is already using it.
If you’re looking to register your business in Australia, you can check if your business name is available by using this tool available on the Australian Government’s website dedicated to businesses.
Even if the business name you have crafted is currently available, keep your eye out for competitors that are using similar names.
Set your business apart from the pack by avoiding names that are too similar to other company names in your industry.
Conclusion: Once you have crafted the perfect name for your business, it’s time to register it with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Note that if you’re trading under your first name and surname, there’s no need to register your business name.
You also need to be aware that registering your business name with ASIC does not protect your business name from being used by others. That’s why you’ll need to register your business name as a trademark.
Remember, properly investing your time into picking the right name for your business will make all the difference in the world so take a moment before you get your business cards printed up.
Choose your startup name wisely as the right name for your startup can have an incredibly significant impact on your success.
Have you picked up the perfect name for your startup? Then, it’s time to evolve your fledgling startup into a successful business. B2B HQ would be happy to provide you with professional, flexible, and affordable services and tools to set your business sail smooth. Get our New Business Creation package today to access everything your business needs to be operational in one place. It would be a pleasure for us to help you get your startup off the ground and take it to greater heights!