With a lot of conviction and contemplation, you have stepped into the world of startups. You have undergone the grind of evaluating and reevaluating your startup, chalked out a roadmap, did market research, and came up with prototypes. And now you’re ready to manifest your plan into a profitable business.
What’s in a Name?
But before you can move forward with your hustle, you have to work on the most important aspects of your startup, choosing a business name for it. Naming your startup may look easy at the outset, but it is a challenging task.
You will need to keep the following objectives in mind when you’re thinking about potential names for your company.
- Your startup name should reflect your brand value
- Your startup name should be simple and memorable
As your startup’s name will stay with you for years to come, you need to be extremely careful about choosing one. I’m going to share 4 actionable tips to help you choose a great name for your next startup. Let’s get started.
Make it memorable
Your startup’s name will be tied to its identity for the foreseeable future so make it as memorable as you can. It is one of the first things that your team and potential customers will utter when they mention your business to others. “Your name sticks with you,” says Jenny Stanley, managing director of Appetite Creative, a branding agency covering Europe and Dubai.
Your startup’s name will appear everywhere — pitch decks, presentations, brochures, websites, marketing campaigns, email addresses, business cards, products, and so much more. Using a catchy and memorable name for your startup that resonates well with people will help you instill an excellent first impression in your target audience’s minds.
Keep it short and simple
Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, Target — what do these companies have in common? Their brand names are short and simple. They are easy to spell and pronounce. The average length of company names on the Fortune 1000 list is 14 characters. People easily remember shorter names, which helps a lot when marketing your products or services to the world.
By now, you might already have a list of potential names. Shortlist 2-3 of these names, present them to your friends and family members and gauge how they react to them. If people are able to remember even one name and spell it correctly, congrats, you have achieved your goal. Hence, walking in your customer’s shoes will help you choose the right name for your company.
Stand out from the crowd
One thing you need to keep in mind while entering any market is either there will be too many players in it or none at all. In both scenarios, you need to carve out a niche for yourself.
Let’s talk about the first case — when there’s cut-throat competition.
When markets get competitive, a portion of entrepreneurs tends to copy their rivals, hoping to get rich quickly.
For example, let’s say that there was a content marketing agency with the name “contentDen” that recently became a market leader. As soon as other entrepreneurs get a whiff of the contentDen success — they will start launching their own agencies with names like “ContentPlace,” “ContentCrib,” and “ContentSpot,” forgetting that this will hamper their business in the long run.
You have to realize that by using similar names you’re giving away brand leverage to the company that has already made a name for itself. It will not only confuse your future customers but a portion of them will end up going to your competitor. Your customer acquisition rate will literally go down the drain if your customers can’t remember your startup’s name easily.
Create your own demand for a product or service.
In the second case, when you’re a new entrant in the market and there’s relatively low or no competition, you will need to create demand for your product or service. Therefore, you ought to choose a name that catches on fire and leaves a long-lasting impact on your audience. After all, your brand’s reputation will be one big component that decides your place in the market.
Choosing a name that stands out from the crowd instills a sense of curiosity amongst people. If you use a unique and out-of-the-box name, people will be more likely to think of you when they need a product or service that you offer.
Acquire the domain name
Once you have narrowed down a startup name you like, it’s time to check whether a matching domain name is available for registration. You can use a company like GoDaddy to register the domain name. If the domain you want isn’t available there or if you want to brainstorm more name ideas, try a brandable domain marketplace like Alter where existing owners list their domain names for sale.
You should always go with a .com domain because that’s what your customers will be expecting.
All the other domain extensions like .net or .org won’t look as professional. Plus when your customers try to visit your website they’ll always try the .com extension first. If you don’t have it then that customer will land on someone else’s website on your dime.
Once you have acquired the domain name, don’t forget to look for matching social media handles for your startup on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on. These will help your startup increase its brand awareness online.
What’s in the name? Everything.
Your startup’s brand name will be its primary identity. It will create a particular image of your company in the mind of your customers. Plus the name you choose will stay with your startup for the rest of its lifespan so make sure to invest a serious amount of effort into it.
Use the 4 actionable tips above to help you find the right name for your next startup.
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