Choosing a name for your new business is an important step in the process of starting a company. Not only does it serve as the first impression for potential customers, but it can also play a role in how easily individuals can find and remember your business. However, finding the perfect business name that aligns with your brand, is memorable, and is available to use, can be a daunting task. This chapter will cover the key considerations for naming your business, tips for brainstorming and checking availability, and what to do once you have settled on a name.
So, Why Does Brand Name Actually Matters?
Your brand name is a crucial aspect of your business identity and plays a significant role in your company’s success—today, tomorrow, and in the future. A strong brand name can help establish credibility, differentiate your business from competitors, and create a sense of trust and loyalty with your customers. A well-chosen brand name can also make it easier for customers to find and remember your business, which can help drive sales and increase brand recognition. Additionally, a brand name that is memorable and unique can be a valuable asset in the long run, helping to establish and protect your company’s reputation and potentially increasing the value of your business. Overall, your brand name is a vital element of your business that can greatly impact how customers perceive and engage with your brand. Nevertheless, choosing the right brand name is a decision that should not be taken lightly, as it has the potential to make or break the success of your business. It’s advisable to take the time to research, brainstorm, and validate the different options to select the best one for your brand.
Key Considerations for Naming Your Business
When it comes to naming a business, there are many factors to consider, from legal availability to cultural appropriateness and online presence. Below we will cover the key considerations you should take into account when choosing a name for your business, including relevance, memorability, uniqueness, versatility, and more. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your business name will be a valuable asset and help establish a strong and sustainable brand identity for years to come.
● Relevance: The name should be relevant to the products or services your business offers and should accurately reflect the company’s nature and purpose.
● Memorability: A name that is easy to pronounce, spell, and remember can help increase brand recognition and make it easier for customers to find and engage with your business online and offline. ● Uniqueness: The name should be unique and distinct from existing business names and trademarks in your industry to avoid confusion and legal issues.
● Versatility: The name should be versatile and adaptable enough to accommodate the potential growth and expansion of your business.
● Online presence: The name should be available as a domain name and social media handles to ensure a strong online presence and enhance marketing efforts.
● Cultural Appropriateness: Consider whether the name could have any negative connotations or cultural associations in different regions.
● Legal Availability: Make sure the name is available and not already trademarked by another company. ● Longevity: The name should be able to stand the test of time and not become outdated or irrelevant. ● Brand Identity: The brand name must align with your company’s mission, values, and personality.
Finally, the most important consideration is to test the name with a focus group or target audience to check how it resonates with the individuals you want to reach and the type of image it creates for them. By taking the time to research, brainstorm, and validate your options, you can select a name that will be a valuable asset to your company and help establish a strong and sustainable brand identity. Remember that it’s not only about choosing a good name but also using it consistently, in the right context, to achieve the desired brand image.
How to Find Out If a Name Is Already Taken
Starting a business is exciting, but before you can officially launch, you need to make sure the name you have chosen is available. Checking if a business name is already taken is an essential step in the process of registering your business and protecting your brand identity. It’s important to ensure that another company does not already use your business name to avoid confusion and potential legal issues. Here are some ways to check if a business name is already taken and what you can do to ensure your desired name is available for use.
● Check with Business Registration Website: Many states have a searchable database of registered business names. You can search for existing businesses to see if your desired name is taken.
● Search for Trademarked Names: You can search for trademarks online on the USPTO’s official website. This will help you to determine if there is any federally registered trademark that might conflict with your intended business name in the future.
● Search for Domain Names: Visit a domain registration website like GoDaddy or NameCheap to see if the web address you want is available.
● Search Social Media: It is possible that a business is using a name similar to the one you want to use, so check for any existing social media accounts.
● Check with Your Local County or City: Some localities have a list of business names registered within the county or city. This can help you to ensure that your desired name doesn’t conflict with any existing business that may operate in the same area.
Now that you know how to find out if a name is already taken, it’s important to remember that even if a name is available at the state level, it may still be used federally or locally. Additionally, note that even if a name is not trademarked or registered, it may still be considered in use if a business is operating under that name.
Tips for Brainstorming and Checking Availability
Brainstorming potential names and then checking the availability of that name, both as a web domain and social media handle, can be time-consuming and difficult. Below we will provide tips for brainstorming and checking availability for your new business name to ensure that it will be a valuable asset to your company and will help establish a strong brand identity. By following these guidelines, you can streamline the process and make it easier to find the perfect name for your business. So, without further ado, read on.
● Start by making a list of keywords related to your business, products, or services. Now use these keywords to generate potential names and phrases.
