by Connla Stokes - Global Connection - Expat Partner Support
Photo: Rennett Stowe – Flickr
Coming up with your business name is undoubtedly a vital step for any start-up (big or small). But what if you can’t think of a good name? To avoid frustration, there are some effective ways to assist the process.
Naming your company
So you are about to start a company. You even have a business plan and investment. But there’s one thing holding you back: you don’t have a name. Of course, nobody has to tell you that your new company name has numerous branding, marketing, and web implications. In fact, it’s such an obviously important step that the danger is you will start to get frustrated when an ideal name proves elusive. Should this be the case, there are some techniques to make brainstorming sessions more effective.
Write down keywords
Rather than randomly trying to pluck the killer name from thin air, write down all the keywords associated with your product and service. Next, grab a thesaurus and write down all of the synonyms for these words. You can enter keywords on websites such as Domainr.com to generate clever abbreviations or Wordroid.com to generate derivations. By playing around with associated names, hopefully you will hit upon something that accentuates what it is you do.
Unique (but not weird)
When whittling down the shortlist, you will want to look for something that will set your brand apart. But be careful in how you go about picking a unique name. For example, avoid unusual spellings that will confuse customers/clients and make sure it’s easy to pronounce and therefore easy to remember. Skip acronyms and keep it short. Also forget hyphens or idiosyncratic characters. If you use a single word and it can be turned into a verb, à la Google, all the better!
Don’t box yourself in
Remember to consider the international implications – could the name be negatively construed elsewhere in the world? And is the name transferable? Don’t box your business in by using a geographic location or a product category in your business name. If it sounds too specific, customers will be confused if you expand your business to different locations or branch out in terms of products/services. But do give customers an inkling as to what you do or sell.
Is it even available?
In this digital era, your company name and internet domain name should also be the same. Most people will assume that your company name is your domain name minus the suffix ‘.com’. If in doubt, test the name out. But if possible, bypass your family and friends, who know you too well, or know too much. Ask other parents you know from your kids’ school, for example. If they are your target market all the better. As the saying goes, the customer knows best.
Adapted and edited from an original article, in Global Connection's media for spouses (B2B subscription).
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