Starting a new business is exciting, but it also means making some tough decisions right off the bat. And one of the toughest decisions is choosing a brand name. Your brand name is the first impression potential clients will have of your business. It sets the stage, letting people know what to expect and how to feel about your business. It can even determine whether someone remembers you or not.
Now, when it comes to naming your brand, you might find yourself pondering some important questions. Should you be straightforward and mention exactly what you do? Or should you go for a more mysterious and symbolic approach? And what about naming the business after yourself versus coming up with a fresh name? Oh, and let’s not forget about the option of using a made-up word!
I know it can be overwhelming, but fear not! I’ve got your back. I’ve put together some handy tips to help you choose a brand name that will steer you in the right direction. So, let’s dive in and find the perfect name for your business!
1. Develop a Brand Strategy First
If you’re struggling with choosing a name, here’s a tip: put that decision on hold for now. Instead, focus on developing your brand strategy first. Your brand strategy covers important aspects like your brand goals, target audience, purpose, core values, brand personality, and core messaging. Once you have a solid understanding of these elements, it becomes easier to assess if a name is a good fit. Your brand strategy acts as a framework to evaluate the suitability of your chosen name.
So, using your brand strategy, ask yourself some questions:
- Will this name meet the expectations of my ideal clients?
- Does it express the personality of my brand?
- How well does it align with my messaging?
Brand strategy is like having a special plan for how you want your ideal customers to see your business. It includes things like what you want to achieve, who you want to talk to (your ideal customers), what you believe in, and how you want to talk about your business. It’s like a guide that helps you make decisions and be different from others. It’s important because it helps you make friends (with your ideal customers) and be successful in the long run.
Are they visiting your website, seeing your products in a store, or encountering your brand in a digital marketplace? This will help you determine the design choices you make.
Next, what sets you apart from others? What’s your unique selling proposition? Maybe it’s your outstanding customer service, your expertise, or your affordable prices. Figure out what makes you special and deliver on that consistently to create loyal brand fans.
Lastly, think about your ideal client or reader. Who are they? What do they like? Where do they hang out online? Knowing your target audience will guide your brand and marketing strategies. That in a nutshell is strategy.
Step 2: Make it Future Proof
Changing your brand name isn’t a walk in the park. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a name that can evolve with your business as it grows.
Let’s face it, predicting where your business will be in five years, or even just one year, can be a challenge! Especially in the early stages, you might find yourself making significant shifts and changes. Unless you want to go through a rebranding process every time you pivot, it’s wise to have a flexible name in place.
Here are some things that could potentially change as your business expands:
- Your location: You might move to a different city or even operate in multiple locations.
- The services you offer: Your range of offerings may expand or shift to better meet customer needs.
- The people involved: Business partners might come and go as your team grows and evolves.
- Your target market: Your ideal customers may change as your business finds its niche.
By selecting a name that allows for flexibility, you can save yourself from the headache of rebranding down the road and ensure your business can adapt smoothly to new opportunities and directions.
After a break, go back to your board and see which pins truly resonate with you. Get rid of any that don’t fit your brand’s vibe. Focus on the ones that keep drawing your attention. This will help you narrow down your aesthetic.
From there, create a mood board using the chosen images. Identify the colours that stand out and create a colour palette for your brand. Use tools like Coolors.co to extract colours from your inspiration pictures.
Pro tip: Consider the types of images you’ll need for your website, products, and marketing materials. Collect a few stock photos that align with your brand style. It’ll save you time later on!
Once you’ve found a name you love, take a breather and let it sink in for a few days. You can even try visualizing it with a logo template to see how it fits. Experimentation and patience are key.
Testing it out on friends and family can be helpful too. Share the name and ask them to guess what kind of business it represents. If their assumptions are way off, it might be worth reconsidering.
Now, here are some dos and don’ts to remember:
- Keep it simple and short.
- Research the meaning behind your name.
- Say it out loud frequently.
- Test it with friends and family.
- Look into your competitors’ business names.
- Include a specific location in the name.
- Choose a name that creates a poor first impression.
- Opt for overly abstract names.
- Pick a name that’s difficult to spell.
- Use overly creative spelling or extra letters.
By following these tips, you’ll be on the right track to selecting a strong and effective business name.
Step 3: Do a Google Search and Check Availability
Now it’s time to put your chosen name to the test! Start by doing a good old Google search and see if anything pops up. This will give you an initial idea of how unique your name is and if there are any existing businesses with a similar name.
Next, check the availability of the corresponding domain name. Simply type it into your web browser and see if it’s up for grabs. Having a matching domain name is important for establishing your online presence.
Don’t forget to do a trademark search as well. Look for any existing trademarks that might conflict with your chosen name. This step helps you avoid legal headaches down the road.
Lastly, check if the name is available on popular social media platforms. Consistency across different online channels is key for effective branding.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your chosen name is available.
Step 4: Give the name a usability test!
- Apart from checking availability, there are other important factors to consider:
- Think about potential misspellings. Can people easily spell it correctly?
- Say it out loud and see how it sounds. Is it catchy and easy to pronounce?
- Make sure the name gives the right impression. Does it accurately convey what your business is about, or could it be misleading?
- Consider how it stands out from your competitors. Will it grab attention and set you apart?
- Be mindful of any negative meanings that could be associated with the name. You want to avoid any unintended connotations.
By putting your name through this usability test, you’ll gain valuable insights to ensure you’ve chosen a name that’s both appealing and effective for your business.
STEP 5: Write Your Tagline
Here’s a bonus tip for you, and it’s not directly about your brand name itself. You can use taglines to help you tell your audience what you’re all about.
Let’s say you choose a name that doesn’t explicitly describe your services. No worries! You can pair it with a nice, clear tagline to add that extra oomph and make it crystal clear what you offer.
On the other hand, if your brand name already does a pretty good job of explaining your services, you can get creative with your tagline. Use it to highlight a special benefit or show off more of your brand’s personality.
Remember, taglines are like sidekicks to your brand name. They work together to make a powerful impact and ensure your audience understands and connects with your business.
So, don’t forget to consider a supportive tagline that complements your brand name and helps you shine even brighter!
Congratulations! You’re now equipped with some awesome tips to choose the perfect name for your business. Remember, your brand name is the superhero identity that leaves a lasting impression on your audience. So take your time, be creative, and let your brand’s personality shine through.
Think about your target audience, consider the future growth of your business, and ensure your name is easy to pronounce, spell, and remember. Don’t forget to do your research, check for availability, and test its usability. And hey, if you want to add an extra punch, pair it with a supportive tagline!
Now go forth and unleash your brand’s brilliance with a name that speaks volumes about your business. Get ready to make a memorable impact and connect with your ideal customers. Cheers to your brand’s exciting journey ahead!