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What to Think About When Coming Up With a Company Name

What to Think About When Coming Up With a Company Name

When you’re starting a new business, one of the first things you’ll need to do is come up with a name. A company name might not be important to some since it doesn’t affect the day-to-day operations, but it can be a big deal for others that are concerned with their brand and image.

While calling your company “Corporation 9592” and then getting down to work might be a tenable solution for some, others might want to put a bit more thought into the process. They might want the name to represent their values, their mission statement, or their overall plan.

Here are ten questions to ask yourself when naming your company.

What Do You Want the Name to Be?

Ostensibly, most of us choose names that we find appealing and want to associate ourselves with. Be sure to choose a name that you will like. It’s hard to change your company name down the road, and it’s costly. While availability is important (see below), don’t just choose a name because it’s available and not something you would want to represent your company.

Your values can also be a big influence on the name. If you’re eco-friendly, for example, you might want to choose a name that reflects that. Finally, you might want to adhere to the rule of cool. Choose a name that will make your company stand out and be remembered. For testing purposes, run the name by people in your niche and see if it resonates with them.

Does the Name Have Any Geographical Connotations?

If you’re a local business, you might want to consider a name that has some geographical connotations. This can help customers and clients associate your company with a specific place. It can also be helpful if you plan on expanding in the future.

However, you might want to avoid geographical connotations and missteps if you’re planning on selling internationally. Take the example of the Chevy Nova, where “Nova” is Spanish for “no go.” That didn’t play too well in the Spanish-speaking market.

Is the Name Available?

One of the first things you’ll want to do is check to see if the name is available. You can do this by doing a trademark search or checking with your state’s corporate records office. You might also want to check domain availability, social media handles, and you can even register the name on Gmail and YouTube.

Be sure that you’re not infringing on anyone else’s trademark. You can do a search of the USPTO database to make sure that the name is available.

Is the Name Too Long?

You’ll also want to make sure that the name isn’t too long or cumbersome. It should be easy to say and remember. If it’s too long, people might not remember it, or they might butcher the pronunciation.

Can the Name be Easily Pronounced in Other Languages?

Along those same lines, you’ll want to make sure that the name can be easily pronounced in other languages. You don’t want to choose a name that’s difficult to say or understand for people who don’t speak English.

Is the Name too Similar to Another Company’s Name?

If you’re planning on expanding your company, you’ll want to make sure that your company name isn’t too similar to another company’s name. This can cause confusion, and customers might not know which company they’re dealing with.

Is the Name Too Generic?

On the other hand, you’ll also want to avoid choosing a name that’s too generic. This can make it difficult for people to remember your company and they might not know what you do.

Is the Name Easy to Spell?

You’ll also want to make sure that the name is easy to spell. If it’s difficult to spell, people might not be able to find you online or they might get the wrong information about your company.

Can You Create a Logo That Represents the Name?

Along with choosing a name, you’ll also want to create a logo that represents the name. The two should go hand-in-hand. Ideally, people should be able to see your logo and know what company it is without any text.

Are There Any Negative Associations with the Name?

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that there are no negative associations with the name. You don’t want people to think of your company in a negative light.

Conclusion

When choosing a company name, you’ll want to think about a number of different factors. With this guide, you’ll be on your way to a cool and quirky name that represents your business well. Enjoy the brainstorming!


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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.