● Utilize a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary to expand your list of potential names and to help make the name more memorable by using synonyms.
● Mix and match words and phrases to create unique and catchy names that are easy to remember.
● Keep it simple, short, and easy to pronounce. Avoid overly complicated or hard-to-spell names.
● Consider using your name or a combination of your own name and the name of your business or product.
● Use online tools and resources to check the availability of potential names and variations, both as a web domain and social media handle.
● Check for existing trademarks via the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) database.
● Test the names with a focus group or target audience to check how it resonates with the individuals you want to reach and the image it creates for them.
● Consult a trademark attorney to ensure your selected name is available and not similar to any existing ones.
● Once you have settled on a name, use it consistently across all your marketing materials and online presence to create a recognizable brand identity.
In conclusion, choosing the right name for your business is a critical decision that requires thoughtful consideration and thorough research. By following the tips mentioned above, you can streamline the brainstorming and availability-checking process and ensure that your business name is relevant, memorable, unique, and legally available. It’s essential to remember that the name should align with the company’s mission, values, and personality and be culturally appropriate. By choosing a great name and following these tips, you’ll be on your way to building a strong brand for your new business.
A Step-by-Step Approach
Here’s a step-by-step approach to how to name your business, starting from researching your industry, target audience, and competitors, to finalizing the name, registering the business, and completing any necessary legal work. By following these steps, you can ensure that you choose the right name for your business that aligns with your brand identity, is legally available to use and helps you to establish a sustainable brand identity.
● Research: Start by researching your industry, competitors, and target audience to gain a better understanding of what kind of name would be appropriate and effective for your business.
● Brainstorm: Create a list of potential business names by brainstorming keywords and phrases related to your business, using tools like a thesaurus and rhyming dictionary to expand your options.
● Check Availability: Use online tools and resources, such as domain name checkers, to check the availability of potential names and variations as a web domain and social media handle.
● Research Trademarks: Check for existing trademarks by searching the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) database and consult with a lawyer or trademark attorney to ensure your selected business name is available to use.
● Test the Names: Test the names with a focus group or target audience to check how it resonates with the people you want to reach and the image it creates.
● Finalize: Once you have narrowed down your options, select the final name, and register the business and domain name with the government.
● Branding: Create the visual identity of your business and the branding materials (logo, colors, fonts, etc.) that align with the chosen name and overall brand.
● Consistency: Use the name consistently across all your marketing materials and online presence to create a strong and recognizable brand identity.
● Legal Work: Finally, take care of any legal work necessary to protect your name, the overall brand, and any other intellectual property related to it.
By taking these steps, you can increase the likelihood of selecting a name that fits your brand identity and is legally available to use for your company.
What to Do After You Decide on a Name
Deciding on a business name is an important step in the process of starting a company, but it’s not the end of the journey. After you have chosen your business name, there are several steps you should take to ensure that your business is legally and properly established and to protect your brand name and reputation. These steps include registering your business with the appropriate state or local government agency, obtaining necessary permits and licenses, securing a web domain and social media handles, trademarking your name, creating a visual identity for your brand, and more. So, here’s an overview of the steps you should take after deciding on a business name to ensure that your business is set up for success.
● Register Your Business: Register with the appropriate state or local government agency, giving you the legal right to operate under the chosen name.
● Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses: Obtain permits and licenses to operate your business legally. ● Secure a Web Domain: Secure a web domain and social media handles under your new business name to establish a strong online presence for your brand.
● Trademark Your Name: File for trademark registration with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to protect your name and other intellectual property from being used by others.
● Branding and Marketing: Create a visual identity for your brand and develop branding materials such as a logo, colors, fonts, and other elements.
● Business Formation: Consider the legal structure best suits your business and set it up accordingly, such as an LLC, Corporation, or Sole proprietorship.
● Consistency: Use your business name consistently across all your marketing materials and online presence to create a recognizable brand identity.
It’s important to keep in mind that these steps may vary depending on your business structure and location. Consult with professionals such as specialized lawyers and accountants in business formation may be advisable.
The Idea Behind Famous Business Names
Famous business names often have a story or meaning behind their creation. The process of naming a business can be tricky, as the name needs to be memorable, meaningful, and reflective of the company’s mission or values. From the name of a Greek goddess to the play of words, many business names have a tale to tell. Below we will explore the idea behind some famous business names, from the origins of their creation to the inspiration that led to their name choices. Understanding these stories can give you a better insight into the brand and how you can do the same for your business-in-process.
