You can find the previous Branding Basics post titled “Start with Why”.
The name of your business is its single best identifier. Logos are wonderful as visual representations, but a name can be used both visually and aurally. A name is how potential customers will search for you online or write it down to recommend to a friend. It should be unique, easy to remember and pronounce, and related to your business.
Questions to consider, as needed, when creating options for your company name:
- Can someone correctly identify my company’s industry from its name?
- Does my business’ name relate any values or beliefs of my company?
- Is the name too generic?
- When written is the name visually appealing?
- When said is it aurally appealing?
- Does the name evoke negative images or rhyme with/sound too similar to something negative?
- Is it too similar to another company’s name?
- Will the name be able to expand and grow with my company?
- Does it translate well in other languages and cultures?
Once you’ve made a list of three to five names, review them based on the following criteria:
- Does this name have an obvious spelling when said? For example: xonk.com could easily be zonk.com, or feenix.com/phoenix.com, kwack/quack
- Have I combined an odd combination of pre-fixes and word truncations (parts)? E.g. Qualister, “quali-” being an adjective-type word, is usually followed with a noun, where “-ster” is usually preceded by a verb-type word
- Is the name only meaningful to the people within the company? Or an obscure reference? A good rule of thumb: if you have to keep explaining it to people, it’s probably not a great name.
There are, of course, exceptions to each of the above rules; some of the most successful businesses have names that do not meet this list. Naming a company is a huge undertaking, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Belford Group is a full-service digital marketing firm with experience in company naming and branding. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation; we’d love to hear from you, and bring your ideas to life!