Are you starting a business and want a perfect name for your business? Awesome! It can indeed be thrilling to gather knowledge, do market research, and plan finance and marketing strategies. Now you want to pick a compelling name for your business that creates a great first impression, gives you a head start on your competitors, and resonates with your potential customers and investors. If you think that naming your business is the most critical marketing decision you are going to take, you are right.
You can surely take help from those AI-powered, design thinking inspired business name generator tools that churn out millions of potential names.
This guide will help you avoid the top mistakes entrepreneurs make when naming their business.
Getting the whole community involved
You want a consensus and do not want any awkwardly constructed name that does not resonate with your brand. So you have made your entire circle a part of this exercise. This will lead to chaos, and you are likely to face challenges. To bypass this problem, involve a few key people (mainly decision-makers) and follow a systematic process: ideate, brainstorm, compare, filter, regroup, and finalize a name. In all probability, you will find an engaging and suitable name for your business.
Keeping it ambiguous
A powerful brand name is simple to spell and pronounce and easier to remember. Think from your potential audience perspective and follow this simple exercise. Are you users able to say your potential brand name normally and without a pause? If yes, you are good to go. If your business name is harder to pronounce then both your customer care people and audience will have difficulty in communication; while starting a business, you will not want to make such mistakes.
Amazon’s name has an interesting history. Amazon was initially called “Cadabra” (in reference to the word “abracadabra”). When Jeff Bezos’ lawyer pointed out that the word could be misheard as “cadaver” (means “a dead body”), Bezos changed the name. Bezos still retains the registered domain name Relentless.com.
Similar confusion can occur when your brand name leaves room for confusion. Nowadays, by default, smartphones and Word Processing software have the AutoCorrect option on, and many times, we encounter hilarious, and sometimes atrocious, autocorrect errors.
Ignoring the Gen Y and Z
Choosing a perfect name for your business can’t happen without considering the most influential community: Gen Y and Z. You need to understand text talk or Millennial lingo — a language influenced by social media, technology, and trends. They created written English as expressive and provocative as spoken English. They love the surprise and don’t go for brand-speak. Do it the way Taco Bell did it when it taught its team Millennial lingo and got an instant connection with the Millennials.
Choosing a generic name
If you choose a generic, vague, and bland name, you will be obscure, particularly when your competitors will also provide near-similar services. Say the name yourself: does your chosen name excite you and nudge you to know the company better? If not, find another name. Consumers love intrigue. If your brand name delivers that, in the long term, you will be able to connect with your customers better.
Being creatively non-creative
Capturing audience attention is becoming increasingly hard. If you want to get attention, you need to be creative. In trying to create an unconventional brand name, many businesses resort to creativeness, in effect changing the spelling in a way that sounds different. One potential problem in this exercise is that people get confused and find it hard to search for your business.
A missing trademark clearance search
Once you spend significant time and resources in finding and finalizing your new business name, one mandatory thing you will not want to miss is to see if any trademark has already been registered or applied for that is similar to your trademark and is used on any related products or services, and live. Even if your business name is mimicking a significant portion of any known trademark names, that is restricted. As the business models are increasingly global by nature, also do a Google search so that your perfect name for your business does not land you in trademark infringement trouble.
Exact matching domain name
Among your list of the mistakes to avoid for naming your business, add this: do not go for an awkward domain name. For the uninitiated, let’s demystify what this means. Earlier, webmasters used to buy long, clunky domain names as they have the unique advantage of the keyword in the URL and accurate monthly searches for the keyword, with which you could easily rank higher with low-quality content. Now, after Google rolled out a new algorithm update in 2019 in which they added a penalty for low-quality exact match domains, called EMD penalty, this advantage has gone, and you don’t need to go for an exact matching domain name. You can instead choose new domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, .ONLINE, .SITE, .SPACE, etc if you want a keyword-rich domain name.
Not adapting to digital marketing strategy.
While starting a business, many of your peers will choose their brand names carefully and will create an effective marketing strategy (offline+online) based on the name. As your brand names should appear identically in all your social media handles, a long name or descriptive name can hinder your strategy. So, choose your name wisely and don’t make it too long.
Creating a name for a short-term vision
Try to choose a name that fits the long-term vision of your business. To sound catchy and trendy, companies choose names and do not necessarily build on the name, but soon the trend becomes obsolete, and so does the business, quite unintentionally though. The trendy words like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language processing that are very popular as part of the Digital 2.0 era will be so common in the coming years that any company names based on those words will look outdated. In their places, another set of trendier names will arise. So, think through the common pitfalls and choose a middle ground and go for certain keywords that are going to be relevant down the line, still be appealing to the target audience, and work both in the short term and in the long term.
Summing it up
Finally, remember a good name is hard to create, and if you plan to perfect the art of finding a perfect name for your business, you will soon realize that you will never decode the formula. But once you follow the strategies mentioned in this article and avoid the common mistakes, you can find the right name for now and for the future.