Google: The Power of a Googol
The name “Google” is a play on the mathematical term “googol,” the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeroes. This reflects the company’s mission to organize and make accessible a vast amount of information available on the internet. This name choice effectively communicates the company’s goal of sifting through vast amounts of data and making it easily accessible to users.
Apple: A Simple and Unique Name
The story behind the name Apple is a bit more complex. The company was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, and the company was originally called Apple Computer, Inc. While it is true that the name “Apple” was chosen because it was simple and easy to remember, the founders did not have any relation to an apple orchard. According to co-founder Steve Jobs, the name Apple was chosen because it seemed fun, spirited, and not intimidating. Additionally, he stated that the name was also because of the Beatles, because of the phrase “Apple Records,” and he was a big fan of the band. The company dropped “Computer” from its name in 2007 to reflect its expanding focus on consumer electronics.
Nike: The Greek Goddess of Victory
Founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman, Nike was originally named Blue Ribbon Sports. Initially, the business served as a distributor for Onitsuka Tiger, a shoe manufacturer based in Japan (now ASICS), but they later decided to create their own line of athletic shoes. In 1971, the company introduced a new line of athletic shoes named Nike, after the Greek goddess of victory. The name was chosen to reflect the brand’s focus on athletics and competition and the company’s mission to empower athletes to reach their full potential. The swoosh logo, designed by Carolyn Davidson, was meant to communicate motion as if the shoes were running.
Amazon: The World’s Largest Online Retailer
Founded in 1994, Amazon was named after the largest river in the world, the Amazon. The name reflects the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos’s ambition of creating a vast and diverse selection of items, like the river, a one-stop destination with everything you need. The company was founded in 1994 as an online bookstore, but over the years, it has expanded to become one of the largest retailers in the world, selling a wide variety of products from books to electronics, clothing, and more. The company’s mission to be Earth’s most customer-centric company is to build a place where people can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
Coca-Cola: A Combination of Two Ingredients
John Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, Georgia, created the original formula for Coca-Cola as a non-alcoholic alternative to French wine. He mixed the syrup with carbonated water and served it at his local pharmacy. He did indeed name it Coca-Cola, which referred to two of the main ingredients, which were coca leaves and kola nuts, but it was not created to be a combination of those two ingredients; the coca leaf was used in small amounts as a stimulant, while kola nut provided a caffeine boost, but the recipe was kept a secret, and the company claims it no longer includes coca leaves to form the drink.
Facebook: Physical Directory of the Online World
Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates and fellow Harvard students, the social media platform Facebook was originally called “Thefacebook.” The name was a nod to the physical directories, called “face book,” that many American universities distribute to students, faculty, and staff to help them get to know each other, which often includes photos, names, and contact information. Thefacebook was created to connect Harvard University students with each other, but later it expanded to other universities and eventually to anyone with a valid email address. In August 2005, the company dropped “The” from its name, becoming just Facebook.
Microsoft: Marriage of Microcomps and Software
Microsoft was named “Microsoft” because the company was focused on producing software for microcomputers, which were small computers that were becoming increasingly popular in the 1970s. The founders, Bill Gates and Paul Allen chose to combine the words “microcomputer” and “software” to create the name “Microsoft,” which reflected their mission to provide software that would make microcomputers more powerful and accessible. The company initially focused on developing and selling BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, one of the first successful personal computers at that time, and expanded its product line over time to include a wide range of software and hardware products.
Walmart: The Match of the Founder and Mart
The name “Walmart” is a combination of the name of the company’s founder, Sam Walton, and the word “mart,” which refers to a retail store. The company was founded in 1962 by Walton, who opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas. At the time, the store was simply called “Walton’s,” but the name was later changed to “Walmart” to reflect the company’s growing ambitions to become a chain of retail stores. Over the years, Walmart has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most successful retail companies, with over 11,000 stores in 27 countries.
These examples show how famous business names were chosen; they are often related to the company’s original mission and trying to be easy to remember and unique. Understanding the idea behind these famous business names can give a deeper insight into the brands, their mission, and the story behind the creation—that you can ultimately follow for a successful launch of your business.
To conclude, naming a business can be a challenging task, but by following the strategies and best practices outlined in this chapter, you can create a name that accurately reflects your business and helps you to stand out in a competitive marketplace. Finally, it is important to remember that a business name is not only a label but also a powerful tool for branding and marketing. And, even though the name is important, it’s not the only thing defining a business’s success. But a catchy, memorable, and well-thought-out name can be a great start for any company to establish itself in the marketplace.